The 10-month Russian occupation of Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (ZNPP) since March 4 of last year has resulted in losses of approximately UAH 40 billion ($1 billion), state nuclear power company Energoatom has estimated.
The losses may lead to the plant’s decommissioning, Energoatom CEO Petro Kotin said at a press briefing on Jan. 17, Interfax-Ukraine reported.
“The damage caused to the ZNPP by the Russian invaders is estimated at more than UAH 40 billion hryvnias…” Kotin said.
“Losses are also being calculated at other plants. We take into account the consequences of the shelling and the de-energization of the stations, so that we can then bill the Russian Federation,” he said.
At the beginning of November, according to previously published information, these losses amounted to slightly more than UAH 28 billion ($761 million).
The head of Energoatom also stated that the matter of the money was secondary, and that the main issue was that Ukraine should be able to ensure the safe operation of its stations.
Kotin said the ZNPP was undergoing a process of degradation due to idleness and the actions of the invaders at the plant.
“Three months ago, I could have told you this: if we de-occupy the station now, we will connect the first two units in a week. Today, I can say: we will study the situation for a long time, I think for at least two months, to see what the level of degradation is,” Kotin said.
According to the head of Energoatom, if Ukraine cannot gain control over the ZNPP for a long time, there may be irreversible consequences. In particular, he added, if the occupation of the station lasts a year or two, the Russians will never start these units, but they will actually disable the entire station.
Meanwhile, he noted that the occupiers are no longer trying to connect the ZNPP to their power system.
“Finally, it dawned on them that it couldn’t be done,” Kotin said.
He also added that the actions of the invaders were also harming other Ukrainian nuclear power plants.
The Ministry of Energy noted that there is constant pressure on workers at the Zaporizhzhia NPP. The invaders have not receive the expected results from their signed contracts, he said.