China News Service, August 25 (Reporter Meng Xiangjun) The largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine and one of the largest nuclear power plants in Europe, the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, is falling into a serious safety crisis.
If not properly handled, this nuclear power plant may become a nightmare for Europeans in the 21st century, a Chernobyl-style human tragedy.
In order to prevent the tragedy from repeating, on the afternoon of August 23, local time, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss countermeasures.
【What kind of nuclear power plant is this? 】
【What kind of nuclear power plant is this?
Why is the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant enough to alarm the United Nations?
Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine.
Here is some information about it:
Start time: 1977
Location: On the left bank of the Dnieper River, near the city of Ener-Godar in southeastern Ukraine
Scale: installed capacity of 6,000 MW, 6 generating units
Role: power generation accounts for 1/4 of Ukraine's total
Status: The largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine
Operation: Currently managed by Ukrainian State Nuclear Power Company
Obviously, this nuclear power plant is an important part of the "big artery" of Ukraine's power system and is indispensable to the country's power supply.
【What is the status of nuclear power plants? 】
【What is the status of nuclear power plants?
In early March, after the Russian army entered Ukraine, it occupied the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
Since mid-July, the city of Enel Godar has become the forefront of the military competition between Ukraine and Russia, and the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant area has also been hit by military strikes many times.
At present, the nitrogen and oxygen device, radiation detection equipment, high-voltage wires, etc. of the nuclear power plant have been damaged successively, and a reactor has stopped running.
The nuclear power plant's open-air dry storage facility, which contains 174 containers of spent fuel, was hit by rockets.
Rogov, a member of the main committee of the military-civilian government of Zaporozhye state, said that three of the four power lines connecting the nuclear power plant to the area controlled by the Ukrainian authorities have been damaged.
If the bombing continues and the last transmission line is damaged, the connection between the nuclear power plant and the Ukrainian power grid will be "completely interrupted".
Rogoff noted that the plant is currently only 17% to 20% of its original capacity.
"Nuclear power plant shutdown is not a problem, it can be done in 5 to 10 seconds," he reminded, "but it will take two years to cool down, and millions of cubic meters of water will be needed." In other words, restarting the reactor is very difficult.
And this will make Ukraine encounter an energy crisis.
[The nuclear power plant is attacked, why is it dangerous? 】
[The nuclear power plant is attacked, why is it dangerous?
Ukrainian state nuclear power company warned that the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant was attacked, "there is a risk of hydrogen leakage and the spread of radioactive particles", "the risk of fire is high".
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that if a disaster occurs, it will "threaten the whole of Europe" and that "everything depends on the direction and speed of the wind."
A Russian soldier guards an area of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine on May 1, local time.
If the nuclear power plant continues to be attacked, Russian experts believe that the tragedies of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plants may happen again:
First, it affects human health.
It is predicted that in the event of an accident at the nuclear power plant, the radioactive material will spread with the wind and clouds, possibly affecting Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Turkey, Georgia and other countries, and even further.
Radioactive substances may cause acute radiation poisoning in European residents.
Even with exposure to lower radiation levels at the time, cancer rates in the polluted population will increase in the coming decades.
Second, the formation of ecological pollution.
Radioactive substances can also pollute the ecological environment.
And if the radioactive waste stored in the nuclear power plant is not properly kept and flows to the outside world, the danger should not be underestimated.
Third, impact the security order.
Once the nuclear disaster is uncontrollable, it may trigger a large-scale migration flow in Ukraine, and refugees will flow to European countries, which will impact the already fragile security order in Europe.
What's more, some European countries have not yet completely come out of the shadow of Chernobyl.
[Russia and Ukraine insist on their own words and accuse each other]
[Russia and Ukraine insist on their own words and accuse each other]
Faced with a potential crisis, Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of attacking the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
A corner of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
On August 18, Kirillov, commander of the Russian Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces, stated that the Ukrainian army shelled the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant 12 times in a month, dropping more than 50 bullets, and launched 5 cruise missile attacks.
The Russian embassy in the United States also accused the Ukrainian armed forces of "deliberately" shelling the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, "provocation" in areas with radiation-hazardous facilities, and "posing a threat to European nuclear security."
Ukraine alleged that the Russian military used rockets to attack the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and used it as a "potential base for attacks and weapons storage".
