Ukraine’s state-run nuclear power plant, Energoatom, claims that Russian forces at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant “plan to stop working power stations in the near future and disconnect them from the communication lines that supply power to Ukraine’s energy system. “
Energoatom’s claim is the latest in a barrage of accusations from both sides over security and military action in and around the plant, the largest nuclear complex in Europe. The lack of independent access to the factory makes it impossible to monitor what is happening there.
The Ukrainian operator said that “the Russian military is currently looking for suppliers of fuel for diesel generators, to be turned on after the shutdown of power plants and in the absence of an external power supply for nuclear fuel cooling systems.”
Although pro-Russian officials say their intention is to divert electricity produced in Zaporizhzhya to Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, no timetable for such action has been announced.
Energoatom also said the Russians had told the plant’s management to “limit the admission of personnel to the plant today, Aug. 19. Only operational personnel who ensure the operation of the power plants are allowed on the site.”
A factory clerk told DailyExpertNews on Friday that “we had planned to be at work today, but Thursday night the manager announced that we were at home.” The employee has previously spoken to DailyExpertNews; their identities are not disclosed for their safety.
Energoatom accused Russian troops of several artillery strikes that took place in the area late Thursday. It said the attacks were from close range.
DailyExpertNews cannot verify which strikes occurred, nor who was responsible. According to satellite images analyzed by DailyExpertNews, a number of rockets and grenades have landed on the factory’s territory in the past month.