Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant


There has been danger of a nuclear catastrophe at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant throughout the duration of the war in Ukraine. Recently, however, the Ukrainians have been warning that Russia has mined the plant for potential sabotage.

The danger of a catastrophe is not as high as it was in the video above. This is because the plant , at the behest of IAEA inspectors from the United Nations has been placed in cool shutdown.

From CNN (July 6/22): “What Grossi is doing is completely unprecedented in the history of the IAEA,” Alberque told CNN. “The whole thing was saying: Russia’s basically going to have to kill me, in order for me not to make this nuclear power plant more safe. It was astonishing.”

The IAEA staff’s mission, Alberque said, was to “establish a precedent here, that we’re willing to get involved and to try to take this chess piece off the board.”

Russian occupiers, however, continued to prevent Ukrainian operators from putting each of the reactors into a safer “cold shutdown” status. This means when the reactor’s temperature is below boiling point but electrical pumps moving water through the core must still keep working to cool the fuel and avoid meltdown – which requires an external power supply.

The safety of the plant was threatened further by the breach of the Nova Kakhovka dam on June 6, which lowered water levels used for cooling the plant precipitously. Ukraine accused Russia of deliberately destroying the dam – a claim that Moscow has denied. Shortly after this, the final reactor unit at ZNPP was put into cold shutdown status on June 8.

Nevertheless, there is a general threat that the Putin government — which has engaged in nuclear saber rattling throughout the entire war — will deliberately set in motion some form of nuclear incident.

Part of what makes the situation unstable and worrisome is the psychology of Putin himself.

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