Zaporizhzhya NPP in Ukraine again lost its connection via its last remaining operating 750 kV power line on 17 October, but is continuing to import electricity from the grid through a back-up system, said International Atomic Energy Agency director general Rafael Mariano Grossi in his latest bulletin, Ukraine Update 119.
The IAEA team of experts present at the ZNPP site have been informed by senior operating staff that the 750 kV line was disconnected by the automatic sub-voltage protection at around 4am local time.
Ukraine’s national nuclear operator Energoatom said that this was caused by shelling of a sub-station, which forms part of the grid’s electrical transmission system, located far from the plant itself. It was the third time the ZNPP’s connection via this power line had been lost in ten days, underlining the plant’s fragile power situation during the current military conflict in Ukraine.
The IAEA experts reported to Agency headquarters that the plant – which needs electricity for reactor cooling and other essential safety functions – now receives external electricity through the switchyard of the nearby thermal power station, a back-up arrangement that was restored during the previous week.
Ukraine said that the shelling of the sub-station, which is also connected to the South Ukraine NPP, did not impact that power stations operation.
At ZNPP, the IAEA team reported that another three trucks with diesel fuel arrived today at the plant from Crimea, as well as a convoy with spare parts and consumables from the city of Zaporizhzhya. The team also learned that a decision had been made not to continue start-up operations of reactor unit 5. However, the unit remains in a hot shutdown state in order to supply process steam to the ZNPP site.