Last Zaporizhzhia reactor closes with power restored

Zapo_IAEA imagebank

Offsite power has been restored to the embattled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant site for now, but as a necessary precaution, the last of the six reactors has now been shut down, according to news reports.

While safety concerns tend to focus on the reactors themselves and the necessity for cooling, the offloaded fuel in the waste pools also requires continuous cooling and is also of grave concern given the high concentration of highly radioactive waste contained in those pools. Offsite — and backup onsite — power is still essential at the site and continued warfare in the region remains a huge danger should a missile, shell or bomb strike any part of the facility where power is either needed or provided.

Ukraine’s 15 reactors are responsible for 50% of the country’s electricity supply, so reactor shutdowns will have knock-on effects in other areas of the country and the economy.

(Photo of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant by IAEA imagebank)

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