KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Europe’s largest nuclear plant has been reconnected to Ukraine’s electrical energy grid, permitting engineers to close down its final operational reactor in an try to keep away from a radiation catastrophe as preventing rages within the space.

The six-reactor Zaporizhzhia plant misplaced its exterior supply of energy every week in the past in any case its energy strains had been disconnected on account of shelling. It was working in “island mode” for a number of days, producing electrical energy for essential cooling techniques from its solely remaining operational reactor.

Nuclear operator Energoatom stated a type of energy strains was restored “to its operational capability” late Saturday, making it potential to run the plant’s security and different techniques on electrical energy from the facility system of Ukraine.

“Due to this fact, a choice was made to close down energy unit No. 6 and switch it to the most secure state – chilly shutdown,” the corporate stated in a press release.

Energoatom stated the chance stays excessive that exterior energy is reduce once more, by which case the plant must hearth up emergency diesel mills to maintain the reactors cool and forestall a nuclear meltdown. The corporate’s chief informed The Related Press on Thursday that the plant solely has diesel gas for 10 days.

The plant, one of many 10 greatest atomic energy stations on the earth, has been occupied by Russian forces for the reason that early phases of the conflict. Ukraine and Russia have blamed one another for shelling across the plant that has broken the facility strains connecting it to the grid.

Energoatom renewed its enchantment for Russian forces to depart the Zaporizhzhia plant and permit for the creation of a “demilitarized zone” round it.

The Worldwide Atomic Power Company, the U.N. nuclear watchdog which has two consultants on the plant, confirmed to the AP on Sunday that exterior energy has been restored at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Energy Plant.

“After yesterday’s restoration of the facility line – which connects the ZNPP to the switchyard of a close-by thermal energy station – the operator of the ZNPP this morning shut down its final working reactor, which over the previous week had been offering the plant with the required energy after it was disconnected from the grid,” the IAEA stated in an emailed assertion. “IAEA workers current on the ZNPP had been knowledgeable this morning about these new developments, which had been additionally confirmed by Ukraine.”

IAEA Director-Basic Rafael Grossi has referred to as for a protected zone across the plant to avert a catastrophe.

Jon Gambrell and Hanna Ahrirova contributed to this report.

Observe the AP’s protection of the conflict at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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