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Thu, 1 June 2023

An accident at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant would blow an ill wind over Russia

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In the event of a severe accident at Europe’s largest Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, a radioactive cloud would cover part of southern Ukraine and the southwestern regions of Russia, according to the wind forecast for August 29.

That’s according to Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-owned operator of nuclear facilities, Ukrinform reports.

“In the event of an accident at one of the power units of the ZNPP, the radiation cloud will move southeast towards Russia, along with the wind. Specialists with the State Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority of Ukraine released the corresponding estimated forecast as of August 29, 2022,” the statement reads

As noted, the population in potentially threatened areas is advised to undergo iodine prophylaxis and refrain from staying in the open without an urgent need, as well as using respiratory PPE.

Read also: FM Kuleba: Russian invaders turn ZNPP into a military base, entire continent at risk

It is also recommended that the residents of the affected areas seal windows and doors of their homes, switch off air conditioners and fans, and close ventilation ducts, chimneys, etc. Special protocols shall be activated in schools and kindergartens, sanitary barriers shall be set up at the entrances to all premises, mandating the removal of outer clothing and a shoe change.

In addition, in potentially threatened areas, it is recommended that residents seal and pack their food, water, linen, IDs, and valuables, limit forest use, and not violate the ban on hunting and fishing in local water bodies.

To prevent dusting in open areas, decontamination is recommended. Motorists shall be advised to remain on main roads and not drive onto the roadside, also avoiding offroad trips.

As reported by Ukrinform, the Zaporizhia NPP, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, was assaulted and seized by the Russian military on March 4. Since then, the invaders have been accumulating military equipment and ammunition on the NPP premises and shelling the surrounding area.

The European Union has condemned Russia’s military activities around the ZNPP, calling on the Russian Federation to immediately hand control over the plant back to Ukraine.

Early next week, IAEA monitors are intending to visit the facility. The agency seeks to assess the current nuclear safety situation at the plant and address problems caused by the ongoing hostilities. In addition, a group of specialists could deliver to the NPP spare parts, radiation control devices, and other necessary materials to enhance safety at the site

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