Repairs to Chernobyl’s electrical system, damaged during a Russian attack on March 9, are ongoing, as the nuclear power plant is now dependent on external diesel generators to keep its reactors operating, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Saturday.
Alexey Likhachev, the director general of Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom, told the IAEA additional fuel arrived on March 11.
Ukraine’s nuclear power plant operator Energoatom told the IAEA that Chernobyl’s 211 personnel and guards “have still not been able to rotate, in effect living there since the day before Russian forces took control.”
“[IAEA] Director General Grossi has repeatedly stressed the urgent need to ensure they can properly rest and rotate, saying this is also a vital element for safe and secure nuclear power operation,” IAEA said in a statement.
Regarding the situation at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Ukraine said the site remains under Russian control and that Moscow is planning to take “full and permanent control.” It also said 400 Russian soldiers are “present full time” at the site.
Russia said experts are present at the Zaporizhzhya plant but denied it “had taken operational control” or it has plans to take on permanent management of the site, according to the IAEA.
Power supplies to this plant remain unchanged, despite damage to two of its four power lines, the IAEA said.
The IAEA added eight of Ukraine’s 15 reactors remain in operation, “including two at the Zaporizhzhya NPP, three at Rivne, one at Khmelnytskyy, and two at South Ukraine” and that “radiation levels remain normal.”