Chernobyl crisis: Ukraine on red alert as plant loses power AGAIN

Russia could use Chernobyl to 'blackmail' Europe says expert

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The plant has lost power again, less than a day after Ukraine announced its power had been restored. Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst ever nuclear disaster, has been in Russian control since the first few days of the invasion. Ukraine’s grid operator, Ukrenergo, announced on Sunday the plant had regained its power after Russian troops reportedly shut the power off last week.

But now, less than 24 hours after reportedly coming back online, the operator has blamed Russian troops for a second power outage.

This has sparked fears radioactive material could leak from the plant – because a cooling system regulating nuclear waste has to run on a backup diesel generator.

Around 210 staff of the plant were taken hostage when the Russian’s captured the plant.

The troops have not let the staff leave and have forced them to keep working to maintain the site.

Now, staff at Chernobyl are reportedly refusing to carrying out anymore safety-related repairs due to sheer exhaustion, according to the UN’s nuclear watchdog.

But Ukrenergo said it will attempt another repair, although it has not specified how long that will take.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has also stressed panic over the safety of Chernobyl’s nuclear waste is not necessary as it would bring no “critical impact on safety”.

It claims the cooling system should do enough to keep the spent fuel in a safe condition.

But Ukrenergo took a different tone.

It warned on Facebook: “The Chornobyl NPP [Nuclear Power Plant] is an important facility that cannot be left without a reliable energy supply.

“Unimpeded and quick access of Ukrenergo repair crews to these lines for inspections and repairs is extremely important not only for Ukrainian consumers but also for Europe as a whole.”

It even added that the plant’s power would help “avoid a repeat disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant”.

This comes after Ukraine’s intelligence department warned Putin was plotting a terrorist attack on the Chernobyl plant.

The department tweeted: “Putin is preparing a terrorist attack on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

“The Russian-controlled Chernobyl nuclear power plant plans to create a man-made catastrophe, for which the occupiers will try to shift responsibility to Ukraine.”

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Since the takeover, Ukraine’s nuclear regulator has only been able to communicate with staff through email.

According to reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), those communications ceased last week.

Ukraine’s intel chiefs said: “Without getting the desired result from the ground military operation and direct negotiations, Putin is ready to commit to the nuclear blackmail of the world community for the sake of actions to support Ukraine.

“Putin’s actions will have catastrophic consequences for the whole world.

“Looks like this is exactly what the Russian dictator is counting on, demanding unacceptable actions.”

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