• Combat near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant disconnected it from the power grid.
  • Ukraine's state operator Energoatom said it was the first time this happened in the plant's decades-long history.
  • Conflict near the plant in southern Ukraine has triggered alarms from international watchdogs. 

Hostilities around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, one of the largest in the world and the largest in Europe, disconnected the facility from the local power grid, Ukraine's state energy operator said on Thursday. 

Fires near the plant in southern Ukraine damaged the overhead power lines and isolated the plant's two remaining reactors from the network, state operator Energoatom said in a statement.    

"The actions of the invaders caused a complete disconnection of the ZNPP from the power grid — the first in the history of the plant," Energoatom shared in a post on Facebook and Telegram, which was translated by CNN

Internet observer NetBlocks confirmed on Twitter that there was a disruption in the communications at the plant.


A Russian-backed local official said power from the Zaporizhzhia was later restored, CNN reported, though Insider was unable to independently verify the claim.

Thursday's incident is the latest instance where nearby conflict has caused problems at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which Russian forces have occupied since early March.

Shelling near the plant earlier this month — which Kyiv and Moscow blamed each other for — previously triggered a power shutdown. UK intelligence has said that the occupying Russian forces are using the plant's protective status as a shield, leaving Ukraine reluctant to attack and risking the plant's safety and security.

Meanwhile, conflict near the plant has forced international watchdogs to repeatedly sound the alarm as officials continue to warn that fighting could cause a potentially deadly accident.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said on Tuesday that he expected to send a mission to the Zaporizhzhia plant to assess the situation. 

"The IAEA's presence will help stabilize the nuclear safety and security situation at the site and reduce the risk of a severe nuclear accident in Europe," he said in a statement

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