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Main external power line of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility switched off; radioactive leak nearly avoided

An important nuclear power plant in Ukraine lost external power once more on Saturday, according to reports from international energy officials, raising questions about its functioning as the protracted energy crisis between Moscow and the West got worse.

Zaporizhzhia, the largest nuclear station in Ukraine and in Europe, reportedly had its final primary external power line cut off, but a backup link allowed it to keep supplying power to the grid.

Only one of the station’s six reactors was still active, according to the agency’s statement published on its website.

The factory has been under Russian administration since late February, when Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Both sides claim the other is shelling the neighbourhood.

In the meantime, the disagreement over Russian oil and gas exports persisted this week as the G7 nations set a planned price cap on those exports and Moscow pledged to maintain the closure of its main gas pipeline to Germany.

The energy dispute is a result of President Vladimir Putin’s six-month invasion of Ukraine and comes as the area prepares for the oncoming cold months. It emphasises the widening gap between Moscow and Western countries brought about by the invasion.


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