The Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant lost offsite power for the second time in five days and had to switch to generators, said Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Energy Agency atomic (IAEA). in a tweet.
Grossi described it as “a deeply disturbing development”.
“Our team at #Zaporizhzhya The nuclear plant informed me this morning that the plant had lost all external power for the second time in five days,” he said.
“Its emergency diesel generators now provide power for its nuclear safety and security functions. This repeated loss of #ZNPPThe off-site power supply is a deeply concerning development and highlights the urgent need for a nuclear protection and safety zone around the site.
Ukrainian nuclear energy company Energoatom confirmed in a statement on Telegram that the power plant had lost power, which it blamed on a rocket attack on a nearby substation. Energoatom accused the Russian forces occupying the facility of refusing to allow it to refuel the generators.
“This morning, October 12 at 08:59, the “Dniprovska” substation in the Dnipropetrovsk region was damaged as a result of a rocket attack by Russian troops,” the company said.
“As a result, the 750 kV communication line of ZNPP – Dniprovska – was accidentally disconnected. As a result, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was completely de-energized,” he added.
“The diesel generators automatically ignited. Energoatom prepared and sent another batch of diesel fuel to the ZNPP. However, from 10:00 a.m. the Russian side did not allow the convoy of company vehicles to pass.”
On Tuesday, Grossi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to advocate for a “protection zone” around the plant.
“We can’t afford to waste any more time. The stakes are high,” he said. “We must do everything in our power to prevent a nuclear accident from occurring during this tragic conflict, as it could cause even more hardship and suffering in Ukraine and beyond.”