We can’t risk another Chernobyl

Ukraine’s recent history holds an important lesson for us about what’s at stake.

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Editorials

September 6, 2022 - 4:47 PM

Six power units generate 40-42 billion kWh of electricity, making the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant the largest nuclear power plant not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe. (Dmytro Smolyenko/Ukrinform/Zuma Press/TNS)

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, lies along the Dnieper River in southeastern Ukraine. After Russian forces brutally invaded Ukraine six months ago, they gained control of the nuclear facility early in the fighting. They based soldiers and heavy equipment there and have been using the plant as a defensive shield, lobbing shells from there and hoping Ukrainians would not risk hitting one of the six power units by counterattacking.

But Russian officials say Ukraine has now fired back. As Ukrainian workers continue to operate the plant amid the shelling, the whole world should be afraid about the risk of a radiation leak and the possibility of a reactor core meltdown.

Ukraine’s recent history holds an important lesson for us about what’s at stake. On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine suffered a massive explosion and meltdown.

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