Ukraine power operator denies report it may turn off Russian-held nuclear plant

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A view shows a damaged building at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant compound, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 17, 2022. Press service of National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom/Handout via REUTERS

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KYIV, June 2 (Reuters) - Ukraine's state-run nuclear power operator, Energoatom, on Thursday denied it might shut down a major atomic power plant that lies in Russian-occupied territory if Kyiv loses control of operations at the site.

The Zaporizhzhia facility in southeast Ukraine is Europe's largest nuclear power plant. Russian troops have taken over the plant, but Ukrainian specialists are still running it.

Interfax cited a Ukrainian presidential aide as saying the plant could be shut down if Kyiv lost all control.

But in a statement, Energoatom said the plant "cannot be turned off from a technical, security, economic or political point of view."

Ukraine's state-owned grid operator last week dismissed as "physically impossible" the suggestion by a Russian official that the plant would supply Russia with electricity. read more

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Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and David Ljunggren; writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Conor Humphries and Leslie Adler

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