10 March 2023

Dice rolls on Zaporizhzhya again

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) suffered a complete loss of external power for 11 hours yesterday.

© Gerhard Reus/Unsplash

The plant was forced to rely on emergency diesel generators for reactor cooling and other essential nuclear safety and security functions in the latest incident. Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) noted that this is the sixth time the plant has been running on emergency diesel generators during the ongoing military conflict in the country.

At around 4pm local time, the 750 kV power line – the only one still in operation out of four before the conflict – was again re-connected to the ZNPP and the emergency diesel generators could be switched off, the IAEA team of experts present at the plant reported to IAEA headquarters. The two units that had been in hot shutdown prior to the loss of external power were being returned to that state.

Grossi says, ‘Experience tells us that this will most likely happen again, and again, unless we do something to prevent it.’

‘Each time we are rolling a dice. And if we allow this to continue time after time then one day our luck will run out.’