Russian forces occupying the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine are preparing to link the plant to Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, and damage it by redirecting its electricity production, a warned the Ukrainian operator Energoatom.
Zaporizhzhia is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and was occupied by Russia at the start of its invasion.
Energoatom chairman Petro Kotin told Reuters news agency that Russia wants to connect the plant to its grid, a technically difficult process that requires the facility to be separated from the Ukrainian system before it can be phased in connected to the Russian system.
Their plan is to damage all the lines of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. After that, it will no longer be connected to the Ukrainian electricity system,” he said.
Kotin also told Ukrainian television and Interfax Press Agency:
The Russian military present at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant implement the program of [Russian operator] Rosatom aimed to connect the plant to the Crimean power grid.
To do this, you must first damage the power lines of the power plant connected to the Ukrainian energy system. From August 7 to 9, the Russians have already damaged three power lines. Currently, the factory operates with a single production line, which is an extremely dangerous way of working.
When the last production line is disconnected, the plant will be powered by generators running on diesel. Everything will then depend on their reliability and their fuel stocks.
The process of disabling the plant in preparation for connecting to Russia would be extremely dangerous, Kotin warned.
At the ZNPP, we are already very close to this first stage of Fukushima-1, because there is only one line. As soon as it is turned off, the station will switch to diesel, and after that everything will depend on the reliability of their work and the sufficiency of the fuel that is there for diesel engines at ZNPP.
Kotin also spoke with CNNreiterating his claims that the Russians’ ultimate plan is to disconnect the power plant from Ukraine’s supply and connect it to the electricity grid to supply occupied Crimea.
If there is no grid connection, you cannot supply electricity from outside, diesel generators will start. But everything will depend on the reliability of these generators. … It’s a dangerous situation, because if it stops, you could have a nuclear material meltdown disaster,” he said, comparing the potential fallout to the Fukishima disaster in Japan.
If the situation gets worse, we have to think about our people at the factory. We plan how, in wartime conditions, we will be able to evacuate personnel.
A large release of radioactivity could occur from there. There could be a cloud, a radioactive cloud.
Located not far from the Crimean peninsula, the plant has six of Ukraine’s 15 reactors, capable of supplying electricity to four million homes.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday raised the specter of a nuclear disaster after strikes on the plant.
And UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned that any attack on a nuclear power plant would be “suicidal”.
“I hope these attacks will end, and at the same time I hope the IAEA can gain access to the plant,” he said on Monday.
Recent fighting around the plant has prompted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, to warn of the “very real risk of a nuclear disaster”.
Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine.
I’m Samantha Lock and I’ll bring you all the latest developments in a short time.
Ukraine has denied responsibility for explosions at a Russian air base in Crimea on Tuesday, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, suggesting partisans may have been involved.
Meanwhile, Russian forces occupying the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine are preparing to link the plant to Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, and are damaging it by redirecting its nuclear production. electricity, warned the Ukrainian operator Energoatom.
It’s 7:30 a.m. in Ukraine. Here’s everything you might have missed:
A Russian air base deep behind the front line in Crimea was damaged by several large explosions, killing at least one person. It was not immediately clear whether he had been targeted by a long-range Ukrainian missile strike. In his overnight address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy did not specify who was behind the attacks, but pledged to “liberate” Crimea, saying: “This Russian war against Ukraine and against the whole Free Europe began with Crimea and must end with Crimea. with his release. An adviser to the president, Mikhail Podolyak, said Ukraine did not take responsibility for the explosions, suggesting partisans may have been involved.
Head of Ukraine’s nuclear energy company warns of ‘very high’ risks of bombing Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Russian-occupied south and said it was vital Kyiv regained control of the facility in time for winter. Energoatom chief Petro Kotin told Reuters in an interview that Russian shelling last week damaged three lines that connect the Zaporizhzhia plant to the Ukrainian grid and that Russia wanted to connect the facility to its grid. .
The leaders of Estonia and Finland want other European countries to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens, saying they shouldn’t be able to vacation in Europe while the Russian government is waging a war in Ukraine. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that “visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right” and that it was “time to end tourism from Russia now”. reported the Associated Press.
US President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed documents endorsing Finland and Sweden’s NATO membershipthe largest expansion of the military alliance since the 1990s in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reports Reuters.
The US State Department has approved $89 million in aid to help Ukraine equip and train 100 demining teams and unexploded ordnance for a year, Reuters reported.
The total number of ships carrying grain leaving Ukrainian ports under a UN-brokered deal to ease the global food crisis has now reached 12with the last two ships leaving on Tuesday for Istanbul and Turkey.
Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad grapples with EU-mandated quotas for sanctioned goods that he can import through Lithuania from mainland Russia or Belarus, admitted the governor of the region. Lithuania infuriated Moscow in June by banning overland transit of goods such as concrete and steel to Kaliningrad after EU sanctions came into force against them, Reuters reported.
Russia launched an Iranian satellite from Kazakhstan, fearing it could be used for battlefield surveillance during Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Iran has denied that the Khayyam satellite, which was put into orbit aboard a Soyuz rocket launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome, would ever be under Russian control. But the Washington Post previously reported that Moscow has told Tehran that it “plans to use the satellite for several months, if not longer, to enhance its surveillance of military targets” in Ukraine, according to two US officials.