On the 9th of March at 11 am, NPC Ukrenergo reported a disconnection of the 750 kV ChNPP-Kyiv high-voltage line from the electricity supply due to the damage caused by Russian military. As a result, ChNNP and all the nuclear facilities at the exclusion zone – spent nuclear fuel storages CSFSF-1, CSFSF-2, and New Safe Confinement – are completely de-energized. Slavutych city has been left without electricity as well.
Why is it important?
The absence of light and electricity will influence not only local residents and captured staff of the NPP. More than 20,000 fuel assemblies from Chornobyl power plant reactors 1-3 are stored in the CSFSF-1 pool. They require constant cooling, which is possible to provide only with fixed electricity.
According to the Ukrenergo, emergency diesel generators are now turned on to supply important safety systems. In case of trouble-free operation, the supply of diesel fuel will be enough for only 48 hours of work of diesel generators.
What will happen after 48 hours?
If the electricity supply is not restored, the cooling will stop, As a result, the temperature at the spent nuclear fuel pools will rise, steam will appear, and radioactive substances will be released into the environment. The radioactive cloud might be spread to the regions of Ukraine, to Belarus, Russia, and Europe. The ventilation system of the facilities will also stop working. This means that all the personnel of NPP, not to mention Russian aggressors, will receive a dangerous dose of radiation.
Fire extinguishing system also doesn’t work, which means in case of the shelling there is a huge risk fire will start.
How can a catastrophe be prevented?
There is only one solution – a restored power supply. To make it happen, military actions must stop and the necessary services must be let in to provide repairs.
“This situation shows that Russia doesn’t slow down. While risks for Ukraine and Europe rise. This is indeed nuclear terrorism. Therefore, our partners must further increase the pressure on the country that does not hesitate to create danger for all the continent”, stated Konstyantyn Krynytskyi, Head of Energy Department, Center for Environmental Initiatives Ecoaction.
Situation was also commented on by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba: “I call on the international community to urgently demand Russia to cease fire and allow repair units to restore power supply”.