IAEA chief confirms last operational reactor at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is in cold-shutdown mode

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi on Monday confirmed the cold shutdown of reactor number 6, the final reactor at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) that had been operational.

“At the moment, the plant is in cold shut down and we have been able to stabilize it,” Grossi said at a news conference in Vienna.

Grossi explained that Unit 6 went into “island mode,” providing low level power input to the plant but that that was not sustainable.

Concerns about the plant: Grossi opened the news conference by saying that his two primary concerns are that the shelling continues, and that there is obviously ongoing concern of any direct impact on the reactors and associated facilities, in particular the spent fuel areas which could have serious consequences.

The other primary concern is the lack of external power into the plant, that is essential to continue operations.

When pressed by reporters about whether Ukraine would keep all the reactors in cold shutdown for safety reasons, Grossi said that independent of the reactors being in cold-shutdown, with the external power interrupted, the plant could still face a nuclear accident.

He said repeatedly that it was up to Ukraine whether or not to keep the reactors in that mode, saying that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky considered the plant’s operations “very important” as part of their national electrical grid.

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