Kyiv: A day after Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was disconnected for the first time in its history, it has now been reconnected to the country’s power grid, media reports said citing the nuclear operator.
This comes as fires at a nearby thermal power plant had caused the last remaining electricity power line, which powers the station, to disconnect twice on Thursday, CNN reported citing the nuclear operator. The plant’s three other lines had been “lost earlier during the conflict”, it had added.
The power supply was restored later on Thursday, but Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remained disconnected from the country’s power grid until Friday. The two nuclear reactors which remain operational at the plant needed an electricity source in order to function and feed power into the grid.
Now, the country’s nuclear operator in an updated statement on Friday said that the nuclear power plant, which is currently held by Russian forces, has been reconnected to Ukraine’s electricity grid.
The statement from Energoatom said that at 2.04 p.m. local time on Friday one of the power units “that was stopped yesterday was connected to the power grid, and capacity is being added.”
Calling Zaporizhzhia’s nuclear workers “real heroes”, the nuclear operator said that they “tirelessly and firmly held the nuclear and radiation safety of Ukraine and the whole of Europe on their shoulders and worked selflessly so that their native country has life-giving electricity.”
The nuclear plant, which is Europe’s largest, has been under Russian control since March. Clashes around the complex have sparked widespread concern and fears of a disaster.
Yevhen Balytskyi, an official, blamed Ukrainian military action for the earlier outages.
“As a result of a strike by the armed formations of Ukraine on power lines in the area of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, the territory of the security zone of the 750 kV overhead line caught fire. The fire was provoked by a short circuit on power lines,” he said, as per CNN.
While in a separate statement, Ukraine’s State Inspection of Nuclear Regulation, which cited the nuclear operator Energoatom, said a power line from the plant was disconnected due to hostilities in the area.