Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed in an “emotional” speech that Russia intentionally launched an attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the city of Energodar with tanks and warned that the entirety of Europe could be destroyed as a result. The reactors present a daunting danger. If bombed directly, the installations could effectively become radioactive mines. Radiation knows no borders and we have to wonder just how many radioactive particles could be kicked up and inhaled by Ukrainians, Russians, and those in Eastern Europe. Tonight on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis talks with producer and host of Nuclear Hotseat, Libbe HaLevy about MOTHER RUSSIA SAYS NUKE YOU OUT.
Back when I was a young DJ at a hit Rock station in Salt Lake City, I was on the air and I saw a red light strobing in the studio. I looked over and also saw another red Light that was labeled EAS.
EAS, of course, was the acronym for Emergency Alert System.
I had only been on the air for about three weeks, and this happened. I was shaken up because the first thing I thought when I saw the alarm trip was that we were under nuclear attack.
I was always told that when the EAS is tripped, I have to call the engineer and if need be I would have to turn off the transmitter or divert broadcasts to an appointed relay station which at the time was KSL radio, a 50,000 watt clear channel station.
I figured that the only reason the EAS was happening was because the United States was under nuclear attack. After all, there are no tornadoes in Utah, and the only other possibility is that maybe a biological weapon could have gone off at Dugway.
Luckily, it was triggered by the weather service because there was a severe thunderstorm moving through the city and there were massive power failures because of intense lightning.
I interrupted regular programming and played the message from the National Weather Service.
Last night, I had a bit of Deja vu.
I am sure you can understand how difficult it is to come into the studio, with a show ready to go and a bulletin flash on my computer screen about a nuclear attack, especially considering the circumstances we are in now.
But there it was a bulletin about Russians shelling a nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
I addressed the situation and really did not have time to go into detail because all of the information I was getting was sketchy and the videos I saw just showed a fire in the parking lot of the plant.
If the media wanted a reaction, they certainly got it, and as I was reading the reports between segments of the show, I realized that this story was meant to push people’s emotions over the top.
The fire at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant broke out at an education and training building.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky claimed in an “emotional” speech that Russia intentionally launched an attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the city of Energodar with tanks and warned that the entirety of Europe could be destroyed as a result.
“Europeans! Wake up, please! Speak to your politicians! Russian troops are firing upon the nuclear power plant in Ukraine. Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the city of Energodar. There are six power units. Six! One power unit exploded in Chernobyl,” Zelensky said.
“The Russian military must be stopped immediately! Shout to your politicians. Ukraine has 15 nuclear units. If there is an explosion, it is the end of everything. The end of Europe. This is the evacuation of Europe. Only immediate European action can stop Russian troops. Do not allow the death of Europe from the catastrophe at the nuclear power plant!”
Zelensky regime officials claimed they detected “elevated levels of radiation” and urged NATO to immediately institute a no-fly zone over Ukraine which would immediately mean World War III.
The whole scenario was overplayed.
The next morning, local emergency services said they had extinguished the fire, and no casualties were reported at the site.
The International Atomic Energy Agency also confirmed no “essential equipment” at the plant with damaged nor any change to radiation levels in the area.
Zaporizhzhia produces one-quarter of Ukraine’s power generation and is now under Russian control.
While we have to admit that there are dangerous nuclear risks all over Ukraine, the idea of the mainstream media amplifying the danger without checking or telling half truths is just as dangerous.
The report of nuclear levels rising went viral and of course this was by design.
The media attempted to save face by dangling the possibility that there are radiation leaks, but it appears that this is not the case.
It seems that Europe is breathing a sigh of relief today.
This incident raises awareness of just how dangerous nuclear plants are when they are in the crosshairs of shelling and bombing in wartime. The shelling of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant does not make sense in any Russian strategy.
Looking at the wind patterns and the most effected areas that resulted from the Chernobyl disaster.
Any major radioactive release in the Eastern or Northern Ukraine would severely effect Southern and Western Russia. That is the reason that the Russian army made the Chernobyl site a primary military objective in their invasion. If the Ukrainians blew it up in a last ditch attempt at retribution it would irradiate much of the most populated regions of Russia.
So shelling the plant with the intent to release radiation would do more damage to Russia and not Ukraine.
Again, none of what is happening makes any sense — it does if you just say that Vladimir Putin is so incompetent that he would order the deaths of Russians on the borders using a nuclear catastrophe.
The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine called the Russian assault on the Zaporizhzhia plant a “war crime”. Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said it showed how reckless the Russian invasion has been.
“It just raises the level of potential catastrophe to a level that nobody wants to see,” he told CNN.
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the world had narrowly averted a nuclear catastrophe.
The plant and adjacent territory were now being guarded by Russian troops, Moscow’s envoy to the United Nations said.
Now we have to consider that there are 15 reactors in Ukraine that risk direct hits, there us also the risk of not enough diesel for the cooling systems.
