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Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Plant blackouts pose Fukushima-level threat, warns Ukraine’s energy minister

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Every blackout at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP represents a threat of a major accident comparable to that at Japan’s Fukushima plant, Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said on national television on Dec. 2.

Halushchenko said that the latest blackout at the Zaporizhzhya NPP was the eighth to have occurred. He said that the power supply to the NPP had been restored.

Read also: Big explosion near Khmelnitskyi NPP, Kolomoisky turns over media network, hands-on F-16 training

The response to such Russian actions should be more strict, he said. The Ukrainian authorities developed response plans for a potential accident at the occupied station in 2022. The assessment indicated that radioactive contamination could spread as far as Crimea and the countries bordering Ukraine, including Romania and Turkey.

“This year’s calculations indicate that the radiation fallout would primarily affect the western part of Ukraine and the neighboring countries along our western border,” the minister said.

Read also: 800 Ukrainian specialists continue working at Zaporizhzhya NPP

Halushchenko said the world has already witnessed nuclear power plant accidents and their dangerous consequences, and that it is necessary to take into account that the Zaporizhzhya NPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe with six reactors, which significantly increases the risks of any incident.

The latest (eighth) complete blackout occurred at the occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP on Dec. 2, raising radiation safety concerns.

Ukrainian specialists successfully restored the connection of the ZNPP with the Ukrainian power system, resuming the operation of the 750 kV power transmission line on the morning of Dec. 2.

“The next blackout (could) create a threat to nuclear and radiation safety,” warned Ukrainian nuclear power company Energoatom.

This is not the first time that the Russians have shelled transmission lines connecting the Zaporizhzhya NPP with Ukraine, creating risks for the operation of the station.

The last partial blackout at the Zaporizhzhya NPP occurred on Nov. 16.

The Zaporizhzhya NPP has been under Russian occupation since the early days of the full-scale invasion of 2022.

Read also: Kuleba met IAEA chief Grossi to discuss Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP

Russian troops are storing equipment at the plant, using it as cover, and also carried out provocative shelling of the territory of the plant.

The Russians are also shelling transmission lines connecting it with Ukraine. Currently, the station is operating only for its own needs and does not supply electricity to the grid.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on June 22 that Russia was considering a scenario of a terrorist attack at the seized Zaporizhzhya NPP and had “prepared everything for this.”

Ukraine’s spy chief Kyrylo Budanov also said that the Russians had completed preparations for a possible terrorist attack on the occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP. According to him, equipment with explosives had been placed near four of the six reactors, and a cooler was mined.

The IAEA mission gained access to the roofs of two ZNPP reactor buildings on Aug. 4 after a month of requests, but said it found no traces of explosives.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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