Ukraine has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that recent shelling has caused an explosion near the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant (SUNPP), impacting three power lines and damaging windows at the site, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has said.
Ukraine told the IAEA that the explosion took place around 300 metres from the SUNPP industrial site. The affected power lines did not include any of the 750 kilovolt (kV) lines connecting the plant to the grid. Ukraine said Russia was responsible for the shelling. As yet the Russian Defence Ministry has made no comment.
“While we have recently focused on the urgent need for action to prevent a nuclear accident at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant – establishing an IAEA presence there earlier this month – today’s explosion near the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant all too clearly demonstrates the potential dangers also at other nuclear facilities in the country,” Grossi said. “Any military action that threatens nuclear safety and security is unacceptable and must stop immediately.”
Ukraine’s national operator Energoatom separately said the SUNPP’s three reactors were continuing to operate normally and that no staff were injured. The three power lines were automatically reconnected after a short period of time, it said. The SUNPP is located about 250 km from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), Europe’s largest. Ukraine also has two other nuclear power plants.
Grossi visited the South Ukraine NPP at the end of March with a team of experts who inspected the facilities and delivered necessary equipment. In May Ukraine changed the name of the NPP to Pivdennoukrainskaya.
Image: The South Ukraine nuclear power plant