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Russia plans to restart Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant - WSJ

Russia plans to restart Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant - WSJ Russia plans to restart the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (photo: GettyImages)

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin told the head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, that the occupied Chornobyl nuclear power plant will be restarted, according to The Wall Street Journal.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Grossi visited Sochi in March to meet with dictator Putin and the leadership of the Russian nuclear company Rosatom.

During the conversation, the head of the IAEA asked whether the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) would be restarted. Putin replied that it would be restarted. This information was provided by sources familiar with the conversation.

Officials did not specify the terms and date of the restart, but, according to one diplomat, Russia may do this by the 40th anniversary of CNPP's connection to the USSR grid. The station was put into operation in late 1984.

The IAEA also received technical reports from inspectors indicating that the Russians want to restart the nuclear power plant this year.

According to the WSJ, Russia is unlikely to have enough experts for a safe and successful restart.

"Moscow would need to deploy numerous technicians trained in the minute peculiarities of a plant that is no longer the Soviet-type station Russian workers are accustomed to," the material says.

The station partly operates on Western control systems and American nuclear fuel, and most of the cities it serves are either depopulated or controlled by Ukraine.

According to European diplomats, Russia likely intends to start at least one reactor.

Currently, five out of six reactors are in a cold shutdown state, while one is in a hot shutdown state, in which it produces heat and steam.

The WSJ believes that a possible restart would be a symbolic event for the Russians in terms of normalizing the occupation of CNPP.

Situation on the CNPP

On April 7, the IAEA reported that drones attacked the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP). Specifically, a drone attacked one of the reactor's protective domes.

The Russians immediately began accusing Ukraine of the attack. At the same time, Andrii Yusov, a representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence, stated that the Russians staged the attack on the plant.

By the way, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi is concerned that drone attacks on CNPP could start a new front in the war.