Chernobyl: getting the facts straight

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Published on 26/02/2022

This article in Marianne is a good summary of the situation in Chernobyl.

A few key-points on the topic ⬇️

– There have been no reactors in operation on the site for 22 years (contrary to what we have heard, including in the major news channels)

– Europe does not risk a new cloud of contamination in the event of a fire on the power plant or the waste storage. An explosion, even intentional, would have no chance of causing anything other than local pollution. And there is no indication that these facilities have suffered any damage.

– The increase in radioactivity reported at certain measuring stations is probably due to the passage of heavy military vehicles stirring up soil still contaminated by the 1986 accident.

– The IAEA, which is following the events closely, considers that these readings are low, remain within the range of values ​​measured in the exclusion zone since its creation, and do not represent a danger to the public.

– Regarding the motivations of the Russian army to take control of the site, it should be remembered that Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world and all the production and material separation capacities. It does not need the used fuel stored there to make a bomb, especially since it is not of military quality. Even for the making of a dirty bomb, Russia would have everything necessary at home.

– The site is on the road to Kiev from Belarus. It’s a logical stepping stone. Moreover, the Chernobyl power station remains an electrical substation (a “node” of the Ukrainian network), and therefore constitutes a strategic target as such.

– Finally, Chernobyl is an asset of choice for war communication. As irrational as it may be, the Russians know well that the mere mention of this name frightens Westerners more than their entire military nuclear arsenal.

– The nuclear power plants in operation in Ukraine could be more of a concern although the Russians would really have no interest in them suffering any damage – although in view of recent events we must remain modest on the forecast of their acts. An accidental shot is never totally excluded in a conflict zone. However, the available information agrees on the fact that all the country’s reactors continue to operate safely.

Learn more about nuclear energy in Ukraine.