Nuclear disaster in the making

IAEA: Shelling at Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Plant Raises ‘Real Risk’ of Nuclear Disaster

8/6/2022

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is growing increasingly alarmed by military action at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant, warning that artillery shelling at the plant site on Aug. 5 underlines a “very real risk of a nuclear disaster.”

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in a statement on Aug. 6 said new information about the Russian-Ukraine conflict at the site poses a “serious situation.” The information suggests that while there has been no damage to the 6-GW Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant’s six reactors and no radiological release, “there is damage elsewhere on the site,” he said.

Military action at The plant operator claimed that before the shelling, Rosatom representatives “hurriedly” left the station. The nuclear plant’s Ukrainian staff remains on site, continuing to perform “all measures to ensure nuclear and radiation safety and [eliminate] the consequences of damage,” it said.—Europe’s largest nuclear power plant—has ramped up in recent days. Russia occupied the plant, which is located in the southern part of Ukraine, in March—relatively early in its occupation of Ukraine. The nuclear plant continues to be operated by Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-owned entity. All 15 of Ukraine’s nuclear reactors are pressurized water reactors of Russian VVER design and are located at four plant sites. Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine’s largest plant with six reactors, is also the plant that is closest to the Russian-occupied regions of Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

Energoatom on Friday issued an urgent statement claiming that Russia had fired on the nuclear plant two times. The first round involved artillery shelling at about 2:30 p.m., and the second round, which occurred on Friday evening, involved “rocket-propelled grenades.” The attacks damaged switchgear of a 330-kV high-voltage transmission line, triggering emergency power and prompting the shutdown of one reactor.

The plant operator claimed that before the shelling, Rosatom representatives “hurriedly” left the station. The nuclear plant’s Ukrainian staff remains on site, continuing to perform “all measures to ensure nuclear and radiation safety and [eliminate] the consequences of damage,” it said.

https://www.powermag.com/iaea-shelling-at-zaporizhzhya-nucle…

Here is why they claim a potential disaster:

Nuclear plants need offsite transmission lines and associated switchgear to safely operate and cool the reactors. If offsite power is lost, reactors must shutdown and maintained with electricity supplied by emergency diesel generators. If the diesel generators do not operate because of damage, loss of fuel oil, or electrical damage, then Zaporizhzhya will face the Fukushima syndrome - core melt.

Jaak

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