The power supply to the Ukrainian power station was temporarily cut off on Thursday. A nuclear expert explains the consequences of an extreme case.
In the end things went smoothly again. On Thursday afternoon, the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine was back on the grid. The previous hours were marked in part by a dramatic downward trend due to some forecasts. Spreading fear of collapse. During the night, a wave of Russian surface-to-surface and cruise missile attacks crippled energy supplies in many parts of Ukraine, including the Russian-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear plant, Europe’s largest with six reactors. It stands on the bank of the Kakhovka Dnipro Reservoir and takes cooling water from there.
How should the failure of an external power source jeopardize a system that generates electricity itself? For safety reasons, due to the fighting and projectiles falling nearby, all reactors (total electrical capacity 5.6 GW) were shut down by mid-September. The International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna has also classified the risk of damage to, leakage or melting of the contents of the reactors in operation as very high.
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