FN: Water from a damaged dam can continue to cool the power plant

The UN’s nuclear watchdog contradicts a statement by a Ukrainian dam operator that the water reservoir at the destroyed Nova Kakhovka dam can no longer be used to cool the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant.

Thus, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced on Thursday evening that Europe’s largest nuclear power plant continues to receive water from the reservoir.

“Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant continues to pump cooling water from the Kakhovka reservoir,” the IAEA said in a statement.

Earlier on Thursday it was heard from Igor Syrota, who is the head of the state-owned company Ukrhydroenergo, which is responsible for the operation of the damaged dam, that the water reservoir can no longer be used to cool the nuclear power plant.

According to Igor Syrota, the reason is that the water level has fallen to ‘below the critical point of 12.7 metres’. As a result, it can no longer deliver water to the local ponds that help keep the large power plant cooled.

On Tuesday, however, the IAEA stated that there is still sufficient water in a local cooling pond to keep the nuclear power plant cooled for ‘several months’.

The Ukrainian Nova Kakhovka dam was hit by explosions on Tuesday night. As a result, the water level in the reservoir used to keep the Zaporizjzja power plant cooled has dropped drastically ever since.

It is not yet clear how the dam has been destroyed.

Ukraine and Russia have both accused each other of being behind it.

Rafael Grossi, head of the IAEA, has repeatedly called for more to be done to protect the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant.

Right now, one of the highest priorities, according to him, is to protect the local cooling pond, which has become crucial to keeping the power plant cooled.

“It is crucial that the cooling pond remains intact. I call on all parties to ensure that nothing happens that endangers it,’ he says.

The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant is Europe’s largest of its kind.

The plant normally accounts for a fifth of Ukraine’s annual electricity production. Before the invasion, it had about 11,000 employees.

It fell into Russian hands during the war.

Source: Politiken.dk – Forsiden by politiken.dk.

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