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'Every blackout is threat of Fukushima repeat': On Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

'Every blackout is threat of Fukushima repeat': On Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant Minister of Energy of Ukraine Herman Halushchenko (photo: Getty Images)

Every blackout at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is a threat of a repeat of Fukushima in Ukraine, says the Minister of Energy of Ukraine Herman Halushchenko.

Overnight, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant suffered its eighth blackout, which is a threat not only to Ukraine but also to neighboring countries.

"The key thing is that the eighth blackout at ZNPP has occurred. Each blackout is a threat of an accident, a situation on the verge of a repeat of Fukushima in Ukraine (the 2011 nuclear accident in Japan caused by an earthquake, which was the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chornobyl disaster - ed.)," Halushchenko said.

The minister emphasized that the situation requires a tougher response to Russia's actions in the ZNPP area.

According to him, the scale of the consequences in case of an accident at the nuclear power plant could be large. Halushchenko said that the possible consequences of an accident in 2022 at the plant were calculated, and the radiation spread, in particular, to Crimea and some of Ukraine's neighbors. In particular, Romania and Turkey could be exposed to radiation.

"This year's calculations showed that the radiation explosion would go more to the western part of Ukraine and to the countries that border us on the western border. This is a very dangerous situation in general," the head of the ministry said.

He noted that the electricity supply to ZNPP has been restored, but it should be borne in mind that ZNPP is Europe's largest nuclear power plant with 6 units, and this significantly increases the risks of any incident.

Situation at the occupied ZNPP

Europe's largest nuclear power plant was occupied by Russians in the first days of the full-scale invasion. Moreover, the occupiers deployed military equipment on the territory of ZNPP. Throughout the occupation, the plant was disconnected from Ukraine's power systems several times.

IAEA experts are currently at the plant. In early November, the agency conducted the 13th rotation of observers.

Earlier, Energoatom noted that since the beginning of the occupation, 7 complete blackouts have already occurred at Zaporizhzhia NPP. Such incidents can threaten nuclear and radiation safety not only in Ukraine but also in other countries.