Ukraine: water begins to drop in Kherson, Zaporizhjia power plant still cooled

The United States, France, but also Japan, Thursday before the UN, Ukraine and its allies condemned the Russian attacks that targeted relief operations in Kherson and its region. After the partial destruction of the Kakhovka dam, evacuations of civilians continue. This Friday, June 9, the water level seems to be starting to drop.

Evacuation of a flooded area in Kherson on June 8, 2023. AFP - GENYA SAVILOV

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According to the regional governor, in Kherson itself, the water level would have dropped about twenty centimeters during the night of June 8 to 9, says the special envoy of France 24 and RFI in the Kherson region, Gulliver Cragg. It was a peak that was expected a little earlier. Yesterday, the waters had continued to rise while the decline was already expected, but finally, the decline began.

The water level is currently about five and a half metres above its level before the dam was destroyed. This does not mean that evacuation operations for residents of affected neighbourhoods should not continue. Of course, according to local authorities, they are still in danger, the recommendation is to leave the places where they are. Evacuations that had to be interrupted by gunfire on Thursday.

Today, we were provided with official figures on the number of attacks on the Kherson region: 44 on the region using a total of 188 rockets, including Grad multiple rocket launcher systems. On the town of Kherson itself, 25 rockets fell, killing two and wounding 17. And it is surprising that the balance sheet is not worse. Among the injured, mainly not people who were being evacuated, but volunteers and aid workers who were trying to help them.

>> READ ALSO: Bombings affect evacuations of civilians in flooded areas in Ukraine

Dam water continues to cool Zaporizhjia power plant

In addition, the demolition of the dam raised fears of consequences for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, upstream of the Dnieper River. On Thursday, June 8, the International Atomic Energy Agency assured that water was still in sufficient quantity to cool the reactors.

After examination, it turned out that pumping operations should "be able to continue even if the level fell below the current threshold of 12.7 meters", previously considered critical, explained the UN body in a statement, which now sets the limit at "11 meters, or even lower". "In these difficult circumstances, this gives us a little more time before possibly moving on to other sources of supply," said IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, who is expected at the scene next week.

When the dam can no longer be used, the plant will be able to use "a large retention basin located nearby as well as smaller reserves and on-site wells that can provide cooling water for several months." Reactor core fuel and storage pool fuel must be constantly cooled to avoid a meltdown accident and radioactive releases to the environment.

Kiev and Moscow blame each other for Tuesday's destruction of the dam. The Zaporizhzhia power plant, the largest in Europe, is at the heart of the conflict: it has been shot at several times and has been cut off from the electricity grid seven times since it was taken by the Russian army on March 4, 2022, ten days after the start of the invasion of Ukraine.


and with AFP)

>> READ ALSO: "Russia must lose the war and Ukraine must win it" for Gabrielius Landsbergis

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