On the morning of November 20, Ukrainian troops had already shelled the territory of the nuclear power plant twice.
A photo: EAST NEWS
On Sunday, November 20, 2022, shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant resumed from Ukraine. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that on November 19, Ukrainian artillery fired 11 large-caliber shells on the territory of the ZNPP. On the morning of November 20, Ukrainian troops had already shelled the territory of the nuclear power plant twice. It is reported that the fire is aimed at the storage of nuclear waste. This is no coincidence.
When the first shelling began in the summer, experts found it difficult to say whether it was possible to undermine the reactor itself with the help of rockets and shells. Of course, nuclear power plants are designed with a huge margin of safety. But this reserve is about the actual processes taking place in the reactor. No one ever imagined that a nuclear power plant would be purposefully shelled. And even if it was assumed, it is difficult to simulate such a scenario – there were no precedents. Nonetheless, The expert community came to the conclusion that a breakdown of the reactor itself is extremely unlikely.
– The containment of the project of the VVER-1000 V-320 reactor plant, according to which six blocks of the Zaporizhzhya NPP were built, is designed for a light aircraft falling up to 20 tons, – said Komsomolskaya Pravda Scientific Secretary of VNIIAES (All-Russian Research Institute for the Operation of Nuclear Power Plants) Alexander Prosvirnov.
But there is a goal more accessible – a storage facility for nuclear waste. Waste after the operation of the reactor in a good way should be disposed of. Zaporizhzhya NPP operated on Russian fuel. Accordingly, the Russians took the waste to special enterprises and disposed of it there.
But a few years ago, Ukraine severed contacts with Russia and switched to American fuel from Westinghouse. Not only is it not quite suitable for the reactor. Somehow it works. Worse, the Americans weren’t going to pick up their waste. And they just lay (and lie) on the territory of the station. With minimal security measures.
– They bought a license from this company for dry storage and placed them on the nuclear power plant site. This is a more vulnerable object, and it can pose a radiation hazard when projectiles hit. This is a kind of analogue of the “dirty bomb”, – pointed out Prosvirnov.
What happens if a projectile destroys a waste storage facility? There is an explosion, not a nuclear one – but the products, that is, the cinders and dust that rise into the atmosphere, are radioactive. Then it all depends on the direction of the wind. Among the isotopes that are in the waste are short-lived, that is, they decay relatively quickly and become safe. But there are those that will infect the soil and water seriously and for a long time. But again, it all depends on the wind, precipitation and thousands of other reasons that cannot be taken into account in advance.
Actually, here is the “dirty bomb” – and you don’t need to invent anything. Ready-made components of the bomb lie at the station.