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So far, Zaporizhzhya’s nuclear reactors are being managed safely under Russian control

As Russian military forces shelled the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant
(ZNPP) in southern Ukraine on March 4, 2022, a fire broke out on the site.

Among the six reactor units at the complex, auxiliary buildings attached to
the Zaporizhzhya Unit 1 reactor were damaged. Fortunately, the damage did
not threaten the safety of the unit. And a recent assessment by the
International Atomic Energy Agency indicates that, although management of
the plant by a Russian military commander is less than ideal, “regular
staff have continued to operate the Zaporizhzhya [nuclear power plant]”
and “at least 11 representatives of the Russian state [nuclear power]
company Rosatom were also present there, without interfering with the
operation of the nuclear facilities.”

Even so, Russia’s military
attacks on the Zaporizhzhya plant raise great concerns about the
possibility of nuclear accidents. Some experts have suggested the attack on
Zaporizhzhya could have caused a huge catastrophe; others were much more
conservative in their estimates of possible radiation releases from such an
attack. To illustrate the potential damage from a military attack on a
nuclear power plant, we simulated and analyzed hypothetical releases from a
core meltdown and spent fuel pool fire at one unit, Zaporizhzhya 1, if an
attack by missiles or artillery had disabled cooling systems there.

 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 23rd March 2022


March 26, 2022 - Posted by | safety, Ukraine

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