Earlier we reported yet another warning about the threat of a nuclear incident at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, with fears for the electricity and water supply topping experts’ concerns.
Complicating matters further is a planned Russian evacuation of 3,100 people from the town that serves the plant, which operator Energoatom warned could lead to a “catastrophic lack” of personnel.
Those left to maintain it could become trapped inside when fighting ramps up during Ukraine’s counterattack, said Jonathan Cobb, of the World Nuclear Association.
He pointed to the Russian occupation of Chernobyl at the beginning of the war, where workers slept on the site in “very poor conditions”.
As a trade association for the civil nuclear industry, the welfare of “thousands of Ukrainian workers” and civilian Russian workers at the plant “is the more immediate concern for us”, he said.
“It is already a very stressful situation for them” and evacuations and a Ukrainian counteroffensive will create “even tougher conditions than they have been working under already”.
“But that doesn’t mean we can be complacent about the possibility of danger at the site,” said Mr Cobb, referring to the risks posed to the nuclear reactors and radioactive waste storage facilities themselves.