Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

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Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station
Kernkraftwerk Saporischschja.JPG
Two cooling towers at left (one largely obscured by the other) and the six reactor buildings viewed from the Nikopol shore. The large building between the cooling towers and the reactors, and the two tall smokestacks, are at the Zaporizhzhia thermal power station, beyond the nuclear plant.
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Official nameЗапорізька атомна електростанція
LocationEnerhodar, Zaporizhzhia Oblast
CoordinatesLua error in Module:Coordinates at line 492: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Construction beganUnit 1: 1 April 1980
Unit 2: 1 January 1981
Unit 3: 1 April 1982
Unit 4: 1 April 1983
Unit 5: 1 November 1985
Unit 6: 1 June 1986
Commission dateUnit 1: 25 December 1985
Unit 2: 15 February 1986
Unit 3: 5 March 1987
Unit 4: 14 April 1988
Unit 5: 27 October 1989
Unit 6: 17 September 1996
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR
Reactor supplierAtomstroyexport
Cooling towers2
Cooling sourceKakhovka Reservoir
Thermal capacity6 × 3000 MWth
Power generation
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Nameplate capacity5700 MW
Capacity factor58.68%
External links[dead link]

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station (Ukrainian: Запорізька атомна електростанція, romanized: Zaporizʹka atomna elektrostantsiya) in southeastern Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and among the 10 largest in the world. It was built by the Soviet Union near the city of Enerhodar, on the southern shore of the Kakhovka Reservoir on the Dnieper river. It is operated by Energoatom, who also operate Ukraine's other three nuclear power stations.

The plant has 6 VVER-1000 pressurized light water nuclear reactors (PWR), each fuelled with 235U (LEU)[1] and generating 950 MWe, for a total power output of 5,700 MWe.[2] The first five were successively brought online between 1985 and 1989, and the sixth was added in 1995. The plant generates nearly half of the country's electricity derived from nuclear power,[3] and more than a fifth of total electricity generated in Ukraine.[4] The Zaporizhzhia thermal power station is nearby.

On 4 March 2022, the nuclear and thermal power stations were both captured by Russian forces during the Battle of Enerhodar of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[5][6][7][8] As of 12 March 2022 the plant is reportedly controlled by the Russian company Rosatom.[9] The plant continues to be operated by Ukrainian staff, under Russian control.[10]

Operational status

In 2017 modernization work was completed on unit 3, enabling a 10 year life-extension to 2027.[3] In 2021 modernization work was completed on unit 5, enabling a 10 year life-extension.[11]


In 2014

In May 2014, 40 armed members claiming to be representatives of Right Sector allegedly tried to gain access to the power plant area.[12] The men were stopped by the Ukrainian police before entering into Enerhodar.

The Zaporizhzhia power plant is located around 200 km away from the War in Donbas combat zone, where fighting became very severe in 2014. On 31 August 2014, a Greenpeace member, Tobias Münchmeyer, expressed concerns the plant could be hit by heavy artillery from the fighting.

On 3 December 2014, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk announced the occurrence of an incident several days before at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.[13] The cause of the incident was reported as a short circuit in the power outlet system and was not linked to the site's production.[14] One of the six reactors of the plant was shut down twice in December 2014.[15] This and lack of coal for Ukraine's coal-fired power stations led to rolling blackouts throughout the country from early until late December 2014.[15]

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

Annotated 27 February 2022 Landsat 9 photograph of Zaporizhzia Nuclear Power Plant
1–6.Reactor units 1–6
7.Electricity pylons
8.Training building shelled
9.Radioactive waste storage
10.Cooling pond
11.Cooling towers
12.Kakhovka Reservoir
System-search.svg⧼Seealso⧽: Battle of Enerhodar.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February 2022, Energoatom shut down Units 5 and 6 to reduce risk, keeping Units 1 to 4 in operation on 25 February 2022.[16]

At 11:28pm local time on 3 March 2022, a column of 10 Russian armored vehicles and two tanks approached the power plant.[17][18] Fighting commenced at 12:48am on 4 March when Ukraine forces fired anti-tank missiles. Russian forces responded with a variety of weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades.[17] During approximately two hours of heavy combat, a fire broke out in a training facility outside the main complex, which was extinguished by 6:20am,[19][20][21] though other sections surrounding the plant sustained damage.[17][22] The fire did not impact reactor safety or any essential equipment.[22][23][21] The plant lost 1.3 GW of capacity.[24]

