Ukrainian nuclear power plant near front lines loses last power line amid disaster fears


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Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant lost its last external supply line on Saturday, with only one of its six reactors still in operation.

The Russian military has held the power plant since the early days of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion in February. The cutting of the plant’s last main power line leaves only a reserve line to supply electricity to the Ukrainian grid.

The Zaporizhzhia power plant is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, and experts have warned that Russia’s invasion could cause a Chernobyl-like disaster at the plant.

The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency has deployed a team to inspect it. The team’s arrival was delayed due to Russian shelling along the route they planned to take.

UKRAINE NUCLEAR AGENCY WARNS RISK OF HYDROGEN AND RADIOACTIVE LEAKS FOLLOWING DAMAGE TO ZAPORIZHZHIA POWER PLANT

TOPSHOT – A Russian serviceman patrols the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Energodar on May 1, 2022. – The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and the one of the 10 largest in the world. (ANDREI BORODULINE/AFP via Getty Images)
((Photo by Andrey BORODULIN/AFP) (Photo by ANDREY BORODULIN/AFP via Getty Images))

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and his colleagues try to negotiate access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, in this image released September 1, 2022. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and his colleagues try to negotiate access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, in this image released September 1, 2022. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
(International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)/Handout via REUTERS)

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The stress at the Ukrainian plant comes as the rest of Europe turns to nuclear power to help offset the loss of oil and natural gas imports from Russia.

Germany was supposed to close all its reactors by the end of the year, but is now considering whether to keep them open next year or even longer.

Belgium, meanwhile, planned to close two reactors by 2025, but will now keep them open until 2036, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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France plans to build 14 additional reactors over the next few decades. Great Britain, The Czech Republic, Poland and others are also planning new reactors, according to the report.


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