Posted 23 июня, 09:01
Published 23 июня, 09:01
Modified 23 июня, 10:15
Updated 23 июня, 10:15
As you know, Vladimir Zelensky on Thursday, June 22, accused Russia of preparing a terrorist attack on Europe's largest Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, making a special video message. Zelensky, at the same time, referred to the data of Ukrainian intelligence.
Concerns about the safety of this power plant especially intensified after the destruction of the dam of the Kakhovskaya HPP in early June, because it was the water from the reservoir that cooled its reactors. The Ukrainian side claims that in addition, the station itself is also mined.
However, Russia rejected these accusations, referring to the words of the head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, who visited a few days ago. The IAEA denied the version about the mining of the cooling pond at the NPP, saying that during the visit of the Director General, mines were found around the perimeter of the NPP and in some places inside. Grossi himself stated that although the presence of such facilities (mines) does not meet safety standards, the basic safety functions of nuclear power plants are not violated.
The fire to this situation was added by the speech of American senators — Democrat Richard Blumenthal and Republican Lindsey Graham, who registered in The US Senate resolution according to which, if Russia uses nuclear weapons on Ukraine, NATO countries should consider this an attack on the North Atlantic Alliance.
However, the Russian Ambassador to the United States Antonov said on this occasion that «speculation by American senators about the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons on Ukraine is absurd, Russia remains a responsible nuclear power.»
At the same time, experts are confident that the only condition under which radiation can be released at the Zaporozhye NPP is the deliberate use of an explosive device inside it — under any other scenarios, the release is impossible. Experts report that there are about 18 thousand fuel assemblies at this NPP, which is almost 10 times more than it was at the time of the Chernobyl accident in 1986. If a reactor explodes at the NPP, nuclear fuel and radioactive substances such as strontium-90, iodine-131 and caesium-137 will be released, which will completely poison the zone with a radius of 20-30 kilometers. The total area of damage around the station can be about 30 thousand square kilometers. km. — this is a circle on the map with a radius of 100 km. It will include, for example, Melitopol, Krivoy Rog and Dnipro. But the radioactive gases and aerosols from the reactor, which form the so-called «radioactive cloud» — in addition to Ukraine itself, it can cover Romania, Moldova, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Belarus, Krasnodar Krai, Rostov and other border regions of Russia — the total area of impact will be approximately 2 million square kilometers.
For his part, expert Evgeny Komarovsky in his blog, partly reassures, explaining that the release of radiation is possible only under one condition:
— The reactors at the Zaporozhye NPP are not the same as in Chernobyl. Graphite was used there as a moderator, and water was used at the NPP. Graphite was burning in Chernobyl, the product of gorenje rose into the air and was carried by the wind. There is nothing to burn at the NPP — the water does not burn.
— The reactors of the NPP were shut down in September-2022. Four reactors are completely laid out, they do not require additional cooling. Two reactors are operating in the minimum power mode. In this mode, the turbines do not work. There is no need to cool the turbines. The nuclear fission reaction does not occur at the same time.
— The release of radioactive iodine is impossible in the current situation. The half—life of radioactive iodine is up to 9 days, and the reactors have been out of operation for 9 months.
— If the staff is working, it is possible to cool the reactors. If there are no personnel, an accident without the release of radiation is possible — equipment failure.
— Therefore, the only thing that can lead to the release of radiation is the deliberate use of an explosive device inside the station.
In any case, after Zelensky's words, a rush for medicines to protect against radiation began in pharmacies in Kiev. According to Ukrainian media, residents of the capital are massively buying potassium iodide. In some pharmacies it is no longer possible to buy it, but there is still iodine itself.