Ukrayinska Pravda reported on 12 March that the plant's management was told by Russian authorities that the plant now belonged to Rosatom, Russia's state nuclear power company.[9] It continued to operate and supply data, including from a remote monitoring system, to the IAEA.[25] It continued to be operated by Ukrainian staff, under Russian control.[10]

On 5 July 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported that Russian forces arranged a military base in the complex by deploying heavy self-propelled multiple rocket launcher BM-30 Smerch.[26] On 19 July 2022, three Ukrainian suicide drones attacked Russian equipment and tents at the site. Ukraine's Ministry of Defense said that three Russian occupiers were killed and twelve injured.[27] The occupation administration was reported as saying that at least eleven employees were injured. An occupation official said the reactors were not damaged and it was unlikely they were the target.[28]

On 3 August 2022, Rafael Grossi, head of the IAEA, expressed grave concerns about the physical integrity of the plant, whether all necessary repairs and maintenance were being done, and the security of nuclear material.[10] A mission to inspect the plant was being planned by the IAEA, waiting on approval by Ukrainian and Russian sides, as well as United Nations authorisation. Ukraine's state nuclear company Energoatom opposed an IAEA visit because "any visit would legitimise Russia's presence there". Occupation official Yevhen Balytskyi invited IAEA to visit to show how the Russians were guarding the facility while Ukrainians were attacking it.[29] By 6 August 2022 IAEA reported one of three reactors remaining in operation disconnected from the grid and triggered its emergency protection system as a result of shelling the previous day.[30]

On 8 August 2022, damage was reported at the plant. Ukrainian authorities said that Russian shelling had damaged three radiation sensors and left a worker hospitalised; Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of waging "nuclear terror". Local Russian-backed authorities said that Ukrainian forces had hit the site with a multiple rocket launcher, damaging administrative buildings and an area near a nuclear storage facility. UN secretary general Guterres said "any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing", calling for IAEA inspectors to be given access.[31] Ukraine's Energoatom called for a demilitarised zone around the plant with international peacekeepers deployed.[32]

On 9 August the head of Energoatom said that Russia plans to disconnect the station from the Ukrainian grid and connect it to the Russian grid.[33]

On 11 August the complex was shelled several times, including near where radioactive materials were stored. Ukraine said that Russia did the shelling, while Russian officials said that Ukraine did it.[34][35]

On 14 August Zelenskyy accused Russia of stationing troops at the plant to fire at the cities of Nikopol and Marhanets across Kakhovka Reservoir.[36]


