Russian invaders are trying to seize control over the technical operations of the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, which threatens a global disaster.
That’s according to Energoatom President, Petro Kotin, who spoke in an interview with Radio NV, Ukrinform reports.
“The occupiers are trying to seize control over the technical operations of the ZNPP. On Saturday, they broke into the chief engineer’s office and declared that Moscow is taking full control, and that any actions in the technical plane must also be approved. This is a very dangerous situation,” the chief of Ukraine’s government-run nuclear operator said.
Kotin explained that this would mean that Ukraine would not be able to launch a power unit.
“One of the dangerous factors is that the winter period is approaching, ambient temperatures are decreasing, and with the temperature fall, the operating conditions of the equipment located at the station worsen. In fact, the air temperature in the rooms where, say, diesel generators are located, should be above 20 degrees Celsius, while for other premises it’s 15 degrees. It is impossible to allow the temperature to drop to 0 degrees. The only source of heat that can maintain the required temperature at the ZNPP is steam coming from operating power units. It can be obtained only when at least one power unit is on. That is, the priority is turning on one of the power units in order to obtain steam for own needs and create all the conditions for the operation of safety systems that ensure nuclear and radiation safety at the ZNPP,” explained the Energoatom head.
According to Kotin, if there is a disconnection from the Ukrainian power system, the ZNPP will switch to diesel generators, and then everything will depend on the amount of fuel feeding them. It is also noted that the fuel was delivered both by Energoatom and by the invasion forces.
“When diesel generators stop, we’ll have a Fukushima scenario. We remember that within three hours, the melting of the active zones and the release of radioactive substances began into the air and water that was cooling the reactors. This is a threat to the whole world,” Kotin stressed.
Energoatom notes that ZNPP staffers are in a really poor psychological condition, having been under occupation for the past seven months. In addition, the invaders kidnap some of them, applying torture.
“Now they have abducted their deputy HR. This was done in order to ensure the transition to a fake organization that they founded in Moscow, the “ZNPP Operating Organization”. So they created this fake entity, appointed a director there, who is trying to convince all staffers to pen applications for joining Rosatom. I do not recommend that they do this and I ask our employees not to voluntarily switch, not to sign any contracts,” Kotin said.
He recalled that the ZNPP is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Two power units are (formally) in repair mode, and another one (unit 5) is in shutdown mode for testing. According to Kotin, it was this unit that Energoatom has been preparing for using its steam, while other power units remain in a cold state.