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March 14, 2022updated 23 Mar 2022 12:55pm

Power connection restored at Chornobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine

The disruption to the power supply had caused concerns over the cooling of radioactive material at the plant.

Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the Global Data Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict

Ukrainian state-owned nuclear power company Energoatom has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the power supply to the Chornobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) has been restored.

The restoration of the power supply will enable the nuclear plant’s cooling system to run as normal and without requiring backup power.

Ukraine notified the IAEA on 9 March that the power supply to the Chornobyl NPP had been disrupted and the plant had lost its supply of external power, causing concerns that the cooling of the radioactive material at the facility may be disrupted.

The power lines were restored by repair staff at Ukrenergo, the country’s transmission system operator.

Energoatom official Petro Kotin told IAEA director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi that Ukrainian specialist teams have successfully established power lines linked to the Chornobyl NPP.

He added that the external electricity supplies to the Chornobyl NPP have been fixed and will be reconnected to the Ukrainian electricity grid.

Grossi said: “This is a positive development as the Chornobyl NPP has had to rely on emergency diesel generators for several days now.

“However, I remain gravely concerned about safety and security at Chornobyl and Ukraine’s other nuclear facilities.”

Ukraine’s nuclear regulator reported to the IAEA that the staff at the Chornobyl NPP have not been able to leave the facility since 24 February.

The staff have suspended all the repair and maintenance of safety-related equipment due to their physical and psychological conditions.

The regulator noted that there are 211 technical personnel and guards present at the nuclear power facility.

Grossi added: “The increasingly dire situation facing personnel at the facility – coupled with persistent issues related to communication from the site as well as the now resolved power supply problem – added further urgency to an IAEA initiative aimed at ensuring safety and security at Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.”

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