As the eyes of the planet look closer Negotiations between Russia, the United States and their NATO allies have stalled To avoid a conflict in Ukraine, many do not know it The shortest route from Moscow to Kiev is north through the isolated area around the power station. Chernobyl. The collapse of a nuclear reactor in 1986 caused the worst nuclear disaster in history Its effects are still felt today.. Although the access route chosen by the Russians before the possible advance of their troops was not necessary, Ukraine did not turn down that opportunity because it was a swamp and dense forest and was preparing its military.
Military movements in the exemption zone
It has been two months since the beginning of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Volodymyr Zelensky government sent additional troops On call Exclusion Zone The Dead ZoneAn area of 30 kilometers around the site of the Chernobyl accident. Ukraine shares that area BelarusThe protagonist a Migration crisis This prompted the construction of the Polish border wall.
The 1,100-kilometer border between Ukraine and Belarus was almost insecure, especially in the radiation areas, but the migration crisis led Russia, which is the government’s strategic ally. Alexander Lukashenko, Began to concentrate forces in the region. In parallel, Ukrainian soldiers are in the exclusion zone to detect warning signs, despite the fact that they do not have enough troops to resist a possible invasion.
There is still radioactive forest in that ring around the nuclear plant, and Ukrainian security forces are forced to carry equipment to detect radiation exposure. “It doesn’t matter if it’s polluted or nobody lives here, it’s our territory, our country, we have to protect it.”Told the newspaper The New York Times Lieutenant Colonel Yuri ShakraichOf the Ukrainian Border Patrol Service.
“We collect information about the situation on the border and send it to the intelligence agencies of Ukraine,” Shakrzyk said of his mission. Slowly decomposing radioactive particles are either left on the ground or trapped under the control structure of the destroyed furnace and do not pose a danger to soldiers as long as they are kept away from high radiation areas. If that happens, the soldier should be fired immediately to prevent further exposure.
“Virus, Radiation or War”
Within the exemption zone there are still places that could not be inhabited for hundreds of years Explosion and subsequent fire at reactor No. 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plantDuring his trial on April 26, 1986, It emitted 400 times more radiation than the Hiroshima bombing. Thirty people died immediately after the accident, most of them due to exposure to radiation.
Studies of long-term health risks are often endless, but suggest that there may be thousands of deaths from cancer. Faced with this situation, the notion of Chernobyl Exemption Zone The plant was established by Soviet authorities 36 years ago to control the death toll by accident isolation.
The city of Chernobyl is still somewhat occupied by workers living there during the cycle. They maintain a control structure over the affected reactor, routes and other infrastructure. “We do not know which virus, radiation or war will kill us first”Said with resignation Olexi Prizeb From the counter of the shop where he works.
Prisheba said that Ukraine also wants to establish defensive lines in the south and leave the radiation zone to those who want it. “This is a barren land. Crops do not grow here,” the worker argued New York Times.
The “real threat” of an attack on a nuclear reactor
The risk of an armed conflict spreading or affecting radiation seems very slim.Maintains the American newspaper. However, the radiation control system is particularly vulnerable. It is a stainless steel arch completed in 2016, valued at $ 1.7 billion, placed on top of the molten nuclear reactor to prevent the spread of excess radioactive dust. It was paid for by the United States and 30 countries.
For this reason, a potential conflict could be a “real threat,” he pointed out Craig Hooper, National security expert and contributor to Forbes Magazine. Hopper believes it “Some observers point out that the invasion of Ukraine could put nuclear reactors at the forefront of the military conflict,” he said..
“In a major war, all 15 reactors at Ukraine’s nuclear facilities will be in dangerBut even unrelated Russian incursions into eastern Ukraine would expose at least six active reactors to the uncertainty of a ground war environment, “Hooper said.
According to Hooper, the nuclear power plant Zaphorizia, Located just 193 kilometers from the battlefield in the Donbass region is also a hazard. There is Europe’s second largest nuclear power plant And one of the ten largest in the world.
Zaporizhzhia has little protection and its six pressure water furnaces can be easily damaged by any intrusion. “Considering the importance of electricity, plant managers are reluctant to shut it down and only protect the reactors at the last minute. Ukraine’s intense demand for power only increases the chances of an accident. “Hooper warned.
“Disaster will be huge”
Without warning, Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, Vadim PristikoSaid last December Russian attack could cause nuclear disasters like Chernobyl. Ukraine held most of the Soviet nuclear arsenal, but it surrendered arms shortly after independence in 1991, retaining only civilian nuclear bases.
“I do not want to use big words like World War III, but if something big happens, we will fight to the death.”The Ukrainian ambassador commented to the British station GB News and reluctantly shot: “We are a country of 40 million people, the disaster will be huge. If anything happens, Chernobyl will be remembered“.
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