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Power returns at Chernobyl power plant as ‘nuclear disaster averted’

Ukraine says it has restored power at the Chernobyl power plant that was seized by Russian troops, averting the “possible risk of nuclear disaster” for the whole of Europe.

Ukraine’s German energy minister Galushchenko said in a statement that Ukrainian engineers risked their lives to avert a possible crisis.

“Today, thanks to the incredible efforts of our (Ukrainian energy) experts, our nuclear power engineers and electricians managed to return the power to the nuclear power plant,” said Mr. Galushchenko. Chernobyl, which was occupied by the Russian occupiers.

He added: “Our Ukrainian energy engineers, by risking their health and lives, were able to avert the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe threatening the whole of Europe.

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He said, the cooling system of the plant will operate normally after the maintenance work and will not have to use backup power.

On Wednesday, Ukraine said a high-voltage power line at the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986 was damaged in the fighting and the plant was disconnected from the power grid.

It led to concerns about the risk of a radioactive leak if power lines were not repaired while the UN atomic watchdog tried to downplay concerns, saying there was “no serious impact on safety”. whole”.

James Acton, co-director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: “The power outage at Chernobyl is worrisome but highly unlikely that the spent fuel tanks there will ever end up. exhausted by evaporation (which can lead to fuel melting). The process is slow and mitigation measures need to be taken in a simple way.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency spoke on Monday calling it a “positive development” but added it was concerned for the safety and security at Chernobyl and other Ukraine nuclear facilities. .

“This is a positive development as Chernobyl NPP has had to rely on emergency diesel generators for several days now,” said General Manager Rafael Mariano Grossi. “However, I remain deeply concerned about safety and security at Chernobyl and other Ukrainian nuclear facilities.”

Mr. Grossi said that the Ukrainian regulator had informed the agency that the employees at Chernobyl were no longer carrying out repairs and maintenance, in part because they were physically and psychologically tired after working non-stop. for almost three weeks.

He said the situation at the plant “adds more urgency to an IAEA initiative to ensure safety and security at Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.”

Mr. Grossi said they had prepared a framework to help operate Ukraine’s nuclear facilities because “we cannot afford to lose any more time” and that it had been shared with the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia.

As the invasion continued, Russian forces also captured the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, earlier on March 4. Its forces allegedly started a fire alarmed Western leaders. Russian engineers visited the plant earlier this week and checked radiation levels.

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/power-is-back-on-at-chernobyl-power-station-as-nuclear-disaster-averted-41444610.html Power returns at Chernobyl power plant as ‘nuclear disaster averted’

Fry Electronics Team

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