Zaporizhya Nuclear Power Plant Issues

  • #36
etudiant
Gold Member
1,238
128
Too bad the IAEA is not more forthcoming. So here are my personal opinions. Opinions weigh much less than actual studies.

Zaporizhzhya includes a dry spent fuel storage area. Spent fuel can be used to make "dirty bombs". Dirty bombs can spread radiation across a wide area. An artillery shell hitting spent fuel is like a dirty bomb, but not as effective as a bomb which wraps radioactive material around a core explosive. An artillery shell may not even be capable to making a hole in a dry storage cask. So if you are thinking of a parallel to Chernobyl, no.

Russia has plenty of spent fuel available within Russia's own borders. If they want to make dirty bombs, they can do that without Zaporizhzhya. They could then send those bombs all over Ukraine or even all over Europe with cruise missiles. If they want to blow up an operating nuclear plant, they can do that without Zaporizhzhya. Most significant of all, Russia has thousands of nuclear warheads plus the means to deliver them.

So in terms of risks associated with Zaporizhzhya, I see nothing new, and nothing comparable with nuclear weapons.
I hope you are right and I certainly agree that Russia has plenty of nuclear material available, so they don't need this plant. I guess it powers the Donbas, because it is still connected to the grid and being operated by its Ukrainian technicians.
What concerns me is that the plant is still running at least 1 reactor, possibly more, even as it is getting fortified as a bastion under attack. with the general in charge claiming the place has been mined. Assuming an effective Ukrainian counterattack, that could potentially get really ugly.
 
  • #37
physicsworks
Gold Member
80
61
Apparently the Zaporizhzhya NPP is becoming an object of military contention, reportedly struck by Ukraine missiles aimed at Russian military gear on the site
I'm sorry, reported by who, I wonder? Those russians soldiers who were storming the largest NPP in Europe in the beginning of March (when it actually became an "object of military contention") or those who regularly send cruise missiles flying over close by? Or, perhaps, those who have set up a military base inside the perimeter, possibly even mined the reactors, deployed MLRS, and are constantly shelling Ukrainian cities over the Dnipro river from there? And yes, the Armed Forces of Ukraine did successfully attack the russian base camp and their MLRS with precision kamikaze drones in July, taking minimal risks, of course, which I'm sure have been approved at the highest level (they need to protect their cities from shelling even if the russians are using a NPP as a sheild!). On the other hand, there are multiple videos from the locals of the nearby Enerhodar town who reported russian shelling with the time dealy between the launch and arrival of a missle of less than 2 seconds (the closest Ukrainian positions on the other side of the Dnipro river would correspond to a ~9 seconds delay). Had they hit the dry spent fuel storage area mentioned above, we would be talking about some major contamination of the area.

As for status reports and evaluation, the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company of Ukraine (Energoatom) publishes almost daily reports on their Telegram channel: https://t.me/s/energoatom_ua (you may need to use google translate to read it). Note that despite ongoing russian attempts to disconnect the NPP from Ukrainian's power grid and connect it to the russian one, Ukrainian staff are continuing to operate the plant. Some of them had been captured, beaten and tortured, according to the head of Energoatom Mr. Kotin.

In addition, there has been some recent development outlined in the statement by IAEA from today: https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pre...tor-general-statement-on-situation-in-ukraine
 

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