The current situation at Zaporizhzhia
While the situation at Chornobyl remains precarious, given the absence of shift changes and the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine’s (SNRIU) total loss of contact with the staff there, the situation at Zaporizhzhia seems a little more transparent, although fraught with risk. As the SNRIU points out, the presence of ROSATOM personnel there is not viewed at supportive or reassuring. Here its the March 16 SNRIU report:
Zaporizhzhia NPP and the Enerhodar city are under the control of Russian military units since 4 March 2022.
The current state of the power units remains unchanged: two units are in operation; two units are under repair (units 1 and 6); the rest are in the shutdown mode.
Two 750 kV high-voltage lines (Zaporizhzhia and South-Donbas) are still not connected.
The independent regulatory oversight over nuclear and radiation safety directly at the ZNPP site is currently not carried out, but the SNRIU remains in constant contact with the ZNPP.
According to information received from the ZNPP management:
- operational personnel continue monitoring the state of power units and ensuring their safe operation in accordance with the requirements of the operating procedures;
- the rotation of both operational and day-time personnel is ensured;
- the search for hazardous items that appeared on the site and at the adjacent territory as the result of the ZNPP shelling by the Russian military continues;
- no changes in the radiological situation at the NPP site or in the control area and observation area have been registered.
Representatives of the State Atomic Energy Corporation of the Russian Federation “Rosatom” are still present at the ZNPP site. Reliable information on the purpose and plans of Rosatom’s civilians’ stay at ZNPP is currently missing. The NPP operation is carried out exclusively by Zaporizhzhia NPP personnel.
We emphasize that Ukraine has not made any request for advisory, technical, or any other support from the Russian Federation. The presence of Rosatom’s representatives on the territory of the ZNPP is illegal and in no way is related to the nuclear and radiation safety assurance. Zaporizhzhia NPP is staffed with highly qualified personnel to ensure the safe operation of the NPP using its own resources. On the contrary, the uncontrolled presence of outsiders, including nuclear experts, at the ZNPP site poses a direct threat to the safety of the facility, personnel, the public, and the environment.
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