A radioactive leak has been detected at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in Europe, a media report says, citing the country’s emergency services. Ukrainian officials have denied the report.
LifeNews published what it claims is a leaked report by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, which denies an earlier assessment by the plant’s authorities that the radiation at the facility is equal to the natural background following an incident on Sunday.
RT is trying to verify the report.
Ukrainian authorities have denied the Russian media reports that a radioactive leak had taken place at the plant, Reuters reported. “The plant works normally, there have been no accidents,” an energy ministry official told the news agency. No official comment on whether the leaked documents are authentic has been provided.
On Sunday, one reactor at the plant was automatically shut down after a glitch, becoming the second halt in operations in recent weeks. The reactor was running at 40 percent of nominal power, the plant’s official website said, adding that radiation at the facility being at the level of 8-12 microroentgens an hour.
The error was later announced to have been corrected, and the troubled unit – Power Block # 6 – was plugged back into the network.
On November 28, Zaporozhye‘s Unit 3 was switched off for almost a week. The shutdown, which was reportedly caused by a short circuit, was made public five days later, when Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk revealed it during the first meeting of his new Cabinet.
Regarding the November incident, Ukrainian authorities have contacted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The agency was informed that “a reactor at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant remained safely shut down following a short circuit in the plant’s transformer yard last week,” its December 3 statement said.
Ukraine’s State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate has said no radioactive materials were released because of the shutdown, the IAEA added. The incident was preliminarily estimated to be a level 0-rated event on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, which ranges from 0 to 7.
Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is one of the four nuclear power plants in the country, which together supply a large part of Ukraine’s energy needs. The Zaporozhye plant alone, Europe’s largest, supplies at least one-fifth of the country’s power needs. It is the world’s fifth-largest nuclear power plant.