© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view shows the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict outside Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia region, Russian-controlled Ukraine, March 29, 2023. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
KYIV (Reuters) – The destruction of the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine poses a threat to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, but the situation at the facility is under control, Ukraine’s state atomic power agency said on Tuesday.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said on Twitter it was closely monitoring the situation but that there was “no immediate nuclear safety risk at (the) plant” which is also in southern Ukraine.
Explosions at the Soviet-era Kakhovka dam in Russian-occupied territory on Tuesday unleashed floodwater across an area that is now a war zone, according to both Ukrainian and Russian forces who blamed each other for the destruction.
Energoatom said the Russian invaders had blown up the dam.
It said the water level of the Kakhovka Reservoir was rapidly lowering, posing an “additional threat” to the Russian-occupied facility – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – which both sides have blamed one another for shelling.
“Water from the Kakhovka Reservoir is necessary for the station to receive power for turbine capacitors and safety systems of the ZNPP (Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant),” Energoatom said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.
“Right now the station’s cooling pond is full: as of 8:00 a.m., the water level is 16.6 meters, which is sufficient for the station’s needs.”
“Currently, the situation at the ZNPP is under control, Ukrainian personnel are monitoring all indicators,” it said.
The head of Ukraine’s presidential administration on Tuesday described the blast as an “ecocide” committed by Russian forces. Russia blamed Ukraine for the incident.