Ukraine attempting to restore electricity to Chernobyl nuclear power plant

Ukrainian technicians have started repairing damaged power lines in an attempt to restore external electricity supplies to the site of the Russian-controlled Chernobyl nuclear power plant that were entirely cut earlier in the week, according to International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi.

Ukraine’s regulatory authority said work began Thursday and technicians had succeeded in repairing one section, but off-site electrical power was still down, indicating there was still damage in other places.

Emergency diesel generators have been providing backup power to the site since Wednesday, and the regulator has reported that additional fuel had been delivered to the facility, the IAEA said.

The regulator lost communications with the site on Thursday and, as a result, it cannot provide information to the IAEA about the radiological monitoring at the facility, according to Grossi.

The regulator is still receiving information about the situation there through senior off-site management of the plant, Grossi said.

The plant’s disconnection from the grid will not have a critical impact on essential safety functions at the site, however, staff is facing increasingly difficult conditions.

At least 211 technical personnel and guards have been living at the site for more than two weeks, and there is concern about the availability of food reserves, the regulator said.

The IAEA said eight of the country’s 15 reactors remained operating. Radiation levels at the locations were normal, the IAEA said.