Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Damaged And Power Supply Disrupted

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A 750-kV high voltage power line linking the Chornobyl nuclear site to Kyiv in Ukraine has been damaged and supply to the site disrupted, according to state information service SSSCIP Ukraine, reports SP Global.

Disrupted electric supply

While Chornobyl is no longer operational, the exclusion zone hosts storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste that require power to ensure automatic radiation sensors work.

“The Chornobyl station and all nuclear facilities in the Exclusion Zone are without electricity,” SSSCIP Ukraine said in a March 9 tweet.

“Military actions are in progress, so there is no possibility to restore the lines,” it said.

Separately, state nuclear inspectorate the SNRIU reported that power from one of two off-site power transmission lines supplying electricity to the site had been lost overnight.

The International Atomic Energy Agency put the risks in context, saying the loss of power supply was not seen as a critical event.

“Due to time elapsed since the 1986 Chornobyl accident, the heat load of the spent fuel storage pool and the volume of cooling water contained in the pool is sufficient to maintain effective heat removal without the need for electrical supply,” it said.

Furthermore, the site had back-up emergency diesel generators available should there be a total loss of power.

Nevertheless the IAEA’s director general Mariano Grossi said he remained “gravely concerned about the deteriorating situation in Ukraine, especially about the country’s nuclear power plants, which must be able to continue operating without any safety or security threats.”

Meanwhile European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said Ukraine Energy Minister German Galushchenko had confirmed backup systems had been deployed at the Chornobyl exclusion zone.

On March 8 the SNRIU said Russian occupiers at Chornobyl continued to violate radiation safety and access control requirements, contributing to the “spread of radioactive contamination outside the Exclusion Zone.”

HV damage near Zaporizhzhya

Elsewhere, two 750-kV high-voltage power lines at Zaporizhzhya and South Donbaska remain disconnected due to damage, state nuclear generator Energoatom said March 9.

As of 10:00 March 9, Ukraine’s nuclear power plants continued to operate normally, supplying the country’s needs, Energoatom said.

“Radiation, fire-proof and ecological condition at nuclear stations and surrounding territories has not changed and is within the limits of current standards,” it said.

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Source: SP Global

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