The Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986, once again lost its electricity supply, the country’s energy operator Ukrenergo said on Monday.
“The line that supplies the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the town of Slavutych was damaged by the occupying forces,” Ukrenergo wrote on Facebook.
A fresh round of talks was underway between representatives of Kyiv and Moscow amid heavy firing and shelling in the east European nation by Russian forces. Moscow’s invasion of the east European nation is in its third week.
Russian troops had seized Chernobyl in the first days of the assault. Last week, the retired nuclear plant — enclosed in a giant steel and concrete sarcophagus — but supply was restored on Sunday.
The plant has emergency diesel generators which can temporarily provide the electricity needed to power security systems, including the cooling systems for a spent nuclear fuel storage facility, Ukraine’s nuclear power inspection body SNRIU said last week.
Ukrenergo said the line was damaged again “before the power supply was fully restored” and that one of its repair crews will be going into “occupied territory” again for more repairs.
The operator added that Chernobyl “cannot be left without a reliable energy supply” and the residents of the nearby town of Slavutych “depend” on it for electricity.
An explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 had killed hundreds and spread a radioactive cloud across Europe.
Russian forces also shelled and captured the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe’s biggest atomic power plant, on March 4, causing a fire that raised alarm in Europe over a possible nuclear catastrophe.
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