| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

Ukraine nuclear plant disconnected by shelling after UN watchdog exits

The final operational reactor of Ukraine’s massive Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was unplugged from the national grid on Monday after Russian shelling destroyed electricity connections, according to Ukrainian nuclear corporation Energoatom.

The threatened six-reactor complex in southern Ukraine, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, was taken by Moscow in March but is currently managed by Ukrainian personnel.

“Today, the (last operational) transmission line was cut due to a fire caused by shelling,” Energoatom stated in a Telegram post.

Ukraine was unable to repair the power lines now because of fighting raging around the station, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko wrote on Facebook.

Galushchenko complained that the fresh shelling had hit soon after most of the inspectors from a mission by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, left the plant earlier on Monday.

Ukraine has also accused Russia of storing troops and military equipment at the power plant.

Five and six reactors at the facility remain operational but are currently separated from the grid. Over the previous two weeks, they have been repeatedly disconnected due to bombardment.

  • Reuters