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

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been informed that the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (NPP) in Ukraine has lost its connection to the last main external power line.

Senior Ukrainian staff have told the IAEA that the plant’s fourth 750kV power line is also down, while its previous three lines had been lost earlier during the conflict.

This came after renewed shelling in the area of the NPP from 29 August, as reported by Ukraine to the IAEA.

Claimed to be Europe’s largest nuclear facility, the Zaporizhzhya NPP is supplying electricity to the power grid through a reserve line.

The reserve line is linked to a nearby thermal power plant and is delivering the electricity to the external grid generated at the NPP.

IAEA director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi said: “Our team on the ground received direct, fast and reliable information about the latest significant development affecting the plant’s external power situation, as well as the operational status of the reactors.

“We already have a better understanding of the functionality of the reserve power line in connecting the facility to the grid. This is crucial information in assessing the overall situation there.”

Management staff at the Zaporizhzhya NPP have told Grossi that two of its operating units have also been disconnected due to grid restrictions.

Next week, the IAEA director-general will release a report about the safety, security and safeguarding situation in Ukraine, as well as his findings about the Zaporizhzhya plant.

Grossi added: “I remain gravely concerned about the situation at the Zaporizhzhya NPP – this hasn’t changed – but the continued presence of the IAEA will be of paramount importance in helping to stabilise the situation.

“I’m immensely proud of the critically important and courageous work the IAEA team is now able to perform at the Zaporizhzhya NPP.”