HomeTechnologyAP Interview: Ukraine seeks to reactivate occupied reactors

AP Interview: Ukraine seeks to reactivate occupied reactors


KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine is considering restarting Europe’s largest nuclear plant, which is occupied by Russian troops, to ensure its safety just weeks after fears of a radiation disaster prompted its closure, the chief said. of the facility operator on Tuesday.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has become one of the most worrying hotspots of the Russian occupation of Ukraine. He has been damaged in the fighting, sparking international alarm, and the head of him was detained by the occupying forces over the weekend before releasing him on Monday.

The Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom shut down the last of the plant’s six reactors on 9/11 because Russian military activity had cut off reliable external power supplies for cooling and other safety systems, threatening a potentially catastrophic collapse. .

But now the company faces a different problem.

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In an interview with The Associated Press, Energoatom President Petro Kotin said Energoatom could restart two of the reactors in a matter of days to protect facilities from safety as winter approaches and temperatures drop.

“If you have a low temperature, you will just freeze everything inside. Security equipment will be damaged, ”he said in his office at the company’s headquarters in Kyiv. “So you need heating and the only heating will come from the working reactor.”

Russian troops occupy the plant and the surrounding area, including the nearby city of Energodar, where thousands of Ukrainian workers continue to maintain the facility. The plant is also the only source of heat for the city, Kotin said.

Energoatom could make a decision on Wednesday to restart the reactors.

“Right now we are evaluating all the risks. And this depends on the weather. And really, we don’t have a lot of time to do that,” Kotin said.

The problem facing operators now is that the various systems that keep the reactors safe and operational must not get so cold that they stop working. Under current conditions, with Russian troops still jeopardizing normal operation, the power for those systems must come from the plant itself.

“In freezing conditions, you lose everything. And after that, the consequences would be very, very dangerous,” Kotin said.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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