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How are things at the Chernobyl power plant, and what is still scary

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Electricity has returned to Chernobyl, which has been repaired by the Ukrainian company while the power plant continues to be under Russian control. For the IAEA the situation is still “worrying”.

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Electricity has returned to Chernobyl. The news was released in the afternoon by the Belarusian channel Nexta and subsequently confirmed by CNN. The source is the Ukrainian state company that deals with nuclear power plants – Energoatom – which also explained that the cooling systems have returned to normal operation. The Chernobyl power plant, and in general all nuclear sites in Ukraine, are of great concern because of the danger posed by the fighting in those areas. For days, after a long battle, the nuclear power plant has come under the control of the Russian army.

During the fighting, the electricity supply system that powers the plant was damaged, which was restored by the “heroes of the national power company“, the Ukrainian Minister of Energy said in the evening. The energy is necessary to operate the pumps that regulate the temperature of the spent nuclear fuel, to prevent radiation losses. The plant had been without electricity since Wednesday, with Ukraine saying there was enough fuel to run the generators for only 48 hours.

This was evidently not the case, at least according to what the International Atomic Energy Agency explained. The IAEA had downplayed it, saying it saw little risk in any case that the pools containing the spent fuel would overheat without electricity. Then they explained that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was operating thanks to external diesel generators. At the same time, the IAEA had explained that it was impossible to get in touch with the 211 Ukrainian workers of the plant who, since Chernobyl was taken by the Russians, do not actually leave the site and – in essence – live and work there. The IAEA reiterated once again “the grave concern over the safety of nuclear power plants in Ukraine“.