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Ukraine says unit 4 at Zaporizhzhia NPP put into ‘hot shutdown’ state, claims it could lead to accident

Source: Meduza

Ukrainian state-run company Energoatom says that power unit No. 4 of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP), which is controlled by Russian troops, has been put into a “hot shutdown” state as of July 24.

“Such an action is a gross violation of the license requirements to operate the nuclear facility. Right now, the operation of power unit No. 4 of ZNPP should be done exclusively in a ‘cold shutdown’ state,” the company said in a statement.

According to Energoatom, the risks associated with running the unit in a “hot shutdown” state stem from the fact that the unit’s equipment has been idle for a long time, and has not been maintained or repaired.

Energoatom called the actions of Russian forces “a violation of Ukraine’s nuclear legislation” and called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take measures to influence the Russian military.

At the same time, IAEA head Rafael Grossi said that the organization’s experts saw several mines located in the buffer zone between the inner and outer perimeter of the plant during their inspection on July 23. The mines were in a restricted area that the plant’s personnel do not have access to.

Energoatom has been warning since early July that Russian authorities were preparing to put one of the power units into a “hot shutdown” mode. The IAEA also spoke about such plans, which would create nuclear and radiation safety risks. The head of Energoatom, Petr Kotin, speculated that an accident could occur at the plant if Unit 4 were put into a “hot shutdown” state.

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