Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant
47°30′30″N 34°35′04″E / 47.50833°N 34.58444°E / 47.50833; 34.58444Coordinates 22: 47°30′30″N 34°35′04″E / 47.50833°N 34.58444°E / 47.50833; 34.58444
Unit 2: 1 January 1981
Unit 3: 1 April 1982
Unit 4: 1 April 1983
Unit 5: 1 November 1985
Unit 6: 1 June 1986
Unit 2: 15 February 1986
Unit 3: 5 March 1987
Unit 4: 14 April 1988
Unit 5: 27 October 1989
Unit 6: 17 September 1996
Rosatom (De facto)
Rosatom (De facto)
- 29,299 GWh (2016)
- 38,000 GWh
|1–6.||Reactor units 1–6|
|8.||Training building shelled|
|9.||Radioactive waste storage|
The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station (Ukrainian: Запорізька атомна електростанція, romanized: Zaporizʹka atomna elektrostantsiya) in southeastern Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and among the 10 largest in the world. It was built by the Soviet Union near the city of Enerhodar, on the southern shore of the Kakhovka Reservoir on the Dnieper river. It is operated by Energoatom, who also operate Ukraine's other three nuclear power stations.
The plant has six VVER-1000 pressurized light water nuclear reactors (PWR), each fuelled with 235U (LEU) and generating 950 MWe, for a total power output of 5,700 MWe. The first five were successively brought online between 1985 and 1989, and the sixth was added in 1995. The plant generates nearly half of the country's electricity derived from nuclear power, and more than a fifth of total electricity generated in Ukraine. The Zaporizhzhia thermal power station is nearby.
On 4 March 2022, the nuclear and thermal power stations were both captured by Russian forces during the Battle of Enerhodar of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. As of 12 March 2022[update] the plant is reportedly controlled by the Russian company Rosatom. The plant continued to be operated by Ukrainian staff, under Russian control, until 11 September 2022, when the sixth reactor was disconnected.
The spent nuclear fuel is stored in cooling pools inside the reactor containments for up to five years. It is then transferred to an on-site dry cask storage facility that was commissioned in 2004.
The electricity generated is supplied to the Ukrainian grid through four 750kV overhead transmission lines and one 330kV line. One of the 750kV lines runs northwards across the Kakhovka Reservoir and on to the Dniprovska substation just south of Vilnohirsk in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. The last-built of the 750kV lines runs 186 km south-westward to the Kakhovska substation just west of Nova Kakhovka and was commissioned in 2021. The 330kV line runs to the neighbouring thermal power station.
In May 2014, 40 armed members claiming to be representatives of Right Sector allegedly tried to gain access to the power plant area. The men were stopped by the Ukrainian police before entering into Enerhodar.
The Zaporizhzhia power plant is located around 200 km away from the War in Donbas combat zone, where fighting became very severe in 2014. On 31 August 2014, a Greenpeace member, Tobias Münchmeyer, expressed concerns the plant could be hit by heavy artillery from the fighting.
On 3 December 2014, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk announced the occurrence of an incident several days before at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. The cause of the incident was reported as a short circuit in the power outlet system and was not linked to the site's production. One of the six reactors of the plant was shut down twice in December 2014. This and lack of coal for Ukraine's coal-fired power stations led to rolling blackouts throughout the country from early until late December 2014.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
At 11:28pm local time on 3 March 2022, a column of 10 Russian armored vehicles and two tanks approached the power plant. Fighting commenced at 12:48am on 4 March when Ukraine forces fired anti-tank missiles. Russian forces responded with a variety of weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades. During approximately two hours of heavy combat, a fire broke out in a training facility outside the main complex, which was extinguished by 6:20am, though other sections surrounding the plant sustained damage. The fire did not impact reactor safety or any essential equipment. The plant lost 1.3 GW of capacity. It was later learned that a large caliber bullet pierced an outer wall of Reactor No. 4 and an artillery shell hit a transformer at Reactor No. 6.
Ukrayinska Pravda reported on 12 March that the plant's management was told by Russian authorities that the plant now belonged to Rosatom, Russia's state nuclear power company. It continued to operate and supply data, including from a remote monitoring system, to the IAEA. It continued to be operated by Ukrainian staff, under Russian control.
From July, the situation has escalated significantly, leading to ongoing crisis. On 3 September an IAEA delegation visited the plant and on 6 September a report was published documenting damage and potential threats to plant security caused by external shelling and the presence of occupying troops in the plant.
On 11 September 2022, the final reactor was disconnected, as the plant entered cold shut down to minimize risks caused by continued shelling.
Reactor 2 during the September IAEA inspection
Grossi, Evrard and mission team members at the plant on 1 September 2022
- IAEA inspectors visit Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine amid shelling, shutdown
- Energy in Ukraine
- Enerhodar Dnipro Powerline Crossing
- List of power stations in Ukraine
- Nuclear power in Ukraine
- Crisis at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant
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Ukraine Briefly Cuts Power to Crimea Amid Feud With Russia Over NATO Archived 29 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine, New York Times (24 December 2014)
Coal import to help avoid rolling blackouts in Ukraine — energy minister Archived 8 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine, ITAR-TASS (31 December 2014)
Rolling blackouts in Ukraine after nuclear plant accident Archived 31 October 2020 at the Wayback Machine, Mashable (3 December 2014)
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- Official website
- History of ZNPP
- Information about the plant from INSC website