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Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant


Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant:  Present Situation

  • Russian control: The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant station has been under Russian control since last few months.
  • Currently, the nuclear plant is being operated by Ukrainian staff but guarded by Russian soldiers.
  • Attacks on plant: Intense shelling and mortar attacks from both the parties have damaged critical infrastructure related to Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant
  • Both Russia and Ukraine have been accusing each other of running false flag operation to damage the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant and put blame on the other.
  • Radiation levels: Despite being hit by shelling and being damaged, the radiation level around the plant has been stable.
  • This is the first time that a nuclear installation has been caught in a military conflict, that too one that is in operation.


Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant
Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant


Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant

  • The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant has six reactors, which can together produce about 5,700 MW of electricity.
  • The nuclear plant is located on the southern shore of the Kakhovka Reservoir on the Dnieper river.
  • The plant produces nearly half of the country’s electricity derived from nuclear power, and contributes to more than a fifth of total electricity generated in Ukraine.


Possibility of Damage to the Nuclear Reactor

  • Structural integrity: Modern nuclear reactors are built to withstand considerable shock and impact. They are built with several layers of reinforced steel and concrete, and also elaborate fire security systems.
  • Most of these reactors can survive earthquakes of magnitude 8 or higher. They are also designed to shut down automatically when they sense major natural hazards.
  • Direct target: Gunfire or even shelling is unlikely to cause much harm to the reactor. However, powerful bombs or missile attacks can seriously damage reactor and trigger nuclear disaster.
  • Other critical infrastructure: Buildings and water pools for storing used and unused nuclear fuel are not as sturdy as the reactor, and can suffer significant damage in heavy fighting.
  • Cooling system: The reactor needs external electricity for running cooling system. In absence of cooling system, the reactor can heat up and explode.
  • Damage to the electrical lines feeding the reactor can affect the safety of the reactor.
  • Human error: Currently a small staff is operating the plant, which has led to understaffing.
  • Overworked and stressed workers and engineers can cause serious errors, leading to disasters.
  • Stealing of nuclear fuel: Rogue elements can make use of the situation to steal nuclear material from the site.
  • They can use nuclear material to make dirty bombs, or to sell it in the illegal nuclear market.
  • Ukraine is currently a member of nuclear NPT and every bit of nuclear material and fuel is accounted


Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant
Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant


Nuclear Disaster

  • Nuclear disaster is an event arising from leakage of nuclear radiation that can cause significant consequences to people, the environment or the facility.
  • The prime example of nuclear disaster is in which a reactor core is damaged and significant amounts of radioactive isotopes are emitted.

Protection: Potassium iodide can be used to protect thyroid from radioactive iodine. It is used during a nuclear radiation emergency.


Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant
Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant

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