Experts from the IAEA need greater access to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) to verify a "significant discrepancy" in the data on water levels at the blown-up Kakhovka dam, which is used to cool the plant's reactors.
This was stated by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi, according to the agency's website.
He noted that the level of the Kakhovka reservoir has been falling rapidly since the lower dam was seriously damaged last week due to the explosion of the hydroelectric power plant by the Russian occupiers.
According to the data obtained by IAEA experts at the ZNPP site, on June 11, the water level at the Zaporizhzhia Thermal Power Plant (ZTPP) was estimated at 11.27 meters, compared to almost 17 meters before the dam was destroyed.
At the same time, the height reportedly continues to fall elsewhere in the huge reservoir, which could lead to a difference of about 2 meters compared to the level reported by the ZTPP.
Thus, the height of the water level is a key parameter for the long-term operation of water pumps, the statement said.
"It is possible that this discrepancy in the measured levels is caused by an isolated body of water separated from the larger body of the reservoir. But we will only be able to know when we gain access to the thermal power plant," Grossi emphasizes.
The IAEA also reported that at the current height of the ZNPP reservoir, water pumps continue to operate. However, they are not currently in constant operation, as both the ZTPP canal and the large cooling pond near ZNPP are full and have sufficient water reserves for cooling needs for several months.
The ZNPP cooling pond and the ZTPP discharge channel are both integral to continuing to supply cooling water and the Director General stressed again that maintaining their integrity is vital for the safety of the plant.
"The thermal power plant plays a key role for the safety and security of the nuclear power plant a few kilometres away. I fully expect that our experts will be able to go there very soon to independently assess the situation. I will also personally raise this important matter with the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant," he added.-
Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 12/06/2023