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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant Faces Blackout Threat: Safety Concerns Mount

In a concerning turn of events, Energoatom, the energy-generating company, has issued a grave warning regarding the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP). The plant finds itself on the precipice of a potential blackout, triggered by the abrupt loss of power from its primary high-voltage transmission line.

According to reports shared by Energoatom via Telegram, during the night of August 10, the ZNPP experienced a sudden power failure from its primary external transmission line, which operates at a substantial voltage of 750 kV. Subsequently, the plant was compelled to rely on its solitary available backup line, operating at 330 kV. However, this contingency measure itself teeters on the edge of peril, as any disconnection of this backup line could sever the plant’s external power supply altogether.

The repercussions of this dire scenario cast a shadow of concern over nuclear and radiation safety. Of particular worry is the 4th power unit of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, presently held in a ‘hot shutdown’ state under the control of occupants who are allegedly disregarding the stipulations of the Ukrainian regulatory body’s nuclear facility operation license.

Taras Tkach, the Temporary Acting CEO of Energoatom, underlines the gravity of the situation. In the event of an utter loss of external power supply, the main circulation pumps at the station would be compelled to shut down, prompting the power unit to transition into a ‘natural circulation’ mode.

This transformation to a ‘natural circulation’ state presents a substantial challenge to the reactor unit’s stability and integrity. This change may potentially trigger the failure of vital components within the power unit’s infrastructure, as highlighted by Energoatom.

In essence, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant stands at a critical crossroads, with the specter of a blackout looming ominously. The actions taken in the immediate future will be pivotal in determining whether this crisis can be averted and whether the safety of the facility, as well as the surrounding environment, can be ensured.

FAQs

Q1: What caused the potential blackout at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant?

The primary cause is the loss of power from the main high-voltage transmission line, which subsequently led to reliance on a backup line.

Q2: Why is the 4th power unit’s state of ‘hot shutdown’ a concern?

The 4th power unit’s ‘hot shutdown’ is being managed by occupants in violation of operational license conditions, raising nuclear safety concerns.

Q3: What is the ‘natural circulation’ mode mentioned in the article?

It is a mode in which the power unit’s circulation relies on natural processes rather than active pumps, posing potential risks.

Q4: What could be the consequences of a failure in the power unit’s main equipment?

Such a failure could lead to significant operational and safety issues within the nuclear power plant.

Q5: How critical is the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant currently?

The situation is highly critical, with the potential for a blackout and subsequent safety risks looming large.

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