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International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi (File Image)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi (File Image)

Blackout near Ukraine nuclear plant, says IAEA Chief

ANI | Updated: Sep 09, 2022 22:07 IST

Kyiv [Ukraine], September 9 (ANI): International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi, on Friday, said that after shelling at Enerhodar city of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the city saw a complete power blackout.
"The power infrastructure feeding the city of Enerhodar, home to the NPP's operators and their families, has been destroyed by shelling of the switchyard at the city's thermal power plant, leading to a complete power blackout in Enerhodar: no running water, no power, no sewage," Grossi said as quoted by the official statement from IAEA.
He further said that as the shelling continues, there is little likelihood of re-establishing reliable offsite power to the ZNPP, especially as the shelling continually and repeatedly damages the power infrastructure.
Grossi said that the IAEA understands that the operator, who has no confidence in the restoration of power, is considering shutting down the remaining operating reactor. "The entire power plant would then be entirely reliant on emergency diesel generators for ensuring vital nuclear safety and security functions. And as a consequence, the operator would not be able to restart the reactors unless offsite power was reliably re-established," IAEA Chief said.
"Furthermore, there are indications that, with the increasingly dire circumstances that the people of Energodar are facing, there is a significant risk of an impact on the availability of essential staff on site to continue to safely and securely operate ZNPP," he added.

Calling the situation unsustainable, Grossi said that Enerhodar has gone dark and the power plant has no offsite power. "And we have seen that once the infrastructure is repaired, it is again damaged," he added.
Grossi called the situation unacceptable and said that he cannot stand it. He called for the immediate cessation of all shelling in the entire area. "Only this will ensure the safety and security of operating staff and allow the durable restoration of power to Enerhodar and to the power plant. This dramatic development demonstrates the absolute imperative to establish a nuclear safety and security protection zone now. This is the only way to ensure that we do not face a nuclear accident," the IAEA chief added.
Last week, Europe's largest nuclear plant, Zaporizhzhia once again went off in the early hours of the day amid the shelling that destroyed a key power line.
These claims came a day after a team of inspections from the UN nuclear agency arrived at the plant to inspect the damage, Al Jazeera reported citing local Russian-backed authorities.
On August 31, the 14-member team of the IAEA arrived in Ukraine and now the team is back. (ANI)