Ukrainian Nuclear Plant Shuts Down Last Reactor

Reconnected power lines will be used for cooling No. 6, operator says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2022 2:20 PM CDT
Last Reactor at Nuclear Plant Held by Russians Is Shut Down
Refugees from eastern Ukraine receive humanitarian aid at a distribution point in Zaporizhzhia on Monday.   (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

The operator of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia power plant, now held by Russian forces, announced Sunday they're shutting down its last operating reactor. Energoatom said electrical power is again flowing to the plant, which will be used to cool Reactor No. 6, NPR reports. For several days, the reactor has been used to power other cooling systems in the southern Ukraine plant. Energoatom officials consider taking the reactor down to be the "best available, but temporary" option, considering concerns that power lines to the grid could again be damaged. That would require using emergency diesel generators to cool the reactors and head off a nuclear meltdown.

Countries and agencies around the world—as well as President Volodymyr Zelensky—have warned that Russian shelling in the area could cause a nuclear catastrophe. French President Emmanuel Macron implored Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call Sunday to pull its forces, and their weapons, out of the plant, per CNN. France said Macron will follow up with Putin in a few days. A statement said Macron also repeated his demands that Russian military operations in Ukraine "cease as soon as possible, that negotiations begin and that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine be restored." (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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