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Power Supply Restored at Nuclear Plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine Says

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Ukraine’s energy minister said Sunday that power supply has been restored at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which Russian troops have occupied since late February.

Ukrainian government officials had said Wednesday that damage by Russian forces had “disconnected” the plant from outside electricity, leaving the site dependent on power from diesel generators and backup supplies.

In a post on Facebook, Ukraine’s energy minister, Herman Galushchenko said that the plant was no longer on backup power and had resumed operating under normal conditions. He praised Ukrainian power engineers for risking their lives to “avert the risk of a possible nuclear catastrophe.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency said last week that there was no need for immediate alarm over the condition of the decommissioned plant but that the situation around the site remained a source of grave concern.

In an update on Saturday, Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the I.A.E.A., said he had received a letter from the plant’s operator saying that about 400 Russian soldiers were “present full time on site” and that the plant was under control of Russian forces. Mr. Grossi expressed concern that the Chernobyl plant’s 211-member staff had not been able to rotate shifts since Feb. 23, a day before Russian forces occupied the site.

Mr. Galushchenko on Sunday called on the European Commission, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to help Ukraine protect its nuclear facilities.

“It is now imperative to force the enemy to leave the nuclear power plant and establish a 30-kilometer demilitarized zone around Ukraine’s nuclear facilities,” he said.

David E. Sanger and Henry Fountain contributed reporting.


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