Ukraine Officials Warn Power Cut at Chernobyl Plant May Lead to Radioactive Leak

Ukrainian authorities warned Wednesday of radioactive material leaking into the atmosphere. The power grid was apparently disconnected by Russian forces after Chernobyl’s nuclear plant was shut down. This raises concerns that spent nuclear fuel stored at this site may not cool properly.

“Because of military actions of Russian occupiers, the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl was fully disconnected from the power grid,” Ukrenergo, Ukraine’s state-owned power grid operator, saidIn a statement

Ukrenergo addedIn a Facebook post, it was stated that emergency diesel generators had been activated in an attempt to restore power. However, it was noted that the fuel would only last 48 hours.

Energoatom, Ukraine’s national nuclear energy firm, cautioned Wednesday that without adequate electricity, “the temperature in the [spent fuel] holding pools will increase” and “release of radioactive substances into the environment may occur.”

Mykhailo Poolyak, an advisor to the Ukrainian president characterized the state of the Chernobyl plant as “an extremely dangerous situation.”

Russian military forces quickly seized controlChernobyl, the site of 1986’s nuclear catastrophe, was discovered shortly after the invasion of Ukraine late last month. heightening fearsAnother nuclear disaster.

On Tuesday, Rafael Grossi (Director-General International Atomic Energy Agency) said in a statement that “remote data transmission from safeguards monitoring systems installed at the Chornobyl [nuclear power plant] had been lost.”

“I’m deeply concerned about the difficult and stressful situation facing staff at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and the potential risks this entails for nuclear safety,” Grossi added. “I call on the forces in effective control of the site to urgently facilitate the safe rotation of personnel there.”