Ukrainian nuclear power plant under fire again – the real risk is out in the open

This time some radiation meters were hit. These are devices in the field that do what their name says: measure radiation. That radiation has not been released, so no problems in that regard.

Radius of 400 kilometers would become infected area

But in this way they come closer, says Turkenburg, professor emeritus at Utrecht University. He suspects that the location of the radiation meters that was hit is also the place where hazardous substances are stored. “These are large concrete barrels with cesium and strontium. Those barrels are in the open air. No bomb should be placed on them, because then those gases will be released.”

Previous calculations have been made about what could happen if a bomb were to fall where no one wants it. “In the worst case, there could be an infected area of ​​400 kilometers.”

Stress among employees

That number of 400 kilometers was selected by the RIVM, after fighting around the nuclear power plant last March. “We will therefore have little trouble with it in the Netherlands, but Ukraine and Russia will of course. That is why both countries have absolutely no benefit from being hit.”

Is disaster real? Not directly either. “Ordinary skirmishes are not that dangerous, such a reinforced concrete plant can do something. But it is that the personnel – the Ukrainians under the rule of the Russians – who run the plant have to work under great stress.”

Some repairs not done

That situation can certainly be dangerous in the end. Because that means that staff cannot do the job properly. “It increases the chance of human error. And it may also be that certain repairs are not made due to those skirmishes.”

Relatives of people who live in the area are very concerned, as shown in this video:

So what? What if things really go wrong? “Yes, then you will have to evacuate people. In part, I think that is already happening. You cannot use food that comes from there up to 400 kilometers.”

Turkenburg’s conclusion is clear and simple: “Nuclear power stations are not designed to be in war zones. Those nuclear fuel storage depots are especially vulnerable. Rocket attacks and bombardments on them are the greatest danger.”

IAEA possible visiting

Until now, Russia has refused to allow the international nuclear watchdog IAEA to enter the captured Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhya, the largest in Europe. But that seems to be changing now. The Russians are ready to allow a visit, Russian news agency RIA Novosti said.

The IAEA is deeply concerned. Moscow and the Ukrainian government in Kiev accuse each other of shelling the plant. The watchdog sees a real risk of a nuclear catastrophe, which will affect more countries than just Ukraine. To prevent a huge nuclear disaster, such as the one in 1986 at Chernobyl in northern Ukraine, Kiev is calling for the area around the plant to be cleared of soldiers.

The nuclear power plant on the Dnieper River fell to the Russians at the start of the Russian invasion, after Ukrainian units withdrew. The plant continued to operate with Ukrainian personnel. Ukrainian militias remained active in the area.

Since then, Kiev has regularly accused the Russians of deliberately threatening the plant. According to Moscow, Ukrainian militias are shelling the plant in order to blame the Russians.

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