It Finally Happened: Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Now Dependent On Diesel Generators – During the summer, U.S. intelligence indicated that Russian forces were planning to take the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant offline and hook the facility up to diesel generators to keep it functional and safe.
Following months of conflict in the region, including rocket and drone strikes around the plant, the plant has finally been taken offline and hooked up to diesel generators. The decision, however, was made following an overnight shelling that cut off the plant’s access to a consistent power supply.
While all six reactors in the plant have already been shut down, a constant supply of electricity is necessary to maintain the low temperature of the fuel inside of them. Technically, diesel generators can provide the electricity necessary to keep the plant stable – but a shortage of diesel could immediately create a risk of nuclear disaster.
Petro Kotin, the head of Energoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear energy company, warned that there is already a limited supply of diesel fuel for the plant.
“Right now, we are working on logistics to supply more fuel for these generators,” Kotin said in an interview with the BBC on Saturday.
“If they run out of fuel, after that they will stop and after that there will be a disaster…there will be a melting of the active core and a release of radioactivity from there,” he added.
Russia To Take Control Of Zaporizhzhia Plant
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Wednesday ordering his military and government to take full control of the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said in a statement that the Zaporizhzhia plant is “now on the territory of the Russian Federation” and that as a result, it should be “operated under the supervision of our relevant agencies.”
The decree, however, is not recognized by Ukraine and Kotin himself said that he will be taking control of the plant instead. Ukraine also does not recognize Putin’s annexation of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and nor does most of the international community.
The issue is likely to cause yet more conflict in the region, and reports revealed over the weekend how Russian soldiers stopped roughly 6,000 cars in the Zaporizhzhia region as part of an effort to establish full control over the territory.
Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov revealed during a national news telethon that 6,000 cars were waiting in line at a checkpoint in Vasylivka, the only town that links the occupied territories to Ukrainian-controlled territories.
“They [Russians] let about 100 cars move to the last checkpoint when they were stopped,” Fedorov said.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.