Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has just issued a warning that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant could be at risk of a leak in just 48 hours.
The warning by the minister came after reports surfaced that Russian forces had disconnected the power plant from the grid, leaving it without any power.
Ukraine’s national energy operator confirmed this today, March 9th, after saying that the site was no longer transmitting data. The operator, Ukrenergo, explained the power plant was fully disconnected from the power grid.
The military operations in the area means there was no possibility to restore the lines. Russian troops seized the plant during the invasion of Ukraine. This prompted the International atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to voice concern for staff working under the Russian guard.
A 750Kw power line connecting the site to the grid has been severed, said Ukraine’s state-run nuclear company Energoatom. The company warned there could be a release of radioactive substances into the air from the plant.
The State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine, the country’s security and intelligence service, explained that there are 20,000 spent fuel assemblies at Chernobyl which require constant cooling. This is only possible with electricity.
‘The temperature in the holding pools will increase’ the agency said. ‘After the evaporation will occur, that will lead to nuclear discharge. The wind can transfer the radioactive cloud to other regions of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Europe.’