Nuclear safety expert: – There is no logic in launching a nuclear power plant



DAMAGE: New photos show fire, smoke and massive damage to the administrative building at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.


© Photo: ENERGOATOM / Reuters
DAMAGE: New photos show fire, smoke and massive damage to the administrative building at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

The reactors in Ukraine are not built to withstand the action of war: – This is what we fear, says Ingar Amundsen of the Directorate of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety.

Published: 04.03.22 at 08:52 Updated: 04.03.22 at 10:55

The director of the international nuclear safety and knowledge development department came into the office at fifty last night for the drama at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

– The situation is very serious. A direct hit on the reactor could cause the spread of large amounts of radioactive material over a very large area, Amundsen told VG.

Following heavy artillery fire at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, a fire broke out in a building outside the reactor at around 2pm on Friday night.

Three hours later, the fire was extinguished.

– Of course we’re relieved, said Ingar Amundsen.

According to local authorities have Russian troops take control at a nuclear power plant, Reuters reported at 07.30 on Friday.

Russian authorities declared that the nuclear power plant was operating as usual, Russian news agency TASS reported at 9:49 a.m. on Friday.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr The shop called the attack madness.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafaen Grossi, told a news conference that two people were injured in the attack. It will be part of the safety personnel at the nuclear power plant.

The Directorate of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (DSA) monitors radiation monitoring and monitoring measures in Ukraine and Europe, but radiation levels have not been raised.

– We remain concerned about further developments. Our greatest concern is that we could emit large amounts of radioactive material as a result of acts of war.

Destructive for everyone

He said that the reactor was designed to withstand natural disasters, which could leave infrastructure such as electricity supply and water supply unavailable.

– In such cases, it may take some time before there is danger of thawing. But the reactors weren’t designed to withstand direct hits and bombs, Amundsen said.

However, the reactor must be able to withstand the control of the smaller aircraft.



The development of fire and smoke from a building at a nuclear power plant is shown at right in the figure.

The development of fire and smoke from a building at a nuclear power plant is shown at right in the figure.

In the worst case, Amundsen believed there would be a risk that large quantities of radioactive material would be flung high into the air and spread over a very large area.

– Then everyone who is nearby will be exposed to a very high dose of radiation. There is no logic in launching a nuclear power plant. It only harms all parties.

Secured before the invasion

Amundsen stated that state-owned Energoatom, which is in charge of four nuclear power plants in Ukraine, in February took measures to secure as much as possible in the event of an invasion.

That only one of the six reactors at the Zaporizhia power plant is operational, the DSA director believes has something to do with normal operation.

– Operating reactors produce higher levels of radioactivity. But even a stationary reactor has a large amount of radioactive substance that can spread, if destroyed.



Ingar Amundsen is director of the department for international nuclear safety and knowledge development at DSA.


© Photo: DSA
Ingar Amundsen is director of the department for international nuclear safety and knowledge development at DSA.

Amundsen shares the leader of Bellona Frederic Hauges uro also for spent nuclear fuel which is dry stored locally and depends on energy to keep it cool.

– We also know that there have been wars and casualties at a smaller sewage facility near Kyiv, but we consider the risk to be lower, if this is hit.

Safer than Chernobyl

Bent Lauritzen, Head of Radiation Physics at the Technical University of Denmark, said that current Ukrainian nuclear power plants have a much higher safety than Chernobyl.

The Chernobyl power plant, also located in Ukraine, was the site of the most serious nuclear accident in history on April 26, 1986, when one of four nuclear reactors exploded.

– Although the attack may cause concern, one should not think badly, said the Danish nuclear researcher according to NTB on the protection of the Zaporizhia plant.

Contingency level raised

The Directorate of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety has a reactor meltdown scenario in the surrounding area, with scenarios and calculations of the model for the spread of radioactive substances.

– We don’t have a scenario for a bombing, said Ingar Amundsen.

Following hostilities at a large nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the level of readiness at DSA has been increased. Several employees were immediately called to follow these developments.

A delegation from the directorate visited the Zaporizhia plant recently in 2018.

– We have established very comprehensive cooperation with Ukraine to improve nuclear safety. We also cooperate with border control to prevent the smuggling of nuclear material.

Published: 04.03.22 at 08:52 Updated: 04.03.22 at 10:55

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