According to the official reports, the Russian military has taken control of the area around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. However, Initial reports from the Ukrainian regulator of Nuclear Power to the International Atomic Energy Agency did not report any increased radiation at the site. The power plant is located in Energodar, Ukraine, is owned and operated by Ukraine’s national nuclear energy generating company NNEGC Energoatom.
The attack on the nuclear power plant occured on the 9th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It remains to be seen whether the reactor at the plant will be affected by the attack. The world will witness a catastrophe if the reactor is damaged, a report from Ukraine read.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted, “Russian army is firing from all sides upon Zaporizhzhia NPP, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Fire has already broken out. If it blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chornobyl! Russians must immediately cease the fire, allow firefighters, establish a security zone!”
Kuleba further said the explosion at the Zaporizhzhya power plant would be 10 times larger than the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. At present, the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is now secured, after a fire broke out at a training building when the station came under fire from Russian forces, said Ukraine authorities.
Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant
The Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Zaporizhzhya is home to one of the ten largest nuclear power plants in the world. There are six nuclear reactors here. Each reactor generates 950 MW of power.
A total of 5,700 megawatts of energy is being generated by the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. The largest NPP to Ukraine features six of the country’s 15 nuclear energy reactors. Operational since 1984, the plant had generated more than 1.23 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity as of December 2021.
Five nuclear reactors were built between 1985 and 1989, and a sixth in 1995. The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant has been given a 10-year extension following its 2017 reconstruction work. As per reports, the terminal will run until 2027.
The Zaporizhzhya NPP consists of six pressurized water reactor (PWR) units commissioned between 1984 and 1995, with a gross electrical capacity of 1,000MW each.
In the aftermath of the Donbas conflict in 2014, far-right activists came to seize control of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. But the attempt failed due to the intervention of the Ukrainian police at that time.