What if Russia attacks Ukrainian nuclear power plants?

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What if Russian military forces decide to attack Ukrainian nuclear power plants? And it exploded!

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s choice in February to completely invade Ukraine has highlighted the safety of nuclear energy.

Chernobyl is a powerful symbol of nuclear catastrophe. In 1986, during a reactor test, a rapid ramp-up destroyed Unit 4 of the poorly designed nuclear power plant in what was then part of the Soviet Union. Following the fire, clouds of radioactive material were released into the environment, prompting authorities to establish an exclusion zone and evacuate hundreds of thousands of people. Dozens of people are believed to have died as a direct result of the accident.

Since then, radiation levels have declined. Some inhabitants of the exclusion zone have returned to their homes and now live in regions with high but non-lethal levels. Radiation levels rose unexpectedly in February, likely due to heavy vehicles kicking up a layer of topsoil and throwing dust into the air.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has determined that the levels are safe for the public. However, the extraordinary reality of war in a country with nuclear power plants has heightened the threat of nuclear catastrophe.

Last week, the Russian army attacked Europe’s largest nuclear power plant before taking control of the complex. Although no security issues occurred, it was the first time that military explosives had been used against an operational nuclear reactor.

The critical need is to run the Chernobyl nuclear power plant employees. The last workers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant arrived on February 23. Russian troops refused any possibility of rotation of personnel, mentally and physically fatigued due to lack of rotation and persistent pressure from armed individuals.

This can lead to a loss of control over the safety of the facility and an inability to respond to internal and external initiating events such as fire, resulting in severe radiological impacts.

In addition, the automated control system and the correct data on the radiation status of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant were lost. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been without energy since March 9, 2022.

According to the plant administration, an additional supply of diesel fuel for the diesel power plants has been delivered to the site, which will provide backup power to the spent nuclear fuel storage facilities and the new safe containment facility. Ukrainian staff eventually managed to restore power, but again there were blackouts. Many believe that the main danger in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is not radiation, but Russian forces.

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