Is the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in danger after the explosion of the dam in Ukraine? The supply of cooling water cannot be guaranteed.
Zaporizhzhia – Thousands of litres of water, numerous deaths and floods: the effects of the explosion of the Kakhovka Dam are already having far-reaching effects on the region shaken by the Ukraine war. While President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the disaster area on Thursday, June 8, she is paving the way for a further escalation of the situation in the region: At the Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia, work is underway at full speed to replenish the cooling water reserves. As a result of the dam explosion in Ukraine, the level of the reservoir has reached a critical level and the supply of cooling water is at risk.
Explosion of dam in Ukraine: Development around Kakhovka threatens Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant
Nuclear power plants are often felt with water tapped from rivers to cool the plants. For the safe operation of the nuclear power plants, a functioning cooling system is indispensable. How dramatic the consequences can be when there are failures in the systems of the plants was recently shown by the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant after the strong earthquake in spring 2011.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. After the explosion of the dam in Ukraine, the supply of cooling water is at risk. (Achivbild) © Sergei Malgavko/IMAGO
In the midst of the war in Ukraine, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has taken on a central role just a few months after the start of the war. Ukrainian and Russian soldiers fought fierce battles in the region around the nuclear power plant in eastern Ukraine, and there were repeated fears that possible shell strikes could lead to a nuclear catastrophe. Among other things, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) travelled to the region to check radiation levels and make recommendations to the parties to the conflict. Meanwhile, there are more and more shock reports from the Ukraine flood area.
Cooling of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in danger: Explosion of dam ensures low water levels
Although a meltdown has so far been applied at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the latest developments surrounding the explosion of the Kakhovka dam, which are also being exploited by Putin's propaganda, are once again bringing the nuclear power plant into focus. While it is not yet possible to assess all the effects of the current disaster in the region, it is clear that the operation of the nuclear power plant is directly related to the level of the reservoir. The Russian-occupied power plant is located at the northern end of the water reservoir.
After the explosion, the water level dropped dramatically, so a potential danger to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was seen. According to him, the lowering of the water level had slowed down slightly on Wednesday. If the water level drops below 12.7 meters, no more water can be pumped onto the site of the power plant. This was announced by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, on Wednesday evening.
So far, it cannot be ruled out that the level could drop below this mark within a few days. The water level in the lake had dropped by one meter within 24 hours and was 7.00 meters as of Thursday morning (13:05 a.m. CEST), said the state-owned hydropower plant operator Ukrhydroenergo in Kiev.
Tank attacks launched: Ukrainian offensive breaks through Putin's front line
"Everyone just shouted": Habeck whines in the heating dispute about scapegoat role
Is Moscow letting Crimea die of thirst? Dam destruction has catastrophic effects
After blowing up the Kakhovka dam: Russian troops are washed away
Asylum summit: Faeser leaves approval open – criticism from the Left
Fancy a voyage of discovery?
Kakhovka Dam in Ukraine: Catchment basin of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant filled with water
Therefore, in order to avoid the danger of no longer being able to guarantee the cooling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, water was continuously pumped from the reservoir into catchment basins on the site. According to Grossi, the water to cool the six reactors would last for several months when the pools were full. Although the reactors have been shut down, they still need cooling water. While the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant continues to deteriorate, Ukraine has probably launched an offensive against Putin's front line with tank attacks.
Grossi says he wants to travel to Zaporizhzhia next week to get an idea of the situation there. The IAEA wants to strengthen its team in Zaporizhzhia. Already on Wednesday, Greenpeace nuclear expert Shaun Burnie was alarmed by possible consequences for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is occupied by Russian troops. He also warned of the effects of the water level on the cooling of the plant. His demand: the Russian military must immediately end the occupation of the nuclear power plant and allow Ukrainian personnel to take the necessary measures without any interference. (feb/dpa)