A backup power line connecting the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) to the Ukrainian power grid has been taken offline in order to extinguish a fire, although the line itself was not damaged, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement on its website on Sept. 5.
“ZNPP continues to receive the electricity it needs for safety from its sole operating reactor,” the message said.
“Ukraine informed IAEA that this backup line will be reconnected once the fire has been extinguished.”
IAEA head Rafael Grossi is expected to present a report on his recent visit to ZNPP on Sept. 6.
After Russian shelling caused a fire at ZNPP, the facility’s last remaining operational reactor had been disconnected from Ukraine’s power grid, Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom said in a Telegram post on Sep. 5.
A delegation of 14 IAEA experts arrived at Russia-occupied ZNPP on Sep. 1. After spending several hours at the facility, part of the delegation departed. Five agency experts remain at the power plant, setting up monitoring equipment. IAEA head Rafael Grossi later said the agency will establish a permanent presence at ZNPP.
Ukraine’s nuclear operator Enerhoatom said that Russian troops are doing everything they can to prevent IAEA from properly assessing how ZNPP fares under Russian military occupation. In particular, the delegation was barred from the plant’s crisis management center, packed with Russian soldiers.
Zaporizhzhia NPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, and has been occupied by Russian forces since March 4. Several ZNPP facilities have been damaged by Russian shelling, and the station's employees are captives of the occupying troops.
The Kremlin uses the facility as cover for its forces, as Ukraine can’t return fire, for the risk of causing a nuclear calamity.