On Friday, Russian forces advanced towards yet another of Ukraine’s nuclear plants, just one day after attacking Ukraine’s largest nuclear facility and nearly causing a major nuclear disaster.
So far, Russia has seized the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia power plants. They are now closing in on the nuclear plant in Yuzhnoukrainsk. The US Ambassador to the U.N., Linda Thomas-Greenfield, reported that this nuclear power station is in “imminent danger”.
“Russian forces are now 20 miles, and closing, from Ukraine’s second-largest nuclear facility,” said Thomas-Greenfield in Friday’s emergency session at the U.N. headquarters. “So this imminent danger continues.”
Thomas-Greenfield also warned that “nuclear facilities cannot become part of this conflict.”
“Reliable electricity is vital for the nuclear facility, as are backup diesel generators and fuel,” said Thomas-Greenfield. “Safe transit corridors must be maintained. Russia must halt any further use of force that might put at further risk all 15 operable reactors across Ukraine – or interfere with Ukraine’s ability to maintain the safety and security of its 37 nuclear facilities and their surrounding populations.”
Ukrainian nuclear facilities are being targeted intentionally by Russian forces in order to intimidate the United States and Western Europe and dissuade them from taking aggressive action.
The “real risk here”, as attorney John Jordan told Fox News, “is that electrical power could be interrupted… and keep in mind, that’s what caused the Fukushima accident and, in a slightly different way, what triggered the Chernobyl meltdown.”
“[P]ower could be interrupted for an extended period of time,” explained Jordan, “resulting in no power for cooling pumps, or voltage fluctuations that make moving cooling fluids in and around the reactor rods a dicey proposition … and that’s the real risk.”