Blackout at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Raises Fear of Possible Nuclear Discharge

Ukraine has warned of a potential of a nuclear discharge after power was cut off to the damaged Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant.

Fighting has made it impossible to immediately repair the high-voltage electrical transmission lines that supply the plant with power. 

Without electrical power the facility cannot cool about 20,000 spent fuel assemblies that are stored at the plant leading to the release of radioactive substances into the environment. The subsequent radioactive cloud could be carried by wind to other regions of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and Europe.

Ukraine’s state-run nuclear company Energoatom said that due to the power disconnection, ​​it is impossible to control the parameters of nuclear and radiation safety at the plant such as cooling, ventilation and fire containment.

Chernobyl was captured by Russian forces after Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. 

Diesel backup power generators designed to support essential systems for up to 48 hours in the event of power cut, however fuel supplies are limited. 

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently raised concerns that the remote data transmission from the safeguards control systems installed at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been lost during the recent fighting there. 

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