Fighting forces unprecedented disconnection of the Zaporiyia power plant from the Ukrainian grid

Latest news on the war pitting Russia and Ukraine.

Aug. 25 () –

Fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces in the vicinity of the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant has forced its disconnection from the Ukrainian power grid on Thursday, an unprecedented measure that heightens security concerns.

The plant was already connected to the grid at only one of the four points set up before the region became the scene of fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces, something the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had already warned about.

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The Ukrainian operator, Energoatom, has confirmed in a statement the complete disconnection, which it attributed to “actions of the invaders.” According to its version, the stoppage of supply, “for the first time in the history of the plant,” occurred as a result of a fire in the vicinity, reports the UNIAN agency.

For its part, Russia’s Energoatom has reported a power outage in the entire region due to a short circuit resulting, in turn, from a fire in a field near the facility, allegedly as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian Army, according to the Interfax news agency.

IAEA director Rafael Grossi has insisted in declarations to France 24 on the need for a mission of the agency to visit the area to avoid possible accidents, although this would require an agreement that he hopes to finalize in the coming days.

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Among the issues to be finalized is the exact scope of the mandate of this mission, since, as Grossi himself recalled, the IAEA does not have the capacity to force one party or the other to leave the area. Since the beginning of March, the plant has been in Russian hands.

However, the inspectors will have powers in security matters, for example to investigate attacks that may occur, according to diplomatic sources quoted by the Bloomberg news agency.

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