backup generators, Belarus, Chernobyl, Chornobyl, cooling of nuclear fuel, cooling ponds, diesel generators, discharge of radioactive materials, IAEA, monitoring of nuclear material, nuclear disaster, nuclear power, nuclear waste, power, radiation release, Russian invasion Ukraine, trafficking of nuclear material, Ukraine, Zaporizhzhia nuclear power
Newer non-Chernobyl waste may be stored there, and it’s unclear if it’s in dry casks or in the spent fuel pools. The newer the fuel, the more heat is generated, which can boil away the water in the spent fuel pools. Worker fatigue, hunger and stress are also of concern.
“Ukraine suggests that OSCE, IAEA missions be located at nuclear power plants 10.03.2022 16:54
Ukraine makes every effort to restore the power supply to the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant as soon as possible.
“Ukraine makes every effort to restore power supply as soon as possible. The power supply is needed, in particular, to cool the spent nuclear fuel stored there,” Energy Minister of Ukraine German Galushchenko said, Ukrinform reports with reference to the Ministry of Energy.
He noted that in general, the power supply to the Chornobyl nuclear power plant is provided by several power lines. The last 750 kV power transmission line, which supplied power to the nuclear power plant, was cut off last night due to shelling by invaders. Currently, reserve capacities – diesel generators – function at the Chornobyl NPP.
Galushchenko said that Ukraine had requested the invaders to provide a corridor for repair crews to carry out relevant works. He also reiterated his call on the international community to respond to the situation at the Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plants.
“This is important for the security of not only Ukraine or Europe, but the whole world. The military must leave nuclear facilities. And we suggest that the relevant OSCE and IAEA missions be located at the stations to ensure the safety of those facilities. But the key is to close the sky over Ukraine,” the official stressed.
As reported, National Power Company Ukrenergo says that instead of assistance from Belarus in restoring power supply to the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, the company needs a ceasefire.
Chornobyl NPP was captured by Russian troops on February 24. Zaporizhzhia NPP has been under the control of the Russian army since March 4.
As a result of the actions of the Russian occupiers, Chornobyl NPP is completely de-energized. The fighting continues, so it is still impossible to carry out repair work and restore the power supply.
National Power Company Ukrenergo is waiting for a safe corridor to restore the power supply at the Chornobyl NPP.
IAEA lost track of data from the safeguards systems in place to monitor nuclear material at the occupied Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plants.”https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3425772-ukraine-suggests-that-osce-iaea-missions-be-located-at-nuclear-power-plants.html
“Update 16 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine
27/2022 Vienna, Austria, March 9 2022
Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) had been disconnected from the electricity grid and lost its supply of external power, two weeks after Russian forces took control of the site of the 1986 accident, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said.
The Director General expressed deep concern about this development as the “secure off-site power supply from the grid for all nuclear sites” was one of seven indispensable pillars of nuclear safety and security that he outlined at a meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors on 2 March, convened to address the safety, security and safeguards implications of the situation in Ukraine.
In the case of the Chornobyl NPP, however, he said the IAEA agreed with the Ukrainian regulator that its disconnection from the grid would not have a critical impact on essential safety functions at the site, where various radioactive waste management facilities are located. Specifically, regarding the site’s spent fuel storage facility, the volume of cooling water in the pool is sufficient to maintain effective heat removal from the spent fuel without a supply of electricity. The site also has reserve emergency power supplies with diesel generators and batteries.
Nevertheless, the lack of power is likely to lead to a further deterioration of operational radiation safety at the site and create additional stress for around 210 technical experts and guards who have not been able to rotate for the past two weeks, in effect living there around the clock, Director General Grossi added.
“From day to day, we are seeing a worsening situation at the Chornobyl NPP, especially for radiation safety, and for the staff managing the facility under extremely difficult and challenging circumstances,” he said. “I repeat my urgent appeal to the forces in effective control of the plant to respect internal radiation protection procedures, to facilitate the safe rotation of staff and to take other important steps to ensure safety.”
In another development, he said the IAEA in recent days had lost remote data transmission from its safeguards systems installed to monitor nuclear material at the Chornobyl NPP and another Ukrainian nuclear power plant now controlled by Russian forces, the Zaporizhzhya NPP. He said he was concerned about the sudden interruption of such data flows to the IAEA’s Vienna headquarters from the two sites, where large amounts of nuclear material are present in the form of spent or fresh nuclear fuel and other types of nuclear material.
The reason for the disruption in the transmission of safeguards data was not immediately clear. The IAEA continues to receive such data from other nuclear facilities in Ukraine, including the three other nuclear power plants.
“The remote transmission of data from IAEA safeguards equipment located at nuclear sites around the world is an important component of our safeguards implementation, in Ukraine and globally,” he said. “Such systems are installed in several facilities in Ukraine, including all nuclear power plants, and enable us to monitor nuclear material and activities at these sites when our inspectors are not present.”
