Russia-Ukraine accuse of reciprocal strike near Nuclear Power Plants: What to know about

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Nuclear Power Plants

Jakarta, IO – The geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine are still continuing and raising new concerns. Both Moscow and Kyiv have blamed each other for the deteriorating situation at Zaporizhzhia. Ukrainian authorities reported that Russian military forces continued to attack the cities opposite the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant until Monday, August 29, 2022. During the RussiaUkraine conflict, Russian troops managed to take control of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in March. 

Previously, Russia succeed to take over NPP Chernobyl from Ukraine in February. Four units of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, whose last operating reactor was permanently shut down in 2000, were occupied on the first day of the invasion. Meanwhile, Russia accused Ukraine of continuing to fire six of the operational reactors of the Zaporizhzhia NPP. 

However, based on several sources, the attacks around the Zaporizhzhia NPP’s allegations are still unclear. According to the NPP workers, there was no Russian attack on the Zaporizhzhia NPP, but a fire in a room outside the NPP. On the Ukrainian side, NPP operator Energoatom said its workers were injured and radiation sensors were damaged as a result of the Russian attack on the Zaporizhzhia NPP. 

During the UN Security Council meeting on August 23, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya accused Ukrainian troops of continuing to fire at the Zaporizhzhia NPP. He said the action increases the danger of a nuclear disaster. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya said that Russia must be responsible for the radiation accident risks at the Zaporizhzhia NPP. 

Current Ukraine’s NPP operational status 

There are four Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) operating in Ukraine, namely, Zaporizhzhia NPP, SouthUkraine NPP, Rivne NPP, and Khmelnytskyi NPP. Ukraine is also still building 3 NPPs in the regions of Chyhyryn, Kharkiv, and Odesa. Ukraine’s nuclear plant operator EnergoAtom reported, that Zaporizhzhia, Rivne, Khmelnytskyi, and South Ukraine nuclear plants were operating normally (9 of the 15 operational reactors are currently operating). 

At the Zaporizhzhia NPP, currently, it still plays an important role in supplying about 40 percent of Ukraine’s energy. Nowadays, only one power unit is operating under the nuclear power plant staff’s control. The other power unit has been set to safe mode and disconnected from the power system.