Moving ZNPP reactor unit No. 4 to a "hot shutdown" state is a breach of Ukrainian nuclear legislation

On July 24, 2023, despite the demands of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine and SE "NNEGC "Energoatom", at the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, in compliance with the order of the illegitimate leadership, power unit No. 4 was put into a "hot shutdown" state.

Such actions are a grave breach of the requirements of the operating licence of this nuclear facility. Currently, ZNPP power unit No. 4 must be operated exclusively in a "cold shutdown" state.

As a reminder, after the blowing up of the Kakhovka HPP dam by russia on June 6 of this year and the actual disappearance of the Kakhovka Reservoir, real risks of insufficient supply of cooling water to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant occurred. This blocks the possibility of the ZNPP operating at capacity, and the russian occupation administration of the power plant and rosatom representatives know about it. Therefore, it is an undeniable risk for nuclear and radiation safety due to the long-term idleness of the power unit equipment, the lack of proper regular maintenance and equipment repair.

Due to the commission of illegal actions, constituting criminal offences provided for by Article 267 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("Violation of the rules of handling explosive, flammable and corrosive substances or radioactive materials" and Article 274 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ("Violation of the rules of nuclear or radiation safety"), as well as Article 14 ("Preparation for a crime") and Article 258 ("Terrorist act") of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, President of SE "NNEGC "Energoatom" Petro Kotin appealed to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine:

"The occupationists keep committing criminal actions. They once again violate the requirements of the operating license, granted by the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU), to transfer all units of the plant to a cold shutdown state, as well as the IAEA requirements. This is a deliberate and intentional violation of the norms of Ukrainian and international legislation. The russian invaders will be brought to an inevitable punishment."

By using the strategic facility as a military base, Petro Kotin emphasized, and by making similar decisions to put the reactor in a hot shutdown state, the occupation administration violates all the norms of nuclear and radiation safety of the power plant.

Furthermore, President of SE "NNEGC "Energoatom" appealed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, highlighting the need to call on the IAEA to take measures to influence the ZNPP occupying administration to put all power units of the plant into a "cold shutdown" state and to disseminate a corresponding note among the Agency's member countries.