Scientist: Cooling of Zaporizhzhia plant will continue

According to IAEA, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station has enough water for ”some months.” Scientist posits that there is plentiful water.
Photo: Alexander Ermochenko
Photo: Alexander Ermochenko
By ritzau, translated by christian radich hoffman

Despite the fact that the dam at Nova Kakhovka was hit with explosions on Tuesday, the Kakhovka Reservoir can maintain its service to the nearby Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station, estimates Bent Lauritzen, head of section Radiation Physics at the Technical University of Denmark, adding that the situation is not as dire as it may have seemed initially.

”It is not cause for concern so far. The power plant is in a safe condition, and the assessment from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is that there will be other options for water supply as well.”

”So, as long as there are water and electricity running into the plant, they should remain able to cool the reactors, meaning conditions are safe,” he says.

Thursday, the Ukrainian state-owned company Ukrhydroenergo, which in is charge of the dam, reported that the water reservoir had fallen ”below the critical 12.7 meter-mark” due to the explosions.

The reservoir was therefore no longer able to supply water to the local pool that help keep the large power plant cooled.

Since then, another report has been concluded by the IAEA. The agency states that the nuclear power plant will continue to receive water supply from the reservoir.

”So far, the results indicate that the pumps can likely still be operated even if the level drops to around 11 metres or possibly lower,” the agency reported Thursday evening.

Earlier this week, the IAEA also reported that a local cooling dam was able to deliver sufficient water amounts to Zaporizhzhia to keep the plant cooled off for ”some months.”

Furthermore, Lauritzen estimates that we need not worry about the possibility of water supply depletion at that time.

”I don’t think that it [the water -ed.] will run out. In reality, current water usage is very, very low.”

”The need for cooling is down to something that looks like a thousandth fraction of the cooling need from when the reactors were fully operational,” he states.

Lauritzen goes on to explain that a reactor under normal circumstances needs about 40 cubic meters of water per second pumped through each reactor.

Now, it needs about 40 liters per second.

”As such, the cooling need is very small, and this mean that it will make do with the local reservoir for cooling, circulating the water as well,” Bent Lauritzen concludes.

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