Espreso. Global

Russian troops nearly destroyed ZNPP's emergency systems, safety situation is worsening every day 

2 June, 2023 Friday

Russia’s theft of crucial components from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant poses a significant threat to nuclear safety and emergency preparedness

The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine reported the information, citing the statement of its acting Chairman Oleh Korikov.

Every day the situation at Zaporizhzhia NPP is deteriorating due to the actions of Russian troops, which jeopardize nuclear safety and security of the plant.

Russian troops have dismantled and stolen crucial components of the Zaporizhzhia NPP's systems, while also disabling certain computer equipment. The extensive damage caused by these actions requires substantial efforts and resources to restore the physical protection system of the plant.

"The occupiers have almost completely degraded the emergency preparedness and response systems at ZNPP," the press service writes.

By order of the Russian occupation administration, the transmission of information from the plant's Automated Radiation Monitoring System (ARMS) was blocked.

"The Ukrainian regulator has informed the IAEA about this case, which threatens the safety of ZNPP, but has not received any information about possible planned measures by the Agency to resolve this situation," Korikov said.

In addition, Rosatom representatives are recruiting unqualified personnel for ZNPP.

At the same time, Russia continues to put pressure on the staff. Russian forces resort to intimidation tactics and conducting searches in private homes, prohibit contacts with people in the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government, do not let people leave the occupied territory and threaten to confiscate their property when they try to leave.

The acting chairman noted that the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine appreciates the efforts of IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi to ensure nuclear safety at ZNPP and hopes for the swift implementation of the five principles aimed at preventing a nuclear accident.

Information available regarding the temporary occupation of ZNPP

On March 4, 2022, Russian troops seized control of ZNPP, attempting to connect it to the Russian power grid, which ultimately failed. However, they forced the power units to shut down, preventing energy from entering Ukraine's territory. Since then, the plant has experienced multiple power supply disruptions and has relied on diesel generators. The occupiers have established a military base on the premises, placing continuous pressure on Ukrainian personnel.

On the night of May 22, 2023, the last high-voltage transmission line at Zaporizhzhia NPP was disconnected as a result of a Russian attack. Later, power was restored. 

Reportedly, ZNPP employees who attempt to inspect the power units have been subjected to beatings by Russian troops. Several people have been hospitalized in serious condition as a result of these incidents.

On May 26, the GUR reported that Russian troops were preparing "nuclear provocations" at the Zaporizhzhia NPP in the near future.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi presented an updated security plan for ZNPP at a meeting of the UN Security Council on May 30. The plan consists of five principles:

  1. There should be no attack of any kind from or against the plant, in particular targeting the reactors, spent fuel storage, other critical infrastructure, or personnel.

  2. The nuclear plant also should not be used as storage or a base for heavy weapons, such as multiple rocket launchers, or military personnel that could be used for an attack emanating from it.

  3. Off-site power to the plant should not be put at risk.

  4. All structures, systems and components essential to the safe and secure operation of the plant should be protected from attacks or sabotage.

  5. No action should be taken that undermines the principles.

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