Ukraine's Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant on Life Support

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Ukraine's Zaporozhye nuclear plant is on life support, with one reactor producing enough power to keep the entire facility's cooling and other key systems operating. Restoring external power to the 6-unit plant is becoming increasingly difficult given "increased and continued shelling" in the vicinity, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi said today, Sep. 9, and Energoatom "is considering shutting down the only remaining operating reactor," meaning the entire plant would then be reliant on emergency diesel generators "for ensuring vital nuclear safety and security functions." Nearby Enerhodar "has gone dark" thanks to shelling which destroyed the switchyard at the city's thermal power plant, and there is "no running water, no power, no sewage." These "dire circumstances" mean there is a "significant risk" that essential staff might not be available to work at the crippled nuclear power plant. "This dramatic development demonstrates the absolute imperative to establish a nuclear safety and security protection zone now," Grossi said. "This is the only way to ensure that we do not face a nuclear accident."

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