June 1, 2023

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Live Updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

September 5, 2022 Russia and Ukraine news
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant located in the Russian-controlled Enerhodar region on April 27 (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Oli Korikov, Chief State Inspector of Nuclear and Radiological Safety of Ukraine, said that Ukraine is considering closing the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya due to the deteriorating security situation.

“If conditions arise that require the plant to be closed, the plant and power unit No. 6 will be closed,” Korikov said on Wednesday.

Zaporizhzhia is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

“The continued deterioration of the situation and the prolonged shortage of power supply from an external source of electricity will force us to deploy standby diesel generators, and it is very difficult to increase the supply of diesel fuel during the war,” Kurikov added.

Curikov said the operation of diesel generators would not be sustainable.

For context: in interview last monthEnergoatom CEO Petro Kotin explained why diesel generators are not a sustainable alternative.

He explained that diesel generators are backups to cool the fuel and keep things running, but there are caveats to using them for an indefinite period and it’s a “dangerous” situation.

Cotten added: “Reliability questions can be problematic…because in this case, they may be required to work indefinitely, and they have limited ability to stay in work mode consistently.”

Korikov’s concerns are in line with continuing tensions at the plant.

“There is a need for four huge tanks of diesel fuel per day,” Korikov explained. We are likely to find ourselves in a situation where there is no diesel fuel; It can lead to an accident, damage to the active area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe reactors and the release of radioactive products into the environment. This will not only affect the territory of Ukraine, but also have cross-border effects. ”

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Currently, the plant generates electricity and supplies it for its own needs through an extraordinary process called islanding in which the plant – although separated from the power grid – uses its own energy to run its cooling systems, according to Kurikov.