Ukraine Nuclear update: 10 pm, Thursday, March 3, 2022
Like many of you we are watching the situation in Ukraine with the nuclear power plants unfold as if our worst nightmare is coming true.
By Gail Snyder, NEIS Board President
The Chernobyl nuclear facility is now occupied by the Russians and did experience a large spike in radiation that returned to its previous normal level. It is not understood what caused the spike in radiation and it is our understanding that new radiation levels have not been updated. It has been speculated that the army moving about the area disturbed the contaminated soil causing the radiation to spike. We have also heard that such a high spike in radiation would have to have been caused by something else, possibly opening the sarcophagus that covers the damaged reactor but we do not have any confirmation that anything like that occurred and as far as we know that is just a theory of what could have caused the spike.
The brave Ukrainians that blocked the Russians from accessing the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant were overtaken by the Russians. As you are probably already aware there are currently multiple types of artillery fire around the nuclear power plant and a structure adjacent to or within the nuclear site is on fire. Such a facility has many buildings. We do not know what is on fire. CNN this evening had the spokesperson for the facility, Android Tuz, on, he said, “many buildings are on fire” but “not fire on the reactor”. He also said firefighters cannot enter the facility to put the fire out.
There are six reactors at this site, one is in operation but all six are loaded with fuel in the reactors according to the spokesperson. This is the largest nuclear reactor site in Europe
The spokesperson said a nuclear accident could occur at any time if the Russians start firing weapons again. It seems to have stopped for the moment.
There is a great amount of spent nuclear fuel on the site. Which is of equal or greater concern that the reactors themselves depending on how the spent reactor fuel is stored.
Under the current situation there are many ways that significant damage can cause a nuclear accident to either the fuel in the reactors or to the spent fuel. A meltdown of any fuel could cause a significant release of radiation into the environment impacting those nearest the facility and anyone downwind.
Here is a link to the latest IAEA update but it is already outdated as it does not talk about the fire.
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