Mine explosion damages power cable at Zaporiyia nuclear power plant, says IAEA

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission in the Ukrainian city of Zaporiyia has reported Friday that a landmine explosion has damaged a low-voltage power cable at the nuclear power plant.

Specifically, the explosion damaged a 6 kilovolt (kV) cable used to provide power for some plant operations near a nitrogen and oxygen facility just outside the nuclear power plant’s perimeter fence, the IAEA itself said in a statement.

Also, due to a short circuit of the cable, the explosion has indirectly damaged a voltage transformer in the reactor unit number 6. Although there was no fire, smoke was visible.

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The agency team present that Friday at the plant has checked the area and found evidence of a mine explosion, with traces of the impact visible on a concrete wall.

Ukrainian operating personnel at the plant have offered spare parts and other materials available to repair both the cable and the transformer. The repair work will not affect the availability of backup power systems, according to the IAEA.

As with the four previous landmine explosions this week reported by the IAEA, they are believed to have been caused by animals stepping on the devices.

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IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi has reiterated his “deep concern” over the recurrence of such landmine explosions near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, where frequent bombings have occurred over the past two months.

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