Russian forces took control of the Zaporozhye plant back in March 2022. A major fire broke out nearby in the same month, after which the plant was shelled several times, but it was only the beginning.
Recently, the volume of alarming news about the facility has been growing. Russia claims that the Ukrainians are deliberately targeting the hazardous site.
The last attack attempt was made by Ukrainian troops on Thursday when representatives of the IAEA mission were at the station, Moscow insists.
Over 40 motor boats, divided into two groups and carrying more than 250 Ukrainian special operations troops and foreign mercenaries, reportedly tried to land on the coast of the Kakhovka reservoir not far from Energodar, where the nuclear power plant is located.
The assailants were quickly spotted and targeted by Russia’s Su-30 jets and Ka-52 attack helicopters. Those strikes sank some 20 boats, while the rest turned and retreated.
The remaining Ukrainian troops were than targeted by Russian artillery as they tried to come ashore. As a result of the attack, only one reactor out of six was operational for most of the day, officials have explained.
The first four reactors were forced to shut down even earlier. On August 25, Energoatom reported an unprecedented complete cutoff of the NPP from the Ukrainian grid.
The military-civilian administration of Zaporozhye Region explained that it was caused by the emergency protection system, which automatically disconnected the main units.
A strike by Ukraine’s forces on high-voltage power lines in the area of the Zaporozhye NPP resulted in a fire in the security zone of the 750 kV power line.
The fire caused a short circuit. The emergency protection system turned off two power units followed by a power outage in the whole of the Zaporozhye Region.
The units which were shut down last week are currently working at 60% and 80% of their capacity respectively.At the same time, the Zaporozhye plant remains a part of Ukraine’s power grid and is run by Ukrainian staff.
It supplies electricity to nearby regions through three 750 kV lines and one 330kV line.
What the international community has been able to achieve so far is to agree on dispatching an emergency IAEA mission, which arrived at the Zaporozhye NPP on September 1, 2022.
The team includes experts from Poland, Lithuania, Serbia, China, France, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, Albania, and North Macedonia.
Given fears that fighting in the area – which has damaged power lines and caused fires – could lead to disaster, the mission intends to inspect the condition of the NPP and measure radiation levels. They have also brought critical spare parts for the plant.
Nuclear energy expert Valentin Gibalov says the IAEA’s main objective is to conduct an inventory of radioactive and nuclear materials, as the agency lacks the power to influence the fighting, let alone stop it completely.
The decision to build the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant was passed by the Council of Ministers of the USSR in 1977. It has 6 VVER pressurized water reactors, generating a total of about 6,000 MW, which makes it the most powerful in Europe.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2022.