https://thehill.com/policy/international/3749972-ukraine-says-nuclear-plants-back-online-will-soon-reach-normal-capacity/

Ukraine said the three nuclear power plants located in territory it controls are online again after a massive bombardment of missile attacks from Russia on Wednesday targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

Russia in recent weeks has repeatedly targeted Ukraine’s energy grid as cold weather sets in with the arrival of winter. Nuclear power is a substantial source of energy for Ukraine, and the attacks shut down the Rivne, South Ukrainian and Khmelnytsky power plants, officials said.

“All three nuclear plants located on the controlled territory of Ukraine are already in operation, and they are gaining power,” Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the CEO of state-owned electricity operator Ukrenergo, said during a television appearance on Thursday.

The missiles caused residents in areas across the country to lose power, and Ukrainian officials set up thousands of “points of invincibility” with heat and electricity for residents as employees worked to restore the grid.

Kudrytskyi added that he thinks the plants will reach normal capacity within one to two days.

“After that, we will have the same or in a similar amount of generation to the one we had there a few days ago,” he said.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi indicated Ukraine’s nuclear plants on Wednesday saw their most extensive loss of power since the beginning of Russia’s invasion.

He also took aim at recent shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which is located in Russian-controlled territory but is operated by Ukrainian employees, reiterating his worries that continued fighting there risks a nuclear disaster.

“It is the first time that all the plants suffer a loss of external power at the same time,” Grossi said in a statement. “This would have been completely unimaginable before this tragic war. It is extremely concerning. All military action threatening the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities must stop immediately.”

Ukrenergo wrote on Telegram on Friday that the country was generating more than 70 percent of the electricity necessary to meet its consumption needs.

But the company said difficult weather conditions like strong wind, icing and sub-zero temperatures are slowing the pace of repairs, so it has scheduled blackouts in all regions of Ukraine.

“We ask Ukrainians to remember: if there is no light in the house, it means that repairmen are working at this very moment,” Ukrenergo wrote. “Endurance and courage are saving both the power system and each and every one of us.”

In Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Friday that a third of the houses there had heat but half of consumers still remained without electricity.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his nightly address on Thursday indicated 15 regions in the country still had issues with their water infrastructure.

“Russia wants Ukrainians to not just find themselves without light and heat. … Terrorists want to isolate us from each other so that we do not feel each other,” Zelensky said.

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