The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Saturday that work was underway to repair Chernobyl’s electrical system, which was damaged during the March 9 Russian attacks, as the nuclear power plant relied on external diesel generators to operate its reactors.
Alexey Likhachev, director general of Russia’s nuclear company Rosatom, said the IAEA’s additional fuel arrived on March 11.
Energoatom, director of Ukraine’s nuclear plant, told IAEA that Chernobyl’s 211 crew and guards had “not yet been able to rotate and had lived there since the day before Russian forces came under control”.
“[IAEA] Director-General Croce reiterated the urgent need to ensure that they rest and rotate properly, which is an important component of a safe and secure nuclear process, “the IAEA said in a statement.
Regarding the status of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (NPP), Ukraine said the site was under Russian control and that Moscow planned to take “full and permanent control”. It also said there were 400 Russian soldiers “full-time” on the site.
Russia has said it has experts at the Zaporizhia plant, but has denied that it has “taken operational control” or is planning to take over permanent management of the site, the IAEA said.
The IAEA said the power supply remained unchanged despite damage to two of the plant’s four power lines.
Eight of Ukraine’s 15 reactors are in operation in Ukraine, the IAEA added, adding that “radiation levels are normal”, including “two in Zaborizhia NPP, three in Rivney, one in Kmelnitsky” and two in southern Ukraine.