Chornobyl shift change, but some don’t leave


Some Chornobyl workers at the nuclear plant now occupied by Russian forces have finally been allowed to go off shift, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, but other staff apparently refused to leave.

After working for almost one month straight, since the February 24 occupation by Russian military began, “a partial rotation of operational personnel” was allowed, according to the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU).  Staff could rotate out, go home and rest, says a Reuters story, but “Thirteen staff members and most Ukrainian guards declined to leave the site,” the article said.

However, the regulator also says that day-time and repair personnel have not been on the site under the occupation. This means that “Scheduled activities, maintenance, and repair of systems and equipment of the Chornobyl NPP facilities, which must be performed by day-time personnel, are not carried out,” SNRIU says.

Nine of the country’s operating reactors appear still to be running.

Note: “Chornobyl” is the closest English spelling to the Ukrainian pronunciation and is preferred by Ukraine over the more familiar Russian “Chernobyl”.

(Headline photo: BBC World Service/Creative Commons)

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