October 3, 2022

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Russia’s Unprecedented Shelling of Ukrainian Nuclear Plant Raises Fears of Another Chernobyl

2 min read

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of "nuclear terror" after Russian forces shelled and subsequently set on fire the largest nuclear power plant in Europe on Friday morning. The fire at the Zaporizhzhia plant burned for hours but reportedly did not spread to any of the plant’s six reactors before the Russians ultimately seized the site. Ukraine heavily relies on nuclear power, with 15 active nuclear power reactors across the country. Targeting any of these reactors — or even deactivated reactors at Chernobyl — could result in a catastrophic nuclear radiation leak that could make the surrounding region, and even most of Europe, uninhabitable. We host a roundtable discussion with Ukrainian energy expert Olexi Pasyuk in western Ukraine, Russian environmentalist and 2021 Right Livelihood Award Laureate Vladimir Slivyak and Greenpeace nuclear specialist Shaun Burnie, author of a new report on severe nuclear hazards at the Zaporizhzhia plant in Ukraine. "No state has been invaded with such a large nuclear power program," says Burnie. "We’re in new territory here." The report says the only solution is immediate end to war.

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