Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced today that Ukraine’s four operational nuclear power plants have returned to full use after a functional shut down earlier this week.
IAEA experts at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, reported yesterday that has been reconnected to external power but remains in shutdown mode, with only some power to maintain necessary safety functions.
The Ukrainian government reports the Rivne, South Ukraine and Khmelnytskyi power plants have all been reconnected to the grid, providing power to millions across Ukraine, at a time when power is a great cause for concern as the nation heads into winter.
The Chernobyl site has also been brought back online after a week-long nuclear safety and security expert mission. The mission’s purpose was to lay the groundwork for further improvements in the Exclusion Zone set up after the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown. They hope that by regularly studying the plant and the near vicinity, they can gain a better understanding of how to maintain the effects of a reactor meltdown and mitigate radiation damage in both Ukraine and potential future disasters.
The mission is made more difficult by the ongoing fighting in Ukraine and was a particular issue during the beginning invasion, when Russian forces briefly occupied the Chernobyl plant and sporadic artillery hit the area.
Several more of these missions to examine the nuclear power plants of Ukraine are scheduled, at the request of the Ukrainian government, with the mission to South Ukraine set for next week.