Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant's main power line down for hours, no safety threat

FILE PHOTO: View shows Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant from the bank of Kakhovka Reservoir in Nikopol

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russia said the main power line supplying the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) in Ukraine was down for more than three hours on Thursday, though there was no threat to safety.

The six reactors at the Zaporizhzhia plant, held by Russia and located close to the front line of the conflict in Ukraine, are not in operation but it relies on external power to keep its nuclear material cool and prevent a catastrophic accident.

The Russian management said on their official channel on the Telegram app that the reasons for the outage, which had not caused any change in radiation levels, were being investigated.

It had initially said the main 750 kilovolt (kV) "Dniprovska" power line went down at 1:31 p.m. local time (1031 GMT), while the 330 kV "Ferosplavnaya" line was supplying power to the plant now.

It later reported that the Dniprovska line was restored at 4:49 p.m. local. Power supply to ZNPP is possible via both lines, it added.

The Dniprovska power line also went down for almost five hours on March 22, highlighting what the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said were "ever present dangers to nuclear safety and security" from the Russia-Ukraine war.

Russia and Ukraine have each accused the other at various times of shelling the Zaporizhzhia plant, which is Europe's largest. Both deny such accusations.

The IAEA has said that the ZNPP has been experiencing major off-site power problems since the conflict began in early 2022, exacerbating the nuclear safety and security risks confronting the site.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Philippa Fletcher and Mark Heinrich)