The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is operating in emergency mode after damage caused by Russian shelling disconnected it from Ukraine’s power grid, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Thursday.
“All 20 of the site’s emergency diesel generators were activated. The site’s essential power is now being provided by 8 of those diesels with the rest now in standby mode," said IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi in a statement.
"And there is enough diesel on site for 15 days of operation,” he added.
Grossi said this was the first time the site had lost full off-site power and had to run in emergency mode since 23 November 2022. It has happened six times in total since the beginning of Russia's invasion.
There were also “reported losses of power lines” at the plant, but “there are sufficient remaining available to provide off-site power if required," said the IAEA.
“This cannot go on,” Grossi said. “Each time we are rolling a [the] dice. And if we allow this to continue time after time then one day our luck will run out.”
The significance of the plant: The plant is the largest nuclear power station in Europe and has been under Russian control since March last year. The plant is still mostly operated by Ukrainian workers.
Attacks at the complex have sparked concerns about the specter of a nuclear disaster, and IAEA staff have been visiting the site to assess the damage.