Ukrainian nuclear power plants located in Kiev-controlled territories will be at full capacity before winter to supply the country with electricity, the Ukrainian nuclear operator assured us on Monday.
Ukraine’s nuclear power plants ready to meet energy demand
“All the power we have will supply the power system”, after some reactors have been serviced before winter, Energoatom president Petr Kotin told reporters.
He was speaking at the Pivdennoukraïnsk power plant in southern Ukraine, on the occasion of the recommissioning of one of its three reactors – each with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts. Ukraine currently has three power plants – a total of nine reactors – on the territory it controls. The fourth and largest in Europe, Zaporijjia – with six reactors – has been occupied by Russian forces since March 2022.
“We’ll be entering winter with all nine reactors at full capacity,” said Mr. Kotin, adding that four reactors currently under repair will be operational before November, with a total output of almost 7,600 megawatts.
The Zaporijjia power plant is still under occupation. Zaporizhjia is 6,000 megawatts (…) So it’s very important that we regain control of it, and then “there would be no problem” in supplying electricity to Ukraine, he added.
Since the beginning of June, Kiev’s army has been conducting offensive operations in the east and south, notably near Zaporijjia, in an attempt to retake territories occupied by the Russians since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Ukrainian nuclear power plants spared by Russian bombardment
According to Mr. Kotin, Ukrainian-controlled nuclear power plants were “not directly affected” by the waves of Russian bombing raids on electricity infrastructure during the autumn and winter,
and left millions of Ukrainian homes without power. The Energoatom boss was also not surprised by the statement by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, that no explosives had been found by the agency’s experts on the roofs of the Zaporijjia plant.
In early July, Ukraine accused Moscow of preparing a “provocation”, with the army claiming that “objects similar to explosive devices had been placed” on the roofs of reactors 3 and 4.
The IAEA experts “had very limited access. They had access to the roofs of two units (out of six). They were not allowed to go into other units (…) They (the Russians) simply don’t allow access,” commented Petr Kotin.