An accident at Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant during hostilities could lead to an unprecedented nuclear accident, according to a Ukrainian diplomat. “What would then happen within a radius of 40 or 50 kilometers around the power plant would be absolutely incomparable with Chernobyl and Fukushima,” said Kiev’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yevheniy Tsimbaliuk, on Monday in Vienna. Not only Ukraine, but all of Europe will suffer serious consequences.
Zaporizhia is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The facility, occupied by Russian units, has been fired upon several times in the past few days. Kyiv and Moscow blame each other. No radioactivity escaped.
In 1986, a devastating meltdown occurred in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. In 2011, an earthquake and tsunami triggered another nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant. According to nuclear experts, Zaporizhia is better protected than the two nuclear power plants involved in the accident thanks to a separate cooling circuit and a special protective layer. However, Zaporizhia would probably not withstand a targeted military attack.
Zymbalyuk not only called again for the deployment of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to Zaporizhia, but also suggested sending unarmed international military observers there. In any case, the IAEA should be on site by the end of the month, he said. According to the IAEA, their deployment would require the support of Moscow and Kiev. (dpa)
Russian troops are said to have “wired power units of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant with explosives,” the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine said on Twitter. The commander of the Russian troops stationed in the power plant had therefore declared himself ready “to blow up the power plant, which would lead to a nuclear catastrophe”.
The Ukrainian authorities quote him as saying: “This will either be Russian land or scorched earth.” He told his soldiers that no matter how difficult the orders may be, they must carry them out “with honor”.
Earlier, a representative of the Ukrainian defense intelligence service had already reported about explosives on the energy units of the power plant, the agency reports.
The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is the most powerful nuclear power plant in Europe. Russian troops have occupied it for months. (tsp)
Grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, which resumed after a month-long blockade by Russia, are continuing, according to Turkish sources. Two other ships loaded with grain ran out on Monday, according to the Defense Ministry in Ankara. The “Sacura” left Jusni with 11,000 tons of soybeans on board, the destination is Italy. The “Arizona” in turn transports 48,458 tons of corn from Chernomorsk to southern Turkey. Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Olexander Kubrakov later confirmed the information on Twitter.
So far, eight ships carrying grain have left Ukrainian ports since the beginning of August. They were among dozens of freighters that had been stranded there since the war began in February because of the Russian naval blockade and the Ukrainian military’s mining of its own ports.
A cargo ship docked in a Ukrainian port for the first time on Sunday. “The bulk carrier Fulmar S has arrived at the port of Chornomorsk and is ready for loading,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure announced on Telegram. With the arrival of the “Fulmar S”, the grain corridor now has an “entrance and exit”, explained Infrastructure Minister Kubrakov. The resumption of shipping traffic and the associated grain shipments from Ukraine are important for stabilizing food prices worldwide. (Reuters, dpa)