On Thursday, several battles were reported at the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya. Frederic Hauge, Bellona’s manager, is concerned about the situation.
Ukrainian state-owned energy company Energoatom reported Thursday afternoon that the nuclear power plant area was bombed by Russian forces.
For its part, Russia believes that it was Ukraine that shot the nuclear power plant.
The energy company says no one has been reported injured and the situation at the plant is under control. According to Russian spokespersons, radiation levels are normal.
Zaporizhzhya power plant is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, located in the town of Enerhodar, in the southeast of Ukraine. it has been Occupied by Russian forces since March.
The war situation here is as bad as it can get, says Frederic Hauge, leader of the Bellona Environmental Foundation.
For three decades, the Foundation has worked in Russia and Ukraine, among others, highlighting topics around nuclear safety and environmental pollution.
In addition to six reactors, of which at least two are believed to be operating, a significant amount of spent fuel rods must be stored in cooling ponds.
These repositories are not well protected. Obviously, the risk of an out-of-control situation with the reactors is much greater as long as there is a state of war. It also takes into account the risk of mistakes being made by employees at the power plant. It is not good.
Hauge believes that any incident with a fire at the power plant will have ripple effects outside the local area. The power plant is located along the Dnipro River.
– If it starts to burn, you have to get water, maybe from the river. This should not be done only in case of war. After that, much of the quenched water will flow into the most fertile agricultural regions of the world.
Lieutenant-Colonel Bali Yedistibo at the Military School’s Land Power Department explains that the power plant is not located along any normal axis of advancement of Ukrainian forces.
There is no military operational reason to have so many battles around, especially with all the risks involved.
With a capacity of about 6000 MW, the power plant is of strategic importance in itself. Yedstepo realizes that the Russians might want to protect her.
At the same time, it is believed that the Russians are deploying large military forces at the factory in a political game to feed the fear of a nuclear crisis.
– The Americans accuse the Russians of engaging in provocations in the region to increase tension, according to Yedistibo.
He believes that based on the messages received, it is difficult to know who is attacking whom at the moment.
– Are there any opportunities for the Ukrainian forces to try to restore the power plant?
– Not directly. They can advance south and cut off the road to the Crimea. Then the Russians will be isolated at the nuclear power plant. I can not imagine a direct attack on the power plant. They have experience from Chernobyl and are still suffering from that disaster.
The United Nations warns of a catastrophe
In a statement on Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked Russian and Ukrainian military forces to halt military activity in and around the nuclear power plant.
We must be clear that any potential damage to Zaporizhzhya or other nuclear facilities in Ukraine, or anywhere else, could lead to serious consequences, says Guterres.
On Thursday, Zaporizhzhya is the subject of an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council.
Instead of downgrading, we have unfortunately received reports of several very disturbing incidents in recent days. If this continues, it could lead to disaster, says Guterres before the meeting, according to the NTB.
Several times it has been the subject of accusations from Both Ukrainian and Russian sides to attack.
Ukraine and the United States, among other countries, claim that Russia has turned the power plant into a military base used to attack Ukrainian forces — knowing that the Ukrainians would not dare to respond.
The Russian-appointed command in the region claims, according to the Russian news agency TASS, that Ukrainian forces deliberately tried to destroy nuclear waste storage facilities.
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