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Zaporizhzhia NPP faces nighttime blackout: Radiation safety concerns raise

Zaporizhzhia NPP faces nighttime blackout: Radiation safety concerns raise Photo: A total blackout occurred at the ZNPP on the night of December 2 (Getty Images)

A total blackout hit the Zaporizhzhia NPP under occupation on the night of December 2, posing a risk to nuclear and radiation safety at the station, Energoatom reports.

On the evening of December 1, the Zaporizhzhia NPP's Ferosplavna power transmission line, with a voltage of 330 kV, was severed. This line supplied power to the ZNPP from the Ukrainian power system. Additionally, at 02:31, the last 750 kV Zaporizhzhia NPP - Dniprovska overhead line was de-energized during the air alarm.

As a result of the blackout, the Zaporizhzhia NPP switched to powering its own needs using diesel generators. All 20 generators were activated, and eventually, 8 remained in operation.

Energoatom underscores the critical security risk at power unit 4 due to improper usage by occupiers. Urgent action is needed to transfer the block to a cold state.

"De-energizing the main circulation pumps that cool the core leads to the transition of the reactor plant to the natural circulation mode. This mode is challenging for the reactor plant, with its duration limited by the project, and it can fail the main equipment of the power unit," the message states.

At 7:00 a.m., Ukrainian specialists restored communication with the Ukrainian power system, specifically, the operation of the 750 kV power transmission line was reinstated.

Energoatom emphasizes that another blackout poses a threat to nuclear and radiation safety.

Occupied ZNPP situation

Europe's largest nuclear power plant was seized by the Russians during the initial days of a full-scale invasion, with military equipment placed on its territory. Throughout the occupation, the station experienced multiple disconnections from Ukraine's energy systems.

IAEA experts are currently at the station, with the agency conducting its 13th rotation of supervisors in early November.

Previously, Energoatom highlighted that since the start of the occupation, the Zaporizhzhia NPP has faced 7 complete blackouts. Such incidents not only jeopardize the nuclear and radiation safety of Ukraine but also pose a threat to other states.