a residential building hit by a drone in Voronezh, southern Russia

by time news

2023-06-09 10:25:20

Dam water continues to cool Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine continues to pump water from the Kakhovka dam to cool the fuel and avoid an accident, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Thursday.

After examination, it appeared that the pumping operations should “to be able to continue even if the level fell below the current threshold of 12.70 meters”previously deemed critical, explained the UN body in a press release, which now sets the limit at “11 meters or even lower”.

“In these difficult circumstances, this gives us a little more time before possibly switching to other sources of supply”assured the head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, expected at the scene next week.

When the dam can no longer be used, the plant may resort to “a large retention basin located nearby as well as smaller reserves and on-site wells that can provide cooling water for several months”. “It is vital that this basin remains intact. » “Nothing should be done to undermine its integrity”had warned Mr. Grossi earlier this week, during a meeting of the board of governors of the agency in Vienna.

The situation remains “very precarious and potentially dangerous”, he insisted on Thursday. It is necessary to constantly cool the fuel in the reactor cores as well as that placed in the storage pools to avoid a meltdown accident and radioactive releases into the environment.

Staff have already introduced measures to restrict water consumption, only using it for “essential activities related to nuclear security”. The IAEA, which has a team of experts on site, demanded access to the place where the water level of the reservoir is measured, “in order to be able to carry out independent checks”.

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