This photo taken on Sept 11, 2022 shows a general view of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar (Energodar), Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine. (PHOTO / AFP)
VIENNA – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Thursday that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine lost all its off-site power early Thursday morning and now runs on emergency diesel generators.
The IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi told the agency's Board of Governors that the plant's last remaining 750-kilovolt power line was disconnected at around 5 am local time on Thursday, leaving the facility without access to external power.
Each time we are rolling a dice. And if we allow this to continue time after time then one day our luck will run out.
Rafael Grossi, IAEA's Director-General
All 20 of the plant's emergency diesel generators were activated, with eight of them providing the facility's essential power and the rest in standby mode, Grossi said, adding that "there is enough diesel on site for 15 days of operation."
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Noting that this is the sixth time that the Zaporizhzhia plant has lost all its off-site power, the IAEA chief warned that "each time we are rolling a dice. And if we allow this to continue time after time then one day our luck will run out."
He said the plant's safety and security should be protected.
The Zaporizhzhia plant, one of Europe's largest nuclear power plants, has been controlled by Russian forces since early March last year. Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations of strikes on the facility.
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In recent months, Grossi has been consulting with both countries on creating a safety zone at the Zaporizhzhia plant.