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Nuclear plant in Chernobyl has lost power, Ukraine says: NPR

Emergency diesel generators supply power to critical safety systems at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, but they only have enough fuel for 48 hours. The page is pictured here in April 2021.

Efrem Lukatsky / AP


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Efrem Lukatsky / AP

Emergency diesel generators supply power to critical safety systems at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, but they only have enough fuel for 48 hours. The page is pictured here in April 2021.

Efrem Lukatsky / AP

That Chernobyl nuclear power plant has lost power, according to and Facebook post of Ukraine’s State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate.

According to the notice, the power was lost at 11:22 local time on Wednesday morning. Emergency diesel generators supply power to critical on-site safety systems. The generators have enough fuel for 48 hours, and repair of the transmission lines is made impossible by continued fighting in the area.

Ed Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists says the 20,000 spent fuel rods are 20 years old. They give off heat and over time the water in the pool can start to evaporate. If the top of the fuel rods is exposed, it would be a potential local radiation hazard.

Lyman, however, believes it will take many days after the loss of emergency power before it happens. The simple solution is also to keep refilling the pool, e.g. with fire hoses or another method.

“It’s heading for a crisis, but there is time to intervene,” Lyman said. “It’s a worrying development.”

That International Atomic Energy Agency warned on Tuesday that it was more and more concerned about the deteriorating situation in Chernobyl.

It said 210 technical staff and guards on site have been forced to work there for 13 days in a row (that is two weeks from Wednesday). It also reported that it had lost radiation monitoring data from the site.

A version of this story first appeared in that Morning edition live blog.

Nuclear plant in Chernobyl has lost power, Ukraine says: NPR

Source link Nuclear plant in Chernobyl has lost power, Ukraine says: NPR

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