The reactors present a daunting danger. If bombed directly, the installations could effectively become radiological mines. Given the vulnerability of Ukraine’s nuclear reactors and the human and environmental devastation that would follow if combat were to damage them.
Radiation knows no borders and we have to wonder just how many radioactive particles could be kicked up and inhaled by Russians and Ukrainians.
Power plants are common targets in modern conflict because destroying them inhibits a country’s ability to carry on fighting. But nuclear reactors are not like other energy sources. They contain enormous amounts of radioactive material, which can be released in any number of ways. Aerial bombing or artillery fire, for example, could break a reactor’s containment building or sever vital coolant lines that keep its core stable. So, too, could a cyberattack those interrupts plant operations, as would a disruption of offsite power that nuclear plants rely on to keep functioning.
Were a reactor core to melt, explosive gases or belching radioactive debris would exit the containment structure. Once in the atmosphere, the effluents would settle over thousands of miles, dumping light to very toxic radioactive elements on urban and rural landscapes. And spent nuclear fuel could cause further devastation if storage pools were set afire.
The health consequences of such fallout would depend on the population exposed and the toxicity of the radioactive elements. The U.N. Chernobyl Forum estimated that the 1986 Ukraine accident would inflict 5,000 excess cancer deaths over 50 years, though some environmental groups think that figure grossly understates the likely toll. Indeed, thousands of thyroid cancers emerged in the years immediately following the accident.
In the midst of a pandemic that has killed millions, nuclear-reactor fatalities may seem trivial. But that would be an unconscionable misreading of the risk. To reduce the uptake of radiation that settled on the ground after Chernobyl, Soviet authorities had to relocate hundreds of thousands of people and remove large swaths of agricultural land and forests from production for decades.
In and around the reactor, 600,000 “liquidators” were deployed to clean up the site. Engineers built a giant “sarcophagus” over the reactor building to contain further releases. Millions of people suffered psychological trauma and some 7 million received social compensation. Eventually, the economic losses mounted into the hundreds of billions of dollars. Japan is still counting the hundreds of billions that the 2011 Fukushima disaster will cost, and that incident released only one-tenth of the radiation that Chernobyl did, mostly into the ocean.
This war can magnify these risks, because the reactor operators who might mitigate the fallout would be more prone to flee for fear of being shot or bombed. If a reactor is in the middle of a chaotic battlefield, there may not even be any first responders, and ill-informed populations hearing rumors would be on their own wandering — and panicking — in contaminated zones.
After the guns went silent, Ukraine would be saddled with the long-lingering effects that follow from any nuclear accident. And, as Chernobyl demonstrated, it would not be alone.
Given Chernobyl’s legacy, one might think that Russia would shun attacks on operating reactors– so again we ask why — because your allies are going to get the brunt of the radiation and not your enemies.
Have we found a hole in the script? Or is this falling on the sword showing us a desperate Putin, demanding NATO back off.
This is a case of nuclear Russian Roulette.
The specter of the Cold War has returned and now we find that Russia has decided to invite the spirit back into our realm, with an attempted unconventional nuclear strike.
Hitting a nuclear site would be interesting because it would be a nuclear attack without the image of a mushroom cloud — radiation would not be seen, but it would be felt if not immediately but perhaps 20 years later as various cancers start showing up in those that are downwind from the attacks.
The possibility of the radiation being released form the reactors would be far worse than an atomic bomb blast. This would be at ground level, where a nuclear bomb releases its radiation into the atmosphere. It sucks up ground around it and the fallout is what comes down and is radiated.
And attack on a power plant would release radiation without a flash –which is unreal as we are used to the whole cold war image of a nuclear blast where we were told to duck and cover.
The radiation would not disperse, it would just radiate at Ground Zero. It is like we would have the same consequences that plagued Fukushima.
Overall, it can be said that we are caught in a self-sustaining, self-reinforcing feedback loop. Call it the Death Spiral of Human Annihilation.
Counterintuitive moves by Russia, are certainly worthy of analysis especially when it will harm Russia — and the media refuses to report this.
Those now in power will never backtrack on this suicidal course. It is what defines them and drives them. It’s as much a part of them as their hearts and brains and the void where their souls would be if they weren’t morally bankrupt, sociopathic mutants.
SHOW GUEST: LIBBE HALEVY
Libbe HaLevy (lee-BEE ha-LAY-vee) is the producer/host of Nuclear Hotseat, the world’s longest-running weekly program on nuclear issues, now in its 11th year and downloaded in 124 countries. She is the author of the book, YES I GLOW IN THE DARK: One Mile from Three Mile Island to Fukushima and Nuclear Hotseat, and the upcoming play ATOMIC BILL AND THE PAYMENT DUE, as well as having been a TEDx speaker. Libbe (lee-BEE) was one mile from the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, which demonstrated how quickly nuclear ignorance can change to terror from what you didn’t know was just outside your front door. Her website is: http://nuclearhotseat.com/