Russia-Ukraine conflict: Nuclear plant fire raises contamination scare
9th Mar, 2022
Russian troops seized the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe (Ukraine’s Zaphorizhzhia nuclear power plant).
About Ukraine’s Nuclear Power Plants:
- Ukraine is heavily dependent on nuclear energy.
- In 2020, the 4 plants generated 13,107 GWe power, the third largest in Europe after Russia and France.
- Ukraine operates 15 nuclear reactors that generate around 54 per cent of the country's electricity needs.
- Ukraine has four nuclear plants, and all 15 “water-water energy reactors”, or VVER, are located in these plants.
- VVERs are water cooled and water moderated.
- As many as 12 of the reactors were developed in the 1980s, while one came up in 1995 and the last two in 2004.
- The four plants are the:
- Rivne plant in northwest Ukraine near the Belarus border
- Khmelnytskyi plant located around 180 km (110 miles) southeast of the Rivne site
- South Ukraine plant near Odessa
- Zaporizhzhia plant
About Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant:
- The 6GW Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, located in Energodar, Ukraine, is the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe.
- Zaporizhzhya is one of the four operating NPPs in the country and generates up to 42 billion kWh of electricity, accounting for about 40% of the total electricity generated by all the Ukrainian NPPs and one-fifth of Ukraine’s annual electricity production.
- The Zaporizhzhya NPP consists of six pressurised water reactor (PWR) units commissioned between 1984 and 1995, with a gross electrical capacity of 1,000MW each.
- The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power facility is situated on a 104.7ha site on the banks of the Kakhovka reservoir.
- The Steppe zone of Ukraine was selected because of available infrastructure at the nearby Zaporozhe Thermal Power Plant, land unsuitable for agriculture and its distance from foreign territories.