As the war in Ukraine intensifies in scope, depth and brutality,the prospect of an atomic catastrophe intensifies. A fully fledged nuclear war becomes a frightening nightmare, as Biden and Putin practise brazen brinkmanship.
A nuclear holocaust could envelope Europe as the conflict in Ukraine intensifies. The largest nuclear reactor complex in Ukraine, which is the largest on that continent, could be struck as the war intensifies.
Both combatants have accused the other of shelling the complex. If this huge atomic installation is attacked and damaged, deadly radiation will spread across Europe and many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Its deadly consequences are too ghastly to contemplate. The immensity of this catastrophe boggles the mind.
Any party attacking a civilian nuclear institute is guilty of crimes against humanity. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 affected 40% of Europe and saw radioactive dust settle in Asia, China, Africa and Australia. The Zaporizhzhia is a huge nuclear complex of six atomic reactors which, if breached or severely damaged, could trigger an escape of radioactive material. This plume of atomic particles could contaminate vast areas of land and water. It is a war crime to directly or indirectly attack nuclear plants and gas pipelines.
Any military assault on the complex, whether planned or unintentional, could spell doom for Europe. It will mean in a worst case scenario the evacuation of Europe.
Firing shells or military ordnance in the area of a nuclear power plant violates the fundamental principle that the physical integrity of nuclear facilities must be maintained and kept safe at all times. A brutal war fought amid nuclear reactors represents an unprecedented and highly dangerous situation. No nuclear complex on earth is designed to withstand a military onslaught. Any assault could lead to a meltdown and massive releases of a cocktail of atomic debris.
Nations in combat must realise that nuclear power plants are defined as ”installations containing dangerous forces under International Humanitarian Law and should never be attacked”.
If the reactor complex is attacked and disabled, and an explosion occurs, it could be 10 times larger than Chernobyl, according to President Zelensky. Any nuclear reactor that loses its cooling capacity results in uncontrolled radioactive releases into the environment.
It must be made clear to all nations that attacking nuclear power plants is against the Geneva Convention. We have destroyed the undertaking of the Atoms For Peace programme by blatantly and brazenly attacking a product of man’s ingenuity. Amidst brutal scenes of devastation, let sanity prevail.