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41.278902° N, 129.085244° E

todo: add more detail

See also


  1. Kosourov, E.; Pavlov, V.; Pavlovcev, A.; Spirkin, E. (2003), Improved VVER-1000 fuel cycle (PDF), Moscow, Russia: RRC Kurchatov Institute, retrieved 5 March 2022
  2. "Nuclear Power Plants in Lithuania & Ukraine". Archived from the original on 9 December 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Zaporozhe 3 enters next 10 years of operation". World Nuclear News. 7 November 2017. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  4. "SS "Zaporizhzhia NPP"". Archived from the original on 27 October 2020. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  5. Polityuk, Pavel; Vasovic, Aleksandar; Irish, John (4 March 2022). "Russian forces seize huge Ukrainian nuclear plant, fire extinguished". Reuters. Archived from the original on 4 March 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  6. Daniel Ten Kate, David Stringer (4 March 2022). "Russian Forces Occupy Site of Nuclear Plant as Fire Contained". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 4 March 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  7. Boynton, Sean (4 March 2022). "Russian troops capture Europe's largest power plant in Ukraine after intense battle". Global News. Archived from the original on 4 March 2022.
  8. "Russia Seizes Ukraine Nuclear Plant Hours After Attack: 10 Points". Archived from the original on 4 March 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Petrenko, Roman (12 March 2022). "Invaders seize Zaporizhzhia power plant and claims it is part of Rosatom". Ukrayinska Pravda. Retrieved 12 March 2022.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Lederer, Edith M. (3 August 2022). "UN nuclear chief: Ukraine nuclear plant is 'out of control'". AP News. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  11. "Energoatom marks life extension of Ukraine's Zaporozhye 5". Nuclear Engineering International. 1 February 2021. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  12. Охорона ЗАЕС заблокувала групу озброєних осіб [ZNPP security blocked a group of armed men]. Ukrinform (in українська). Archived from the original on 21 July 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  13. "Ukraine Reports Accident At Nuclear Power Plant, But Says Poses No Danger". Huffington Post. 3 December 2014. Archived from the original on 3 December 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  14. "Ukraine energy minister says 'no threat' from accident at nuclear plant". Reuters. 3 December 2014. Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Ukraine turns off reactor at its most powerful nuclear plant after 'accident' Archived 19 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine, The Independent (28 December 2014)
    Ukraine Briefly Cuts Power to Crimea Amid Feud With Russia Over NATO Archived 29 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine, New York Times (24 December 2014)
    Coal import to help avoid rolling blackouts in Ukraine — energy minister Archived 8 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine, ITAR-TASS (31 December 2014)
    Rolling blackouts in Ukraine after nuclear plant accident Archived 31 October 2020 at the Wayback Machine, Mashable (3 December 2014)
    Ukraine to Import Coal From ‘Far Away’ as War Curtails Mines Archived 9 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Bloomberg News (31 December 2014)
  16. Kraev, Kamen (25 February 2022). "Energoatom shuts down Zaporozhye-5 and −6 as rest of fleet remains safe and operational". NucNet. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Video analysis reveals Russian attack on Ukrainian nuclear plant veered near disaster". NPR. 11 March 2022. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  18. "Security Council debates Russian strike on Ukraine nuclear power plant". UN News. 4 March 2022. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  19. "Ukraine nuclear power plant attack: All you need to know". Al Jazeera. 4 March 2022. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  20. Update on the human rights situation in Ukraine (Reporting period: 24 February – 26 March) United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine
  21. 21.0 21.1 Campbell, Charlie (21 April 2022). "As Putin threatens nuclear disaster, Europe learns to embrace nuclear energy again". Time. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  22. 22.0 22.1 "IAEA appeal after shelling and fire at Zaporozhe". World Nuclear News. 4 March 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  23. "IAEA Director General Grossi's initiative to travel to Ukraine". 4 March 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  24. "TPP compensates for the shutdown of Zaporizhzhya NPP". 4 March 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2022.
  25. "Ukraine says any IAEA visit to occupied Zaporizhzhia 'unacceptable'". World Nuclear News. 27 May 2022. Retrieved 31 May 2022.
  26. Hinshaw, Drew; Parkinson, Joe (5 July 2022). "Russian Army Turns Ukraine's Largest Nuclear Plant Into a Military Base". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 5 July 2022. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  27. "Ukrainian kamikaze drone hits Russian positions near Zaporizhia NPP". Ukrinform. 22 July 2022. Retrieved 22 July 2022.
  28. Vasilyeva, Nataliya (20 July 2022). "'Kamikaze drones' strike Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 July 2022.
  29. Allen, Claudia; Jackson, Patrick (3 August 2022). "Ukraine war: IAEA says Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant out of control". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  30. "Update 88 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine". IAEA. 6 August 2022. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  31. Koshiw, Isobel (8 August 2022). "Attack on Ukraine nuclear plant 'suicidal', says UN chief as he urges access to site". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  32. Zinets, Natalia; Hunder, Max (8 August 2022). "Ukraine calls for demilitarised zone around nuclear plant hit by shelling". Reuters. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  33. "Russia to connect Zaporizhzhia NPP to Russian-controlled power grid in Crimea". Ukrainska Pravda. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  34. "Ukraine, Russia blame each other for shelling of nuclear plant". Reuters. 12 August 2022. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  35. "Росіяни 4 рази за день обстріляли ЗАЕС і околиці – Енергоатом" [The Russians shelled the ZNPP and its precinct 4 times in a day – Energoatom] (in українська). Ukrayinska Pravda. 11 August 2022.
  36. "Live: Zelensky accuses Russian soldiers of staging attacks from Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant". France 24. 14 August 2022. Retrieved 14 August 2022.

External links