KIEV — Ukraine's Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn said Wednesday an accident at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in southeast Ukraine posed no danger and that the plant would return to running as normal on Dec. 5. "There is no threat ... there are no problems with the reactors," Demchyshyn said at a briefing, saying the accident affected the power output system and "in no way" was linked to power production itself.
In Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency said it had no immediate comment on the report there had been an accident. Under an international convention, adopted after the 1986 Chernobyl accident in what was then Soviet Ukraine, a country should notify the IAEA of any nuclear accident that can impact other countries.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said earlier Wednesday that an accident had occurred and called on the energy minister to hold a news conference. News agency Interfax Ukraine said the problem had occurred at bloc No 3 - a 1,000-megawatt reactor - and the resulting lack of output had worsened the power crisis in the country. Interfax added that the bloc was expected to come back on stream on Dec. 5.
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