February 25, 2024

Before the UN report, shelling at a nuclear plant in Ukraine underscores the danger

Before the UN report, shelling at a nuclear plant in Ukraine underscores the danger

A day after shelling stopped the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station’s energy supply for the second time in two weeks and sparked concerns of a catastrophe, the UN nuclear watchdog is expected to release a report on the Ukrainian facility on Tuesday.

By firing close to Europe’s largest nuclear plant, which officials claim caused electricity lines to be interrupted on Monday and forced the lone remaining reactor offline, Ukraine and Russia have accused one another of endangering the region.

As Ukrainian forces intensified their counterattacks in the south and east, they raised the national flag over a town in Kherson province, a southern region controlled by Russia since the war’s early stages. This raised fresh concerns about the facility.

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According to information provided by Ukraine, the backup power line for the facility was severed in order to put out a fire, but the line itself was unharmed and will be rejoined again, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The facility has enough electricity to run safely, according to the UN nuclear watchdog, and will be reconnected to the grid once backup power is restored.

There are now only two IAEA employees in the plant, down from six on Monday. IAEA director Rafael Grossi will update the UN Security Council after releasing a report on Ukraine, including the plant, on Tuesday, according to the IAEA.

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