; Ukraine War Nuclear Crisis Updates 3.12.22

Today’s updates from Ukraine:



Russia is now claiming Rosatom “owns” and is operating the nuclear plant at Zaporizhzhia. Russia brought in 11 staff including two top-level engineers from Russian nuclear power plants in Balakovo and Rostov. Currently, two units are operational. Two power lines to the plant remain active, the rest were damaged in the fighting. Ukraine’s nuclear power regulator claims Russian troops are using the nuclear plant as a base.

NPR reports that the Russian attack on the plant came closer to catastrophe than previously understood. Shelling was directed at reactor units and ordinance fell into the spent fuel storage cask yard at the plant. A transformer in the unit 6 switch yard was destroyed. Work is ongoing to find and remove unexploded ordinance at the nuclear power plant site.



The IAEA reported yesterday that additional diesel fuel was delivered to the site from nearby Slavutych and that the damaged electrical line was being repaired at the plant site. Additional work to reactivate the line outside of the plant site is still needed to regain power. It is unclear if or when that could take place. The diesel generators on site now have a longer time window to continue operating but the clock is still ticking. Without restoration of the power line to the plant site, they will eventually run out of diesel and lose backup power for the emergency systems at the spent fuel pool storage facility and the shelter building over unit 4.


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