Key nuclear plant loses power line as Moscow and West energy row escalates

Content of the article

KYIV — A critical nuclear power plant in Ukraine has again lost external power, international energy officials said on Saturday, heightening concern over its operations amid the energy battle between Moscow and the West has intensified in recent days amid the ongoing war.

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia plant – the largest in Europe – saw its last remaining main external power line cut even though a reserve line could continue to supply power to the grid, the International Energy Agency said. atomic energy (IAEA).

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

Content of the article

Only one of the six reactors remained in service at the plant, the agency said in a statement -in -ukraine displayed on its website.

The factory, controlled by Moscow since Russian troops invaded Ukraine in late February, has become a focal point of the conflict, with each side accusing the other of bombing nearby.

Meanwhile, the stalemate over Russian gas and oil exports continued this week as Moscow pledged to maintain the closure of its main gas pipeline to Germany and G7 countries announced a expected peak in Russian oil export prices.

The energy struggle is a consequence of President Vladimir Putin’s six-month invasion of Ukraine, underscoring the deep rift it caused between Moscow and Western countries and comes as the region prepares for the cold months coming.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

“Russia (prepares) a decisive energy blow for all Europeans for this winter,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his late night speech on Saturday, citing the continued shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

Zelenskiy had earlier blamed Russian bombing for the previous shutdown of the nuclear power plant and said a radiation leak was narrowly avoided.

Moscow has pointed to Western sanctions and technical problems with energy disruptions, while European nations have accused Russia of manufacturing arms supplies as part of its military invasion.


Kyiv and Moscow have swapped accusations over attacks on the Zaporizhzhia plant, which was captured by Russian forces in March but is still operated by Ukrainian personnel and connected to the Ukrainian power grid.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

An IAEA mission visited the plant on Thursday and some experts stayed there pending the publication of a report by the UN nuclear watchdog in the coming days.

Last week, Zaporizhzhia was cut off from the national grid for the first time in its history after transmission lines were cut, causing power outages across Ukraine, although emergency generators were triggered for recovery processes. vital cooling.

Meanwhile, the IAEA said on Saturday that the remaining inspectors had noted that one reactor was “still operating and producing electricity both for cooling and other essential safety functions at the site and for households. , factories and others through the network,” the agency said.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, in a statement on Telegram, said that the fifth reactor had been shut down “due to constant shelling by the Russian occupation forces” and that there was “insufficient capacity of the last reserve line to operate two reactors”. Deteriorating conditions amid the bombardment have raised fears of a radioactive disaster, and any nuclear accident or leak at the facility would cause a major humanitarian crisis, the International Red Cross said.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

Ukraine and the West said Russia was using the site as a heavy weapons base in an effort to discourage Ukraine from firing on it. Russia has denied the presence of such weapons and has so far resisted international calls to withdraw troops from the plant and demilitarize the area.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday accused Ukrainian forces of unsuccessfully trying to capture the factory, saying more than 250 Ukrainian navel soldiers tried to land on the coast of a nearby lake despite the presence of the IAEA.

Reuters was unable to verify the report.

Turkey also offered on Saturday to ease the situation.


In its announcement on Friday that it would not resume shipments through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline as planned, Russian energy giant Gazprom blamed a technical fault.

Advertising 6

Content of the article

Gazprom said on Saturday that Siemens Energy was ready to help repair broken equipment but there was nowhere available to carry out the work. Siemens said it has not been contracted to perform maintenance work on the pipeline, but is available.

Nord Stream 1, which passes under the Baltic Sea to supply Germany and other countries, was due to resume operations after a three-day shutdown for maintenance at 01:00 GMT on Saturday.

Moscow has blamed Western sanctions imposed after Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine for hampering routine operations and maintenance of Nord Stream 1. Brussels and Washington accuse Russia of using the gas as an economic weapon.

The indefinite delay in resuming gas deliveries will add to Europe’s problems with winter fuel supplies, with the cost of living already rising, driven by energy prices.

Advertising 7

Content of the article

Finance ministers from the wealthy Group of Seven democracies – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States – said Friday that a cap on the price of Russian oil was aimed at “reducing … the ability to Russia to finance its war of aggression while limiting the impact of Russia’s war on world energy prices.

The Kremlin – which calls the conflict a “special military operation” – said it would stop selling oil to any country that enforced the cap.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth in Kyiv; additional reporting by Reporting by Michael Shields, Ron Popeski and Reuters bureaus Writing by Simon Cameron-Moore; Frances Kerry and Susan Heavey Editing by William Mallard and Frances Kerry)



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Back to top button