Dec 3, 2014

Nuclear incident in Ukraine, less than 700 km away from Romania’s eastern border, officially announced after five days

An accident had occurred on Friday, November 28, at the Zaporizhye nuclear power plant (NPP) in south-east Ukraine, less than 700 km away from Romania's eastern border, according to Ukrainian officials quoted by international media.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk revealed this during the first session of his new cabinet, on Wednesday, December 3, according to Reuters.

The incident was "a minor accident" and a reactor was switched off and put to maintenance as a result, according to the facility's website, writes Russia Today (RT).

Ukraine's energy minister, Vladimir Demchyshyn, said that the accident posed no risk. "There is no threat, there are no problems with the reactors," Demchyshyn said. He added the accident affected the power output system and "in no way" was linked to power production itself, according to RT.

The accident left several dozen towns and villages without electricity. The reactor will be restarted on December 5.

The Zaporizhye nuclear power plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and the fifth largest in the world. It has six nuclear reactors, each with an installed capacity of 1,000 MW. The plant produces one fifth of Ukraine's electricity.

Ukraine has a tragic history with nuclear accidents, following the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in 1986.

Romanian nuclear reactor also shuts down

Unit number one of the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant, in Eastern Romania, was also shut down, on Wednesday, December 3, due to technical problems. The reactor was disconnected from the power grid.

"The unit's systems operated in compliance with the project, without affecting the nuclear safety of the reactor, the operational staff, the population and the environment. After the remediation works are completed, Unit 1 will be reconnected to the National Power Grid," state-owned Nuclearelectrica, the company which operates the power plant, announced on Wednesday.

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