Ever worse at Zaporizhzhia

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The six-reactor Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, occupied by Russian forces since March 4, is now within the regions “annexed” by Russia and under martial law. An already perilous situation is now even worse. Surrounding countries are taking this seriously. We’ve been warning of this danger since before the Russian invasion. And yet, insanely, “new” nuclear plants continue to be promoted. Here’s a take from Henry Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. (Note: our views differ from NPEC on the continued use of nuclear power but our concerns are the same.)

“As the war in Ukraine drags on, daily developments at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant explode on our Google News screens. Last week, external power needed to prevent a core meltdown at the plant was cut off repeatedly, forcing reliance on emergency diesel generators.

“Meanwhile, Russians have tortured, kidnapped, and killed Ukrainian staff at the plant to force them to renounce their loyalty to Ukraine and sign employment contracts with Rosatom, Russia’s electrical utility. Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, and Finland have all begun distributing iodine pills to reduce thyroid cancers if there is a loss of coolant accident at Zaporizhzhia and a radiological release that drifts their way.

“And Washington’s response? Several senior US officials have condemned Russia’s assaults on Zaporizhzhia as being “irresponsible” and “dangerous.” Yet, well after Russia’s military assault on the plant, Westinghouse, the Energy and State Departments, and the President announced plans to construct nuclear power plants in Poland, Romania, and even Ukraine. No one has yet explained how or if these plants can be defended.”

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