Power supply restored to Chernobyl

15 March 2022

Ukraine says that the external power supply to Chernobyl has been restored five days after it was lost after power lines to the area were damaged during fighting.

The dry interim used fuel storage facility at Chernobyl (Image: ChNPP)

Diesel generators had been providing back-up electricity to the site.

The damaged power line was initially fixed on 13 March, but Ukraine’s energy company Ukrenergo said it was damaged again "by the occupying forces" before the power supply could be fully restored.

However, further work meant that the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) was able to inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) later on 14 March that external power "had again been restored and that staff at the Chernobyl NPP had restarted operations to reconnect the NPP to the grid".

The IAEA says that the lack of power did not have a "critical impact on essential safety functions as the volume of cooling water in its spent fuel storage facility was sufficient to maintain heat removal without a supply of electricity". But it said the power supply issues underline the urgency of agreeing and implementing a framework proposed by the IAEA to ensure the safety and security of all of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities.

Ukraine’s Energoatom has reported that the country's nuclear power plants continue to operate within safe limits. Eight of the country’s 15 reactors continue to operate.

The IAEA says it has been told by SNRIU about work to find and dispose of unexploded munitions at the Zaporozhe nuclear power plant, which is under the control of Russian forces. It said in its update on the evening of 14 March that it "was aware of reports that Russian forces have carried out munition explosions at the site … and it is seeking information about the situation from Ukraine".

Researched and written by World Nuclear News