The last operating reactor at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) has been shut down after a transmission line linking the plant to Ukraine’s power system was restored, the country’s nuclear agency Energoatom said on Sunday.
The plant, the largest nuclear complex of its kind in Europe, was "completely shut down” after the plant’s number 6 power unit was disconnected from the grid at 3:41 a.m. local time, the agency said in a statement, adding that “arrangements for its cooling and transfer to a cold state are underway.”
Energoatom said that one of the transmission lines was restored to its operational capacity Saturday, making it possible to power the plant from Ukraine’s energy system and shut down the number 6 power unit and transfer it to the “safest state – cold shutdown.”
The reactor was disconnected from the Ukrainian grid last week and was operating in an “island mode,” generating electricity and using its own energy to power cooling systems.
Last week, a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called for the "immediate establishment of a nuclear safety and security protection zone" around the nuclear power plant.
There is an urgent need for interim measures to prevent a nuclear accident arising from physical damage caused by military means," the IAEA wrote in its report.
The highly anticipated report came days after IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi led an expert mission to Zaporizhzhia, in what was the first independent look at the condition of the facility since Russia seized it at the start of the war.