Ukraine’s nuclear power starts up again – after Russian “energy terror”

After Russia’s “energy terror”, Ukraine has now been able to connect several nuclear power plants to the grid again. They will be a major contribution in the restoration of the electricity supply, Ukrainian authorities announce. Wednesday’s bombings were the heaviest against the energy system since the war began, according to Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko.

Ukraine has control over three of its four nuclear power plants. All three were quickly stopped during the bombardment on Wednesday. With the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhya already shut down, this is the first time in Ukraine’s history that all reactors have been shut down at the same time, says Halushchenko on television.

After intensive work, they could be reconnected to the network on Thursday morning. However, they do not yet deliver electricity, but it will.

– We expect that by evening the nuclear power plants will start pumping electricity into the grid, which will clearly reduce the deficit, says the minister.

From 70 to 25 percent

Ukraine is already very used to quick repairs in Russia’s wars of invasion. On the night of Thursday, Mayor Vitaly Klytchko estimated that approximately 70 percent of the capital was without electricity. Just a few hours later, authorities announced that “25 percent of the buildings remain without energy, and are in a state of emergency,” writes CNN.

The supply has also been described as patchy and unreliable, in many places rolling shutdowns have also been needed in the past to prevent the electricity grid from collapsing.

This at the same time as winter draws in, with ice, snow and freezing temperatures.

“Where It Hurts”

Much of the money for Russia’s warfare comes from the EU, which has not yet been able to get rid of its dependence on Russian fossil fuels. But Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promises that they are now working intensively on more sanctions, a ninth penalty package, against Russia.

– We are working hard to hit Russia where it hurts, she says at a meeting in Helsinki.

– And we also believe in the soon approval of a global price ceiling for Russian oil, together with the G7 and other major partners.

Ursula von der Leyen, here at the meeting in Helsinki surrounded by Finland’s and Estonia’s Prime Ministers Sanna Marin and Kaja Kallas respectively, as well as Sweden’s Energy Minister Ebba Busch. Photo: Emmi Korhonen/Lehtikuva/AP/TT

A price ceiling does not mean that you stop buying the oil, just that you set a limit on how high the price can be. Russia has made many billions from rising world market prices so far this year.

Crimes against humanity

Late on Wednesday, President Zelenskyy spoke via link to the UN Security Council in New York.

– I emphasize once again: it is high time to support the Ukrainian model of peace. There should be no room for terror in the world, he said according to CNN.

Zelenskyy calls the current Russian offensive, against civilian rather than military targets, “a model of terror”.

– When the temperature drops below zero and tens of millions are left without electricity, heat and water as a result of Russian projectiles against the energy grid – then it is a clear crime against humanity.

Civilian dead

The French UN ambassador called the Russian attacks on the Ukrainian energy system “a clear violation of humanitarian law”.

– The goal is clear: to spread terror in the face of military defeat, said Nicolas de Rivière in the Security Council.

A number of civilian lives are reported to have been claimed in Wednesday’s attacks. At the same time, according to previous information, many more soldiers are killed every day along the fronts in the east. However, the flow of information from there is very scarce.

Fact: Ukraine’s nuclear power

Ukraine is one of Europe’s most nuclear power-dense countries, with 15 reactors distributed in 4 locations: Khmelnytskyi, Rivne, Pivdennoukrajinsk and Zaporizhzhya.

The first three are under Ukrainian control. Zaporizhzhya, the largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine and in all of Europe, on the other hand, is held by Russia and has been shut down for a long time.


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