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Russia puts power unit 4 of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on hot shutdown, increasing likelihood of accident

Wednesday, 4 October 2023, 12:09
Russia puts power unit 4 of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on hot shutdown, increasing likelihood of accident
STOCK PHOTO: ENERGOATOM'S TELEGRAM

The Russians have switched power unit No. 4 of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNNP) from the cold shutdown state to the hot shutdown state, increasing the likelihood of a radiation accident, State Enterprise National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom reported. 

Source: Energoatom on Telegram 

Quote from Energoatom: "Russian invaders have brought power unit No. 4 out of the cold shutdown state to the hot shutdown state at the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP. But the power unit No. 6, according to the IAEA, is being taken out of the hot state to the cold one." 

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Details: President of Energoatom Petro Kotin stressed that such actions by the Russians lead to the inevitable degradation of the plant's equipment and systems, which are important for safety.

"This can lead not only to an increase in the number of equipment failures but also to a radiation accident," Kotin stressed. 

He recalled that compliance with the licensing requirements for the operation of nuclear power units is the key to the safe operation of nuclear power plants, the safety of personnel, the population and the environment. 

Kotin added that "the licensing requirements are based not only on the provisions of the rules and regulations in Ukraine but also consider many years of domestic and international experience in operating nuclear power plants". 

According to the requirements of State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate licences for the operation of Zaporizhzhia power units, which were amended in June of this year, all power units of the plant must be exclusively in the cold shutdown state. Transferring them to a more dangerous hot shutdown state is forbidden. 

Energoatom explained that such requirements for the operation of Zaporizhzhia NPP power units were put forward due to the lack of timely and high-quality maintenance and necessary routine equipment repairs during the entire period of occupation of the plant. 

Energoatom also recalled that the actions of the Russians have already led to many emergencies. In particular, at power unit No. 4, a radioactive coolant (water) leaked from the first to the second circuit due to its heating. This violates one of the barriers to the spread of radioactive contamination.

A similar situation occurred during the Russian attempt to "warm up" power unit No. 6. The actions of the Russians caused a significant increase in the amount of liquid radioactive waste on the site, which is potentially harmful to personnel, the population and the environment.   

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