Watchdog says Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant has restored power

After almost a week of being offline, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine has continued to receive electricity from the country’s power grid, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, said. know Saturday. The restoration took place after engineers finished repairing a high-voltage line damaged by shelling.

The restored line, one of the vast nuclear power plant’s four main external connections, will provide the station with the power needed to cool its six nuclear reactors and perform safety functions. all other important, The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.

Before the line was fixed on Friday, the plant – the largest in Europe – relied on three backup power lines, as well as the electricity it already produces, to power essential equipment. dedicated to the cooling of spent fuel rods. Ukraine turn off the last reactor at the plant on 11 September as a safety measure after it was determined that keeping it continued while fighting continued nearby could lead to nuclear disaster. The plant, when fully operational, provides about a fifth of Ukraine’s electricity.

While the return of electricity is a positive development, the facility itself remains in a precarious state near the front lines in southern Ukraine. Although shelling in the vicinity of the plant has eased in recent days, Rafael Mariano Grossi, the agency’s director general, said in a statement that it continued further afield.

Grossi and other nuclear inspectors from the agency visited the plant earlier this month after weeks of negotiations with Russia and Ukraine to gain entry. Two agency inspectors stayed at the plant to supervise it full-time.

For months, Ukrainian nuclear engineers, who were running operations at the plant after it was captured by Russian forces in March, worked to resolve one crisis after another. to prevent nuclear failure.

The agency has called for the establishment of a “Safe and secure protected area” around the plant, but it does not have the power to order a ceasefire or order Russian forces to leave the factory. On Monday, Grossi said there were active negotiations with Ukraine and Russia to end military actions in and around the plant.

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