According to Ukraine’s nuclear agency Enerhoatom, Russia is allegedly “openly blackmailing the entire world’ by threatening to blow up the Zaporizhzhia power plant. According toRussian forces allegedly used explosives to ‘wire’ the nuclear plant’s energy components. According to the head of Ukraine’s state nuclear power company, Enerhoatom, 500 Russian soldiers and rocket launchers are stationed at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant site.
Major General Valery Vasiliev, the commander of Russia’s radiation, chemical, and biological defence forces, was quoted as saying, ‘There will either be Russian territory or a burned desert’. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated that if Russia is allowed to ‘bully’ Ukraine without opposition, it will be ‘open season’ worldwide. Mr. Bliken stated during a press conference with South Africa’s foreign minister, Naledi Pandor, that the US believed it was critical to stand up to Russia because its aggression against Ukraine jeopardised the core values of the international order.
Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, has Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Russian soldiers took control of the plant in southeast Ukraine in early March, but Ukrainian specialists remain in charge. Following reports of shelling, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres demanded today that foreign inspectors be granted access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Mr. Guterres declared at a press conference in Japan, ‘Any attack on a nuclear plant is a suicidal act’.
Only two major nuclear accidents have occurred since the development of commercial nuclear power: Chernobyl and Fukushima. In comparison to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, also in Ukraine, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant uses more advanced technology. According to the World Nuclear Association, a commercial-type power reactor cannot explode like a nuclear bomb because the fuel is not enriched beyond approximately 5%.