Russia invades Ukraine and news of Vladimir Putin

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a close-up view of the Chernobyl nuclear facilities, Ukraine, on Thursday, March 10 (Satellite image © 2022 Maxar Technologies)

Repairs to Chernobyl’s electrical system, damaged during a March 9 Russian attack, are underway, the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Saturday, as the nuclear power plant now relies on external diesel generators to keep its reactors running.

Alexei Likhachev, director general of Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom, told the International Atomic Energy Agency that the additional fuel arrived on March 11.

Energoatom, operator of Ukraine’s nuclear power plant, told the International Atomic Energy Agency that 211 Chernobyl personnel and guards “remain unable to rotate, and in fact live there since the day before Russian forces took control.”

“[IAEA] “Director General Grossi has repeatedly stressed the urgent need to ensure that they rest and rotate properly, saying that this is also a vital component of a safe and secure nuclear energy operation,” the agency said in a statement.

Regarding the situation at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Ukraine said that the site was still under Russian control and that Moscow planned to have full and permanent control. It also said 400 Russian soldiers were “full-time” at the site.

Russia said the experts were at the Zaporizhia plant, but denied that it had “taken operational control” or that it had plans to take on permanent management of the site, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said the power supply for this plant remained unchanged, despite damage to two of its four power lines.

The IAEA added that eight of Ukraine’s 15 reactors are still operating, “including two at Zaporizhzhya NPP, three in Rivne, one in Khmelnytskyy, and two in southern Ukraine” and that “radiation levels remain normal.”

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