Ukrainian officials on Saturday reported “abnormally high” radiation in areas of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, saying Russian forces were digging trenches and trying to build fortifications while occupying the site. Until the end of last month.
why does it matter: It is one of the most toxic places in the world after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was not immediately able to verify allegations of radioactive dust in areas of the area known as “red”. Forest.” “But she succeeded. Due to the dispatch of a team on site to assess the damage.
Yes, but: In the current situation on Saturday, the radioactive situation, despite the “increasing level of radioactive contamination … due to non-compliance with radiological safety requirements and strict access procedures”, said Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director-General of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency. site boundaries.
what are they saying: Valery Semyonov, chief safety engineer at the Chernobyl nuclear site, told the New York Times on Saturday that Russian forces had “ignored” engineers’ warnings about radiation hazards and then dug trenches and took control of the station.
- “They came and did what they wanted,” said Semyonov, in the area around the plant, 130 kilometers north of Kyiv.
- Ukrainian soldier Ihor Ogolkov told CNN, who visited Chernobyl, that Russian forces “entered the Red Forest and brought radioactive material into their boots.”
- “Other places are good, but the radiation increased here because they lived here,” added Ogolkov.
The Big Picture: Ukrainian officials reported that Russian forces forced about half of the workers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to stay at the facility for more than three weeks before releasing 64 workers late last month.
- Some 170 members of the Ukrainian National Guard were also taken hostage in the basement of the station, and the BBC was reported to have visited the area this week.
- Oleksandr Lobada, the station’s radiation safety supervisor, told port engineers that they must “constantly negotiate” with the Russian armed forces and “do their utmost not to offend them so that our personnel can manage the facility.”
recovery: The plant lost direct power and was forced to rely on emergency diesel generators for three days in early March after power lines were damaged – raising fears that the cooling of radioactive material stored there could be disrupted and the risk of radioactive material leaking that could be carried by wind to other parts of Europe. .
- Lubada told the BBC that when the site fell, he set out to “find fuel to run the generator” by “stealing” some of it from Russian forces.
- “If we lost power, it would have been disastrous,” Oleksandr said. “It would have been possible to release radioactive material.”
Of note: Although Chernobyl is not an active power plant, the sarcophagus must be preserved above the reactor that exploded in the nuclear disaster to prevent further radioactive leakage, according to CNN.
- A large amount of spent nuclear fuel must be collected at the plant.
what do you want to watch: Grossi said Ukrainian officials said they “have not yet been able to restore the work of radiation and other sensors due to a lack of required maintenance and other specialized personnel.”
go deeper… Dashboard: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
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