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Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia power plant: How prepared is Europe for a future nuclear disaster?

It raises the question, too, of whether we should rely on nuclear power at all.

It raises the question, too, of whether we should rely on nuclear power at all.

euro, By Camille Bello   31/03/2023

Russia’s invasion has repeatedly knocked out Ukraine’s electricity grid, causing blackouts at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – Europe’s largest – where a constant power supply is needed to prevent the reactors from overheating.

On March 9, the plant blacked out for the sixth time since the occupation, forcing nuclear engineers to switch to emergency diesel generators to power its essential cooling equipment running.

“Each time we are rolling a dice,” Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director general of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), warned at the time. “And if we allow this to continue time after time, then one day, our luck will run out”.

On Monday, during a meeting with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky, Grossi reiterated the situation “isn’t getting any better” as relentless fighting in the area keeps the facility at risk of a disaster.

The IAEA watchdog has called for a “protection zone” around the plant but has failed to devise terms that would satisfy both Ukraine and Russia.

Grossi told the AP on Tuesday he believed a deal was “close”. However, Zelenskyy, who opposes any plan that would legitimise Russia’s control over the facility, said he was less optimistic a deal was near. “I don’t feel it today,” he said.

Is Zaporizhzhia really at risk?

Nuclear power plants are designed to withstand a wide range of risks, but no operating nuclear power plant has ever been caught up in modern warfare.

Because of the repeated crossfire, Zaporizhzhia’s last reactor was shut down in September as a precautionary measure. But external power is still essential to run critical cooling and other safety systems.

Fears about Zaporizhzhia have exacerbated existing concerns around our lack of preparedness for any nuclear-related incident, laying bare anxieties not necessarily around war-related incidents but about climate change and Europe’s old reactors, for instance. 

It raises the question, too, of whether we should rely on nuclear power at all.

March 11 marked the 12-year anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami that caused the second-worst nuclear accident in history at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.

The anniversary of the catastrophic meltdown that left 160,000 people displaced and cost the Japanese government over €176 billion, was another reminder of the potential threat of a nuclear spill, but a number of other recent events have also raised the alarm in Europe, not least the war in Ukraine.

‘We are not properly prepared’

Europe’s nuclear power reactors are ageing – they were built on average 36.6 years ago – and recent checkups in France have found cracks in several facilities.

Some energy experts have warned that the extreme weather events brought on by climate change could pose a serious threat to the EU’s 103 nuclear reactors, which account for about one-quarter of the electricity generated in the bloc.

Jan Haverkamp, a senior nuclear energy and energy policy expert for Greenpeace, said the chances of Europe seeing a large accident like Fukushima were now “realistic” and “we should take them into consideration”.

“We are not properly prepared,” he told Euronews Next…………………………………………………….

The maintenance of a nuclear plant depends on a number of factors, such as its design and its supervision history. But there are other factors that come into play, such as error-prone humans, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, flooding, tornadoes or even in the case of Zaporizhzhia, acts of war…………………………………………………………………………………… more

April 2, 2023 - Posted by | safety, Ukraine


  1. No way of knowing whether there have been nuclear realeases or fuel pool fires in any part of ukraine

    Comment by Eon | April 2, 2023 | Reply

  2. Remember Musk’s Hyperloop slingshot system. It failed and the boring company has no new contracts. It is losing money hand over fist

    The Tesla tunnel crash that killed a man using self driving software and could haveh
    Killed more. The bogus and overpriced tesla solar power systems that dont wrk andpeople are not buying. The dozens killed in his cars. The loose bolts and steering wheels that are coming off. The many other electric vehicles by other companies that are a fraction of the cost of teslas. The tesla pickup that looks like a 70s delorean knockoff

    Musk says intends to put a million people on Mars by 2050 in a rocket that wont clear the laughing pad. His boring company is worthless and tessla has lost 50 percent of its value

    Neurolink’s brain chip’s been even worse than the cars,

    He killed 1500 lab animals by putting chips on their brains that had no functionality.. no brain chip just a little integrated circuit knock off, that causes infection and brain damage and needlessly killed 1500 animals.

    Most of his self driving cars have crashed . People wont use the software anymore , because it is too dangerous
    because I was a dip and was driving trashed.
    Space x is a fraud no legitimate unassisted space station dockings . Several have failed miserably.
    Like microsoft billionaire paul allens internet satellite network, the starlink network will begin to fail this year. It will fail completely by 2025. All of his self landing lauches have failed

    Musk bought a fake physics degree from U Penn. Never even started college. Entered the usa illegally. The pentagon gives him billions , for his flakey starlight network. He gets subsidized from the govt for his teslas, that have killed more 12 people. Subsidies and money to pollute the atmosphere with rocket launches. Space x is a joke. 1500 of his satellites have succumbed. Creates the most space debri possible. His flakey mase rocket probably could not escape orbit. He says the world is underpopulated. 8 kids by 3 different women. Says there aren’t enough people in the world. An ovowed racist. Made several twitter employees homeless as he ravages twitter. Musk did not start Tesla. He bought into it and has hyped it into oblivion. Says he will terraplane mars with nuclear bombs.People can tell from his twitter failure how dumn and, what a fraud, he really is.
    Musk is trying to downwrite twitter loans for 13 billion, which will probaly cause 2 more banks to fail. Fidelity has invested in him, which is exceedingly dangerous to retirees in the usa.
    He lied about hiring 100 chinese engineers for space x. Calls himself, an engineer . He does not have any college degree. He is no engineer.
    Musk wrote a lousy video game in basic, with a lot of help. Could only get 500 dollars for it. No computer programmer.

    Musk Was fired from paypal . Bought a million dollar car . He totalled it thefirst time he drove it. Musks father is extremely wealthy and owns one of the worlds largest emerald mines. Musk got secured loans from oil tycoons in the middle east based on this.
    Most of his fake space x liftoffs, are cgi
    No rockets have self landed.
    He admits that there is a 50 percent chance that his starliner rocket will explode on takeoff . The chances are probably higher that it will explode than 50 percent. He has had several runins with authorities over several, failed rocket part inspections. Musk claims to feed his children fukushima applesauce

    Comment by Gira Adeson | April 3, 2023 | Reply

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