Sunday, May 26, 2024
HomeNuclearZelensky says radiation disaster was narrowly avoided at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power...

Zelensky says radiation disaster was narrowly avoided at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the world narrowly escaped a radiation disaster as electricity to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was cut for hours due to Russian shelling in the area.

“Today, for the first time in history, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant stopped, said the Ukrainian President on Thursday pointing out that Russian shelling sparked fires in the ash pits of a nearby coal power station that disconnected the reactor complex, Europe’s largest such facility, from the power grid.

The emergency protection of the power units worked. Back-up diesel generators were immediately activated to provide energy to the plant itself, to support it after the shutdown.

“The world must understand what a threat this is: if the diesel generators hadn’t turned on, if the automation and our staff of the plant had not reacted after the blackout, then we would be forced to face the consequences of a radiation accident. Russia has put Ukraine and all Europeans in a situation one step away from a radiation disaster,” underlined the President.

“I want to assure all Ukrainians: we are doing everything to prevent an emergency scenario. But it depends not only on our state,” emphasised Volodymyr Zelensky urging international pressure to force out Russians from the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and among the ten largest in the world. Russia invaded Ukraine in February, captured the plant located in the southeastern part of the country in March and has controlled it since. The plant continues to be operated by Ukrainian staff, under Russian control.

The United Nations is seeking access to the plant and has called for the area to be demilitarized. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said on Thursday that the agency’s expert mission has to travel to the plant urgently.

“Almost every day there is a new incident at or near the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. We can’t afford to lose any more time. I’m determined to personally lead an IAEA mission to the plant in the next few days to help stabilise the nuclear safety and security situation there,” Director General Grossi said.

President Zelensky reiterated that the IAEA and other international organizations need to act much faster because “every minute the Russian troops stay at the nuclear power plant is a risk of a global radiation disaster.”

Sign up for our newsletters

    Monthly newsletter – Delivering the most important energy stories of the month selected by our Editor-in-chief
    Weekly Oil&Gas roundup - All major news about the oil and gas industry, LNG developments, the upscaling of new gases and related EU regulations arriving in your mailbox every Monday.
    Weekly Renewables&Climate roundup - All major news about investments in renewable energy sources, environment protection, green hydrogen and new innovative ways to tackle the climate crisis arriving in your mailbox every Tuesday.

    Most Popular