Attack on Ukrainian nuclear power plant could be ‘ten times more powerful than Chernobyl’

Joe Harker

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Attack on Ukrainian nuclear power plant could be ‘ten times more powerful than Chernobyl’

Featured Image Credit: @skynews/Twitter/REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Another attack on a Ukrainian nuclear power plant could trigger a disaster 'ten times more powerful than Chernobyl'.

The warning came from former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, who was ousted by current president Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the last election.

He explained that the nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia was producing 20 percent of Ukraine's energy and half of their energy from nuclear sources.

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It's also the largest atomic energy plant in Europe, making it exactly the sort of building you don't want stuck in the middle of a warzone.

Home to six reactors, the nuclear power plant also contains spent nuclear fuel which is highly radioactive and a poses a major danger if hit by shelling.

Any damage to the operation of the plant could be disastrous, as maintaining the balance of power in a nuclear plant is a careful and precise task.

UN secretary general António Guterres said launching an attack on a nuclear power plant would be a 'suicidal thing'.

The UN has demanded international inspectors be given access to the plant so they can assess the damage done.

The plant was shelled at the weekend, with Ukrainian officials calling for a demilitarised zone to be set up so it can continue to operate without becoming a target in the war.

American think-tank Institute for the Study of War has assessed that Russian troops are likely 'using the plant as a nuclear shield' to stop Ukrainian forces from launching strikes against the invaders.

While the reactors are strong and able to withstand serious impacts, testing their effectiveness against weapons of war is not something anyone in their right minds would do.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant could trigger a nuclear disaster if it remains caught in Russia's invasion. Credit: Vyacheslav Lopatin / Alamy Stock Photo
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant could trigger a nuclear disaster if it remains caught in Russia's invasion. Credit: Vyacheslav Lopatin / Alamy Stock Photo

Russian forces seized the plant in March shortly after they begun their invasion of Ukraine, with the plant's existing staff continuing to operate the plant after it was occupied by Putin's troops.

Russia claims Ukrainian forces have launched missile strikes on the area around the power plant, while Ukraine says Russian shelling has damaged equipment and harmed workers.

Ukrainian president Zelenskyy made a televised address on Sunday (7 August) where he accused Russia of waging 'nuclear terror'.

It would be better for everyone if the risk of damage to a nuclear power plant sitting in the middle of a warzone was lessened or eliminated entirely.

Then again, it would be better for everyone if Russia just turned its armies around and marched them home instead of waging wars of aggression where thousands have been killed and millions forced to flee their homes.

Sadly, that doesn't seem likely to happen any time soon.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Topics: News, Ukraine, Russia, Volodymyr Zelensky, Vladimir Putin, World News

Joe Harker
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