Kiev: Ukraine’s Presidential Office on Thursday warned that the situation at Chernobyl was “very dangerous” after an emergency power outage was reported at the now-defunct nuclear power plant.
“The situation in Chernobyl is overall very dangerous. It is critical that certain elements of the plant receive a consistent supply of electricity,” the Ukrayinska Pravda newspaper quoted presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak as saying.
The adviser warned that since “these elements have been cut off from stable access to power”, it posed a “threat to the whole of Europe. And, of course, to Russia itself”.
Podolyak added that not only has the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stopped receiving crucial data from the safety monitoring system, no one currently understood what was going on at the Chernobyl power plant.
According to the presidential advisor, Russia is targeting the nuclear plants in Ukraine to “subdue its neighbours”.
According to Ukrenergo, the state energy company of Ukraine, the plant suffered the power outage on Wednesday due to which on site emergency diesel generators were turned on to provide power systems important for safety.
The company said that the supply of diesel fuel on diesel generators will be enough for 48 hours.
It added that repair work to restore the energy supply was impossible due to Russian combat operations in the region.
Although operations stopped at the plant after the catastrophic nuclear disaster in 1986, Chernobyl was never fully abandoned and still requires constant management, the BBC said, adding that spent nuclear fuel is cooled at the site.
The IAEA on Thursday morning said the power outage “would not have a critical impact on essential safety functions at the site”.
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi however, said that the outage was likely to create additional stress for around 210 technical experts and guards currently stuck at the plant which was seized by Russia on the first day of its war on February 24.