World nuclear monitor says it lost contact with radiation monitoring systems at Chernobyl, 13 days after its capture by Russia

The Global Nuclear Monitor said it unexpectedly lost remote contact with the backup systems at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement on Tuesday that it was no longer in touch with the remote transmission of data from safeguards monitoring systems installed at the decommissioned plant.

The message came 13 days after Russian forces took Chernobyl by force in the early days of their invasion of Ukraine.

The site has been surrounded by an exclusion zone since the 1986 meltdown, which was the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

Although some have expressed concern that the site is part of a war, experts have said the risk of a global nuclear accident on the scale of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 is low.

This loss of contact with Chernobyl was unexpected, Mykhailo Podoliyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a tweet on Tuesday.

“At the moment nobody understands what is happening in Chernobyl and what threatens the region. An extremely dangerous situation,” he said, using the Ukrainian spelling for the region.

!function(){“use strict”;window.addEventListener(“message”,(function(e){if(void 0![“datawrapper-height”]){var t=document.querySelectorAll(“iframe”);for(var a in[“datawrapper-height”])for(var r=0;r

The Ukrainian personnel who operate the site in Chernobyl and Zaporizhia have not been able to shoot since troops took over, prompting concern from the IAEA about their ability to secure the sites.

“I am deeply concerned about the difficult and stressful situation faced by personnel at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the potential risks this entails for nuclear safety,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said on Tuesday. .

ukrainian energy minister said on Facebook on Tuesday that “the Russian occupation forces are torturing the operating personnel of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant” and that “the occupiers forced the management of the plant to register an address which they plan to use for propaganda purposes “.

There has been no independent confirmation of this claim. Rumors of a secret nuclear program in Ukraine have been circulating in Russian state media in recent weeks, and Russian officials have used the prospect of a nuclear-armed Ukraine to justify war there.

Although it has nuclear power plants, Ukraine does not have a nuclear weapons program and gave up its supply of Soviet nuclear weapons soon after gaining independence in the 1990s.

It is highly unlikely that a nuclear accident on the scale of that of 1986 could happen again at the Chernobyl site, experts previously told Insider.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant has been largely decommissioned. The work performed by Ukrainian nuclear safety personnel is mostly limited to site cleanup and the lengthy process of shutting down nuclear reactors, per Insider.

Accidents in modern power plants are also far less likely to wreak havoc globally like Chernobyl. Safeties have been installed and cores are now contained by structures designed to withstand shocks and earthquakes.

Yet these containment structures are also not specifically designed to withstand bombs or artillery strikes.

A military device exploding in Chernobyl could, in the worst case scenario, set fire to contaminated soil, degrading radioactive materials that could spread through the air, Insider’s Aria Bendix has already reported this.

The IAEA did not respond to Insider’s request for comment before publication.

Comments are closed.