“Emergency shutdown” at one of world’s largest nuclear plants — Local Official: “Radiation is 14 times higher than acceptable norm” in area; Warns of Chernobyl-type disaster — Gov’t: Levels are “within acceptable limits”, incident is under investigation — Second accident at plant this month
Published: December 29th, 2014 at 1:11 pm ET
AP, Dec 29, 2014 (emphasis added): One unit of Ukraine’s Zaporozhiya nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, has been taken offline… State nuclear power company Energoatom says the unit was disconnected… to prevent internal damage to the generator. It did not give further details, but said radiation in the area is within acceptable limits. It is the second time this month that a unit at the plant has been taken out of service…
The Independent, Dec 28, 2014: Ukraine turns off reactor at its most powerful nuclear plantafter ‘accident’; Prime Minister calls for the truth as electrical fault revives memories of Chernobyl — Ukraine shut down one of the six reactors… because of an apparent electrical malfunction… An official statement said the plant was “operating at 40 per cent power… The reasons for the outage are being investigated”… The Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, noted the previous outage during one of his Cabinet sessions, urging ministers to tell the truth about “the accident”… In May, the power station was the backdrop to an armed confrontation… the pro-Ukrainian paramilitary force… said it had come to remove “pro-Russian” agitators who, it claimed, had been operating inside the plant.
Rossiya Segodnya (Russian gov’t news agency), Dec 29, 2014: Radiation Levels Spike at Zaporhizhia Nuclear Plant: DPR Official — According to Donetsk People’s Republic official radiation spike was caused by a failed attempt to replace Russian-made fuel rods with US components. Radiation levels at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant are 14 times higher than normal, according to DPR representative Denis Pushilin… [The] state nuclear corporation, Energoatom, denied Pushilin’s claims and declared that currently, radiation levels at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and in its vicinity are within acceptable parameters.
Radio Free Europe, Dec 29, 2014: Ukraine Separatist Leader Warns Against Using U.S. Nuclear Fuel… The Russian news agency Interfax reported that in a statement on December 28, [Denis] Pushilin said Ukraine faces “a second Chornobyl” due to Kyiv’s decision to use nuclear fuel supplied by Westinghouse… Pushilin said that “currently the level of radiation is 14 times higher than the acceptable norm” in the area around the Zaporizhzhya plant… Interfax said it could not confirm “from any other source” the separatist official’s claim of dangerous levels of radioactivity near the plant… Westinghouse has a contract to supply some 10 percent to 15 percent of Ukraine’s nuclear fuel.
Radio Free, Dec 28, 2014: Donetsk Separatist Official Warns Of Second Chornobyl… Pushilin said “currently the level of radiation is 14 times higher than the acceptable norm” in the area around the Zaparizhzhya plant and that the problem started November 28…
RT, Dec 29, 2014: Emergency shutdown at Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant… This accident took place on Sunday morning at 05:59 am local time. Causes are still being investigated… Two Zaporizhia NPP reactors are to be decommissioned for complete overhaul in February 2015… Throughout 2014 Zaporizhzhya NPP came into the spotlight of world media on several occasions. In May, Ukrainian police prevented a group of armed men… from entering… Then the news came that Kiev had signed a new deal with America’s leading nuclear fuel producer, Westinghouse Electric Company… This was done despite the fact that using US fuel rods was banned in 2012 due to dangerous incompatibility… In August, Greenpeace expressed concern that Zaporizhia NPP is vulnerable to ‘direct bombardment’ in Ukraine if caught in the conflict.