A critical power transmission line at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) was disconnected on Thursday, April 4, according to reports from Ukrainian state-owned company Energoatom.

The 330-kilovolt line, which supplied power from the Ukrainian energy system to the NPP, was severed due to Russian shelling in the area.

While the plant is currently connected to the Ukrainian grid via a 750-kilovolt line, Energoatom emphasized that any further disruptions could precipitate an emergency situation.

“The station will be on the verge of another blackout, which is a serious violation of the conditions of safe operation of the station,” Energoatom stated.

Confirmation of the power line’s shutdown came from both Russian-controlled management at the plant and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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The IAEA cited reports of military activity in the region preceding the outage and noted that its staff at the plant had heard artillery fire.

“Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has lost a key source of electricity it needs to cool its reactors, as well as for other critical nuclear safety functions. The events of this morning once again highlight the very real threat that this facility is facing,” Rafael Grossi, head of the IAEA, said.

The IAEA highlighted that since August 2022, the Zaporizhzhia NPP has experienced eight disconnections from external energy sources.

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The overnight aerial attack came shortly after Russian troops bombed a busy shopping centre in Kharkiv on May 25, which killed at least 12 people and injured 43.

The Zaporizhia NPP fell under Russia’s control during the early stages of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, ceasing electricity generation since September 2022.

Presently, five power units remain in cold operation at the facility, with one unit in hot shutdown mode to fulfill operational requirements.

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