The Ukrainian side believes that the nuclear power plant is guarded by about 500 Russian soldiers and 50 armored vehicles.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly publicly criticized Russia for using nuclear power plants as a "threat" and called on the international community to impose sanctions on Russia's nuclear industry.
He also demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Russian troops from the nuclear power plant and adjacent areas.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized that from the perspective of preventing the leakage of nuclear and radioactive materials, Russian soldiers "have reason to defend the nuclear power plant."
According to Rogov, "Only the Russian air defense system and Russian soldiers can protect the nuclear power plant from destruction."
In addition, the Russian military is planning to suspend the operation of the nuclear power plant and find a fuel supplier. It plans to use diesel generators to power the nuclear fuel cooling system after the nuclear power plant is out of service.
[The United States and Europe are "lying"? Putin's statement]
[The United States and Europe are "lying"?
The United States and Europe have recently continued to confront Russia in the international arena.
In early August, US Secretary of State Blinken accused Moscow of using the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant as a "nuclear shield" to attack the Ukrainian army, which is worse than using a "human shield".
Borrell, the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, criticized Russia for "serious and irresponsible violations" of nuclear safety regulations, and gave it a hat of "ignoring international norms".
Russia says the EU "blatantly lied" about the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
Image source: Screenshot of Russia Today report
However, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Embassy in the United States refuted that the United States and Europe "blatantly lied" on the Zaporozhye issue and "unscrupulously slandered" Russia.
The Russian embassy pointed out that the Kyiv regime systematically and periodically attacked the nuclear power plant with the aim of establishing a 30-kilometer isolation zone, bringing in international forces and accusing Russia of carrying out "nuclear terrorism".
Doing so by Washington will only encourage "impunity" in Kyiv, and Europe may have to take decades to eliminate disastrous consequences.
On the 20th, the city government of Enel Godar revealed key information - the Ukrainian army shelled the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant from the opposite direction of the Dnieper River, using "long-range weapons provided by the West".
This seems to corroborate the statement of the Russian embassy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is well aware of the critical situation.
Recently, Putin pointed out during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron that the attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant area was the work of the Ukrainian army.
He stressed that Russia is willing to provide necessary assistance to IAEA personnel to conduct on-site assessments at nuclear power plants.
【Stop "suicide"! United Nations Urgent Appeal]
United Nations Urgent Appeal]
The attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant was an "act of suicide"!
UN Secretary-General Guterres recently warned.
He suggested that the nuclear power plant be designated as a "demilitarized zone" and that military equipment and personnel be evacuated to avoid a nuclear disaster.
On August 11, the United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on the matter. On the 23rd local time, the Security Council met again at the request of the Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations to deal with the situation.
At the meeting, the representative of the Russian side denied that Russia had deployed any weapons in the nuclear power plant area, saying that the Ukrainian side continued to attack the nuclear power plant, resulting in the destruction of facilities and buildings; the representative of the Ukrainian side said that the International Atomic Energy Agency must inspect the nuclear power plant as required by Ukraine, reiterating Ukraine’s Nuclear power plants are sovereign.
During the meeting, Geng Shuang, China's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, called on the parties concerned to exercise maximum restraint, minimize the accidental risk of related nuclear power plants, and not allow the tragedies of Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plants to repeat themselves.
[The inspection team is approaching, how will the parties react? 】
[The inspection team is approaching, how will the parties react?
In the face of the crisis, IAEA Director General Grossi previously warned that the incident "underscores the real risk of a nuclear catastrophe".
He plans to personally lead a team of IAEA experts to the area in September to ensure the physical and nuclear safety of the relevant facilities.
Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The Ukrainian side has repeatedly rejected the proposal on the grounds that it would give the Russian military "legitimate control" over the nuclear power plant.
However, on the 18th, Ukrainian President Zelensky and UN Secretary-General Guterres reached an agreement on the outline of the inspection mission.
The Ukrainian Presidential Office stated that "UN personnel must legally carry out their tasks through unoccupied territories".
United Nations Secretary-General's spokesman Dujarric said the United Nations has the ability to support IAEA personnel to inspect nuclear power plants in terms of logistics and security.
But Russian officials believe that it is "highly risky" for IAEA personnel to reach the nuclear power plant via the front line of the Kyiv battlefield.