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Is Europe on the Verge of a New Chernobyl in Zaporizhzhia?

Almost 40 years ago the world witnessed the deadly blast of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, where images of contamination and people’s horror are forever engraved in the diary of Europe’s darkest moments. Today when the situation in Zaporizhzhia could escalate as 6 Chernobyls, we continue to watch with anxiety the constant shelling near the nuclear reactors. The occupation of the largest Ukrainian power plant by Russian forces is changing not only the warfare game, by adding a troublesome element of nuclear blackmail, but also the geopolitical landscape of Europe.

Nevertheless, what remains as the most disturbing notion infusing extreme distress among Europeans is the serious risks of another nuclear catastrophe amid the political blame game between Russia and Ukraine. The reality remains that Zaporizhzhia stands as a ticking time bomb against the heavy bombardment occurring in the area.

Despite all efforts and pleas from international organizations and world leaders, the risk persists and has still not been eliminated. It is highly unlikely that Russia will agree to any kind of demilitarization of the nuclear plant as its occupation seems to be deeply embedded into its wartime strategy, ultimately brining the threat of a nuclear accident to a higher level as the shelling persists.

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The damage that has already been assessed at the plant and the continuous bombardment, increase the chances of a potential malfunction to the reactors or operating systems in place, keeping the level of threat on a steady pace. And finally, even with the cold shutdown of the last operating nuclear reactor at Zaporizhzhia, the risk of a potential meltdown persists and is very much a plausible reality.

ARTICLE | 17 PAGES

Is Europe on the
Verge of a New Chernobyl
in Zaporizhzhia

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