Explosions heard near Kyiv as Russia intensifies bombardment of multiple cities
Technicians began working on Thursday to repair damaged power lines serving the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, according to the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog.
The lines were entirely cut earlier this week, with the last one “destroyed as a result of the occupant’s shelling” on Wednesday, Ukraine’s energy minister said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said diesel generators have been providing backup power to the site since Wednesday, and additional fuel supplies have been delivered to the Russian-controlled facility.
Some context: Russian troops overran the Chernobyl plant — the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster — on the first day of the invasion on Feb. 24, with staff still inside.
Some 211 technical personnel and guards at the site have in effect been living at the facility and in “increasingly difficult conditions” with potentially dwindling food supplies, the IAEA said.
The Ukrainian regulator told the IAEA it lost communication with the plant on Thursday, though it has continued to receive updates about the situation from senior off-site management.
Other nuclear facilities: The agency also gave updates about two other nuclear facilities in Ukraine. The power situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is “unchanged,” with two of four power lines damaged, the IAEA said, adding that one power line could provide the plant’s off-site power needs and diesel generators for back-up power are ready and available.
In Kharkiv, a nuclear facility for research and development and radioisotope production for medical and industrial applications suffered “additional damage” after facing shelling earlier this week.
However, the IAEA said the nuclear material at that site is subcritical and the inventory of radioactive material is low, and the agency assessed the damage would not lead to radiological consequences.
Here’s a look back at the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in pictures:
- 64-kilometer-long Russian convoy largely dispersed
- Russia escalates civilian attacks as Ukrainians rush to escape
- Ukrainian Armed Forces skeptical after Russia claims it will provide evacuation corridors in key cities on Wednesday
- Zelensky: Russian will not stop at Ukraine
- Defiance and disobedience flourish in Russian-held Ukraine
- No power or water, no way to collect the dead in Ukrainian city of 400,000