Prime Minister Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk of Ukraine on Wednesday announced that there had been an accident at one of the country’s nuclear power plants, briefly setting off fears of a Chernobyl-like catastrophe. But there appeared to have been no radiation leak and only a temporary disruption in the power supply.
Mr. Yatsenyuk, during a session of the new Ukrainian government, disclosed that the accident had taken place at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant and called on the newly installed energy minister to quickly brief reporters on the incident, the Ukrainian news media reported.
The energy minister, Volodymyr Demchyshyn, said that there was “no threat” from the accident and that the malfunction had taken place in the section of the plant responsible for distributing power, not among the reactors in the section for generating power.
Zaporizhia, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, is in southeast Ukraine on the banks of the Dnieper River. It is in territory controlled by the Ukrainian government, and it is about 150 miles west of Donetsk, a city held by the separatist rebels.
A press officer at the Energy Ministry said by telephone that the damage was “minor” and “insignificant,” adding that repairs should be finished by Dec. 5.
A statement posted by the press office of the power plant said that the reactor’s third generating block had been shut down for repairs on Nov. 28. The reason for the repairs was not given, although the statement said that there were no health threats and no increase in radiation levels.
The plant was producing about 4,010 megawatts of electricity, the statement said, which is nearly 1,000 megawatts less than it had produced before the accident. Ukraine has endured rolling electricity cutoffs since Monday, the news service Interfax reported.