Ukraine Nuclear Plant Faces A Developing Crisis

( 19FortyFive reports that Southern Ukraine is facing a possible water shortage problem. But it’s not people’s thirst that would be the only problem. There is something else that has an inexhaustive need for hydration.

Ukrhydroenergo’s general director Ihor Syrota warned in an interview that Europe’s most extensive nuclear facility, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in southern Ukraine, may run out of water by the end of the summer.

According to Syrota, the draining of the Kakhovka reservoir by Russian soldiers might make it impossible for plant managers to maintain an adequate temperature within the reactor. While Syrota assured that the plant, which is still under Russian administration, faces no imminent danger, he did worry that water levels in the Dnipro River reservoir may decrease further. Water shortages would affect millions of people who still call southern Ukraine home, making it harder to cool the plant.

Fortunately, because the same reservoir supplies water to Russian-controlled Crimea, Russian soldiers do have the motive to keep its levels high.

According to Energoatom, the Ukrainian national nuclear power corporation, water levels in the reservoir decreased to 13.8 meters from 16 meters the month before.

There are two main ways that nuclear power facilities utilize water for cooling reasons. The steam turbines, which turn generators, get heat from the reactor core through the water. Importantly for Zaporizhzhia, the water is also utilized to dissipate heat from the steam system.

Even when the electricity is turned off, radioactive decay produces heat in a nuclear power station. So, even in its “cold” condition, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant requires a reliable water supply for heat removal.

Syrota prays that this shortage never becomes a reality. He hopes that the process of de-occupation goes more quickly.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi on Monday. The gathering is in preparation for an evaluation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant’s security that will take place later this week. Zaporizhzhia city, located around 35 miles northeast of the atomic reactor, was the site of the negotiations.