Monday, October 24, 2022

Ukraine should suspend NPPs for safety reasons — expert

It is expedient for Ukraine to suspend the operation of nuclear power plants from the standpoint nuclear safety in the conditions of damaged power infrastructure, Rosenergoatom concern CEO’s adviser, Renat Karchaa, told TASS on Monday.

"From the point of view of nuclear safety standards, yes, it would be expedient to suspend them," he said, while answering a corresponding question. At the same time, Karchaa expressed doubts that the Ukrainian authorities were guided by the concept of expediency.

He stressed that in case of damage to the infrastructure that receives electricity from nuclear power plants, there was a risk of the reactor’s overheating.

"This is extremely dangerous. The generated energy must be consumed. It goes through high-voltage power lines. If the lines are damaged, there is a risk of the reactor’s overheating. In a situation where power lines are broken and there are no channels of removing the generated energy, the nuclear reactor must be shut down," Karchaa said, adding that in the event of damage to power lines that transmit energy from nuclear power plants, the decision to shut down the reactor must follow without delay.

Karchaa also stressed that the power supply of nuclear power plants themselves could also become a problem.

"The process of cooling down a nuclear reactor requires stable and normal power supply. When it is not available, it may be possible to cool down a nuclear reactor using only diesel generators. But huge risks are involved. Diesel generators are a very unstable - what if something breaks down in the process?" he said.

Earlier, the last operating power unit of the Zaporozhye NPP, located in the part of the Zaporozhye Region that has become part of Russia, was stopped due to shellings by the Ukrainian army and systematic damage to power lines. There are currently three nuclear power plants in Ukraine.

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