Chernobyl nuclear power plant has lost electricity | Live Science

Russian forces attacked the defunct nuclear facility on the very first day of the invasion (Feb. 24), seizing it after heavy fighting and taking its roughly 210 staff hostage, Live Science previously reported. Now that the plant has been disconnected from the electrical grid, the roughly 20,000 spent nuclear fuel units held in the plant’s cooling tanks will no longer receive active cooling.

Ukrainian officials have warned that this could increase the likelihood of the evaporation and discharge of nuclear material, and give a dangerous dose of radioactive material to the plant’s personnel. Some nuclear energy experts, however, have cautioned that, as the spent fuel rods are now 22 years old and much colder than they were, this event is unlikely.

Chernobyl nuclear power plant has lost electricity | Live Science