Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

A Russian serviceman patrols the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Energodar on May 1, 2022.
A Russian serviceman patrols the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Energodar on May 1, 2022. (Andrey Borodulin/AFP/Getty Images)

Today the International Atomic Energy Agency said that one of the main power lines of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been repaired and again supplies the plant with electricity from the Ukrainian grid.

Ukraine relies heavily on nuclear power – about half of its electricity comes from 15 nuclear reactors at four power plants across the country, according to the World Nuclear Association.

The plant under Russian control, with six reactors, is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. It was mainly built during the Soviet era and became Ukrainian property after its declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Zaporizhzhia plant is located on the east bank of the Dnipro River in Ukraine. The area and the nuclear complex are under Russian control since the beginning of the warbut the plant is still mostly operated by Ukrainian workers.

Each of Zaporizhzhia’s reactors would cost $7 billion to replace, making the plant a target for the Russians to capture intact, hoping to serve its own electricity market, according to an analysis by the defense intelligence firm and Security Janes. If Russia kept it, Ukraine would lose 20% of its national electricity production capacity.

What does his position on the front line mean?

Shelling in surrounding towns as well as near the power station is common, according to local reports.

Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of bombing the site. CNN cannot independently verify the claims of either government.

The international community is on high alert over nuclear safety, but experts believe a Chernobyl-like disaster is unlikely. Yet risks remain, one of which is the potential damage to nuclear waste stored in the open at the site – in water ponds and in drums, according to Petro Kotin, chairman of Energoatom, which runs nuclear power plants. nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Visit to the IAEA

Where Sept. Feb. 1, an IAEA team visited the plant for the first time since the Russian invasion on Feb. 1. 24. The team observed damage to the roofs of various buildings, the special building that houses the new nuclear fuel and the storage facility for solid radioactive waste. They also witnessed shelling during the visit and called on both sides to cease hostilities in the area.

IAEA Director Rafael Grossi has since called for a nuclear safe zone around the factory and the surrounding area. Two members of the IAEA remain on site.