Nuclear disaster in Ukraine will affect even Turkey

The Ukrainian troops shelled the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant 12 times in one month, the head of the radiation, chemical and biological protection troops of the Russian Armed Forces, Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov said, RIA Novosti reports.

Since July 18, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have been systematically shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant from multiple launch rocket systems, artillery, and drones. 

“More than 50 artillery shell explosions and five kamikaze drones have been reported,” Kirillov said.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian forces shell the nuclear power plant from the side of the settlements of Marganets and Nikopol. Supply systems of the power plant as well as life support facilities of the city of Energodar have been damaged as a result of the attack, Kirillov added.

If the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia NPP leads to the release of 25 percent of the contents of at least one reactor, radioactive substances will affect the Baltic States and the Scandinavian Peninsula, the Russian Defense Ministry said, TASS reports.

Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov, Chief of the Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces of the Russian Armed Forces, warned that radionuclides would also cover the territories of Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova.

The Ministry of Defense also warned that the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine could lead to a situation similar to the Fukushima-1 nuclear disaster in Japan. An accident at the nuclear power plant in Ukraine will trigger mass migration of the population, the department stressed.

The consequences of such a catastrophe will affect even Istanbul. Potentially, a nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhzhia NPP will lead to a regional environmental emergency, air and groundwater pollution, let alone an economic crisis, Sergei Kondratiev, an energy engineer, deputy head of the department at the Institute of Energy and Finance told lenta.ru news publication. 

Ukraine has already attempted to attack spent fuel storage facilities at the station before. They are massive structures that have solid protection, but if damaged, radioactive substances will leak, and consequences could be most severe, depending on the scale of the leak, energy engineer Sergei Kondratiev also said. 

Moreover, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is located in the fighting zone, which greatly complicates the possibility to eliminate the consequences of an emergency.

Radioactive substances can get into groundwaters, into the Dnieper River. This could be a disaster of regional scale - not the Zaporizhzhia region alone, but a much larger area, including the Black Sea region.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant operates in a single energy system in Ukraine and supplies electricity to the region. If the cooling system of the station is destroyed, the station can no longer operate and the reactor shuts down.

Ukraine itself will suffer from the shutdown of the Zaporizhzhia NPP in the first place. The station provides for about 15 percent of Ukraine's total energy consumption. At the same time, the station does not operate at full capacity at the moment. Earlier, the share of consumption coverage reached 30 percent.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is located in southeastern Ukraine. It is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. It is also on the list of world's 10 largest NPPs. The station was built by the Soviet Union near the city of Enerhodar, on the southern shore of the Kakhovka Reservoir on the Dnieper river. The plant has 6 VVER-1000 pressurized light water nuclear reactors.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team, Editor: Dmitry Sudakov