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 Nova Khakovka Dam (2) infographic
Graphic shows situation at the Nova Khakovka Dam.


Flooding after Ukraine dam breach

By Duncan Mil

June 6, 2023 - The Nova Kakhovka dam spanning the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine was breached on Tuesday, flooding swaths of territory and threatening crucial water supplies to a nuclear power plant.

In a statement, Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command said, “Russian occupation troops blew up the dam” at Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region. “The scale of destruction, speed and amount of water, and likely areas of flooding are being determined.”

Blaming “Russian terrorists” for the attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter that “the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam only confirms for the whole world that they must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land.”

The Zaporizhya nuclear power plant uses water from the Kakhovka reservoir to cool its reactors. Energoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear power operator, said water levels were dropping. Still, the plant’s cooling pond level stood at 16.6 metres -- “sufficient for the power plant’s needs.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed its “experts at Zaporizhya Nuclear Power Plant are closely monitoring the situation.” But the agency assured that there is “no immediate nuclear safety risk at the plant.”

Ukraine and Russia have routinely accused each other of shelling the dam, the hydroelectric station and the nuclear power plant.

PUBLISHED: 06/06/2023; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: European Union/Copernicus Sentinel-2