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A serviceman with a Russian flag on his uniform stands guard near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant
Europe's largest nuclear power plant has been threatened by ongoing shelling, poor working conditions and lack of oversightImage: Alexander Ermochenko/REUTERS
ConflictsUkraine

Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant shut down

September 11, 2022

International concerns have been mounting about the safety of the Russian-held nuclear plant. It is now being switched to a cold state.

https://p.dw.com/p/4Ggbb

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine has been completely shut down, the Ukrainian nuclear power agency Energoatom announced on Sunday, saying it was "a safety measure."

What did Energoatom say about the shutdown?

Energoatom said it had disconnected the sixth unit of the plant from the power grid.

"Preparations are underway for its cooling and transfer to a cold state," it said in a statement.

The operator said it was taking all possible measures to organize an additional supply of diesel fuel for the generators needed to ensure safety at the plant in the absence of an external electricity supply.

For several days, the plant had been using its only remaining reactor in operation to generate the power needed for essential cooling operations after all power lines to the plant from the outside were disconnected as a result of fighting in the area.

Energoatom said that one of the power lines was restored late Saturday, allowing the last reactor to be shut down.

In a statement to Russian news agency Interfax, an adviser to the head of the Russian nuclear body Rosenergoatom confirmed that the final power unit had been shut down and that the plant is currently being switched to a cold state.

The plant has been held by invading Russian troops since March, though it continues to be operated by Ukrainian staff.

UN calls on Russia to leave nuclear plant

UN atomic energy agency IAEA urges more security amid shelling

A 14-member mission sent by the IAEA last week in its report called for "the immediate establishment of a nuclear safety and security protection zone" around the plant as it faces an "untenable" situation amid frequent shelling that Moscow and Kyiv blame on each other.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also demanded that Russian and Ukrainian forces agree on a "demilitarized perimeter."

According to Guterres, this would include "a commitment by Russian forces to withdraw all military personnel and equipment from that perimeter and a commitment by Ukrainian forces not to move into it.''

dh, tj/wd

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