Ukraine’s energy system coping but risks major damage as war continues

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Ukraine’s energy system is continuing to function as Russia invades the country, but a stray rocket that damages energy infrastructure or a nuclear power plant could prove a major blow, a Ukrainian energy company warned on Saturday (26 February).

The country’s energy system is under as much control as it can be given the circumstances, with some local disturbances, but no major impacts yet, representatives from the Ukrainian energy company DTEK told journalists in a press conference.

However, they warned that things change by the hour and that, although Russian forces are not targeting critical energy infrastructure at this stage, it is not guaranteed that a stray rocket would not damage something like a transformer or nuclear power plant.

According to Ukrainian’s Ministry of Infrastructure, there have already been risks. The Ukrainian air defence shot down a rocket heading towards the dam of the Kyiv Reservoir, the destruction of which could have caused an accident at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the government said.

“If some big element of the energy system is damaged or destroyed … if it’s out of the grid unexpectedly, the system operator staff may not be able to timely do the necessary changes of the connections scheme, and that may lead the automatic cut off of the system to prevent the bigger disaster,” said Maxim Timchenko, CEO of DTEK.

“Taking into account the [in]accuracy of Russian rockets that they are sending from their territory, that may happen because they just can unexpectedly or unintentionally hit this big piece of infrastructure,” he added.

Concerns about nuclear energy – go here to read further

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