Attacks on Ukraine’s power grid could lead to nuclear accident, US State Department says
The State Department noted that reliable external energy supply is necessary for safe operation of Ukrainian NPPs (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)
Persistent Russian attacks on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure could lead to a nuclear accident – by jeopardizing the cooling of Ukrainian nuclear power stations, Principal Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of State at the Bureau for International Security and Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Ann Ganzer, said during a briefing on Dec. 7.
“Russia’s attacks have been cutting off external power to Ukraine’s nuclear power plants,” said Ganzer.
“This is really important. It forces reactors at the plants to go into an emergency shutdown.”
Ganzer added that a reliable external power supply is essential for safe operation of any nuclear power plant.
“And without that offsite power to cool nuclear fuels, this could lead to a nuclear accident; this is important and these attacks must stop,” she concluded.
Ganzer reiterated that Russia deliberately targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and called its actions unacceptable. She stressed that the United States considers Russia-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and the energy it produces to be Ukrainian.
On Dec. 5, Russia launched its eighth missile barrage against Ukraine’s power grid. Ukrainian air defenses managed to intercept 60 of 70 incoming cruise missiles.
Energy facilities in Odesa, Vinnytsia, Kyiv, and Mykolaiv oblasts were reportedly damaged.
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