Even though technical features were in place to ensure that the data was stored locally, the storage capacity as well as the operational status of the monitoring systems remained uncertain, he said.
Through safeguards technical measures the IAEA verifies that countries are honouring their international legal obligations to use nuclear material and technology only for peaceful purposes.
Regarding the status of Ukraine’s operational nuclear power plants, the regulator said eight of the country’s 15 reactors remained operating, including two at the Zaporizhzhya NPP. Radiation levels at the sites were normal, it said.
The Zaporizhzhya NPP site has four high voltage (750 kV) offsite power lines plus an additional one on standby. The operator informed the IAEA that two have been damaged and therefore there were now two power lines, plus the one on standby, available to the plant.
The operator also said that the NPP off-site power needs could be provided with one power line available. Furthermore, diesel generators are ready and functional to provide back-up power. “Nevertheless, this is another example of where the safety pillar to secure off-site power supply from the grid for all nuclear sites has been compromised,” Director General Grossi said.
In addition, the regulator reported that the Unit 6 transformer had been taken out of service and was undergoing emergency repair after damage to its cooling system was detected following the events of 4 March.
These recent developments added to the IAEA’s growing concerns about the safety, security and safeguards impact of the conflict in Ukraine on the country’s nuclear facilities, including its four operating nuclear power plants as well as the Chornobyl site.
As part of his new initiative regarding Ukraine, Director General Grossi said he will travel to Antalya tomorrow at the invitation of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. “In meetings there, I hope to make progress on the urgent issue of ensuring the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. We need to act now,” he said.“ https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/update-16-iaea-director-general-statement-on-situation-in-ukraine
“Situation in Chornobyl very dangerous for both Europe and Russia – Podoliak 10.03.2022 10:20
The actions of Russian invaders at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant pose a threat to both Europe and Russia itself. The world must put much more pressure on Russia.
Mykhailo Podoliak, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, said this in a comment to the media, Ukrinform reports.
“The situation in Chornobyl in general is very dangerous. Due to the actions of the invaders, stable power supply to facilities there was suspended, and they simply should not be left without energy supply. This is a threat to the whole of Europe and, of course, to Russia itself,” he said.
At the same time, Podoliak said he was convinced that if the Russians started a war for the conquest of their neighbors in the spirit of the wars of the Middle Ages, then in such an ideological framework there is absolutely no place for modern science, modern infrastructure.
Therefore, according to him, it is not surprising that the invaders are shooting at nuclear power units, fighting on the sites of nuclear facilities, disrupting energy supplies.
“All these objects […] can be used as objects of blackmail,” Podoliak said.
He also recalled that the IAEA had stopped receiving mandatory data from the security monitoring system. That is, the world community earlier always had a picture of what is happening at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, but now no one understands what is happening there.
“If this is so, then the world must put much more pressure on Russia to literally oust the occupiers from Ukraine. The longer Russian troops stay in our country, the more these people from the Middle Ages create problems for everyone in Europe and for themselves,” Podoliak said.
As reported, the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant has been under the control of Russian invaders since March 4. The invaders seized the Chornobyl nuclear power plant on February 24, and since then there has been no opportunity to change personnel at the plant.
The Chornobyl NPP was completely blacked out as a result of the actions of the Russian occupiers. The fighting continues, and it is still impossible to carry out repair work and restore power supply.
The IAEA stopped receiving data from systems monitoring nuclear material at the radioactive waste facilities at the Chornobyl and Zaporizhia nuclear power plants.
As reported, on February 24, Russian President Putin announced the beginning of a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russian troops have been shelling and destroying key infrastructure, residential areas of Ukrainian cities and villages using artillery, MLRS and ballistic missiles.
Martial law was imposed in Ukraine and general mobilization was declared.” https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3425395-situation-in-chernobyl-very-dangerous-for-both-europe-and-russia-podoliak.html
Info in French. It clarifies that the spent fuel is probably ok in the short term https://www.sortirdunucleaire.org/Ukraine-Coupure-de-l-electricite-a-la-centrale-de-Tchernobyl
“The plant was shut down in 2000, but the deserted site still stores spent nuclear fuel from Chernobyl and other nuclear plants around Ukraine. All electricity to the zone was knocked out due to a powerline being cut during the Russian military’s advance.” https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/2022/march/ukraine-warns-of-radiation-risk-after-power-knocked-out-at-chernobyl-due-to-russian-attacks
Apparently sometimes spent fuel is moved from one cooling pool to the other. So, we don’t know if the spent nuclear fuel in cooling ponds at Chernobyl is simply the old waste.
Movement of spent fuel: https://www.kns.org/files/pre_paper/36/16A-409Nthato-Jay-Aar-Raboshaga.pdf