Ukraine update: Firefight, Russian shelling at Ukraine nuclear power plant

Ukraine update: Firefight, Russian shelling at Ukraine nuclear power plant

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is currently under attack from Russian troops. Live video from the location indicates artillery shelling and rocket fire. Several large fires have now broken out. Ukrainian defenders are reportedly engaged in firefights inside the plant itself.

Zaporizhzhia is a civilian power plan that provides a significant percentage of Ukraine’s total power generation. While danger of explosion or radioactive release is reported to be unlikely, but the recklessness of Russia’s actions appears appalling—and the justification for attacking a civilian power plant seems slim. 

The fire at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is getting larger as the plant was shelled by Russian forces. Ukrainian soldiers are still present in the nuclear power plant. pic.twitter.com/Cx5bXqSgcL

— CaucasusWarReport (@Caucasuswar) March 4, 2022

Russian army is firing from all sides upon Zaporizhzhia NPP, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Fire has already broke out. If it blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chornobyl! Russians must IMMEDIATELY cease the fire, allow firefighters, establish a security zone!

— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 4, 2022

Marco Rubio continues his apparent habit of live tweeting intelligence updates as he gets them:

Like most nuke plants the one in #Ukraine under attack is built to withstand a direct hit from an airplane crash The problem is a loss of power or a shell draining the pools used to store spent fuel If that fuel isn’t cooled it can melt & release large amounts of radioactivity

— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 4, 2022

Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 1:14:38 AM +00:00 · Hunter

It is difficult to interpret the video at the scene, but a string of flashing lights consistent with those on civilian emergency vehicles approached the plant roughly 20 minutes ago. After pausing at the plant entrance for an extended period, the group appeared to turn back, retreating along the same path they approached from even as arms fire could be seen targeting the building on fire. One possible interpretation of the video is that emergency vehicles dispatched to combat the plant fires were refused access and turned away.


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 1:23:01 AM +00:00

·
Barbara Morrill

#Ukraine: IAEA is aware of reports of shelling at #Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), in contact with Ukrainian authorities about situation.

— IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency (@iaeaorg) March 4, 2022


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 1:55:59 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

Reports that radiation levels are up in the area are unlikely to be from direct damage to the reactor. However, there have been a lot of explosions and a fire in an area where there has to be low level of radioactive particles in the background. All that stuff is now in the air.

The same increase in radiation was noted when Russia was fighting in the area near Chernobyl. Decades of fine particles settle over an area. Then you shake it up with explosives and set parts of it on fire—radiation is going to increase, even if the reactor is fine.


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 1:59:35 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

Two of the six reactors at Zaporizhzhia were shut down a few days ago. Presumably those reactors were safed. Which leaves, of course, four nuclear reactors controlled by a control room that has spent the last hour burning.

But really, these reactors should be inherently safe. That is, safe from a failure of control. Damage to the cores themselves and (insert scary shrug).

There is also a good deal of low and medium level waste stored at the site, as well as spent fuel. None of that needs to be scattered around by an explosion.


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 2:04:12 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

The live stream from the site is no longer operating, and seems to be staying that way. It has also dropped out of rotation on the four-camera view.


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 2:05:15 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

CNBC is indicating that firefighters have been able to get to the facility, and that the fire was in a backup control room used for training.

Let’s hope all of that is correct. 


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 2:15:16 AM +00:00

·
Mark Sumner

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy issues an emergency address. 

❗️❗️❗️Emergency Address by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky pic.twitter.com/KVC3nCGVy2

— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 4, 2022

It’s in Ukrainian, so … waiting for a translation.


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 2:17:03 AM +00:00

·
Mark Sumner

Zelenskyy appears to be warning about the possibility of a radiation incident that could affect much of Europe. “You know the word Chernobyl,” he says.


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 2:23:28 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

#Ukraine regulator tells IAEA there has been no change reported in #radiation levels at the #Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant site.

— IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency (@iaeaorg) March 4, 2022


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 2:25:13 AM +00:00

·
Mark Sumner

I can think of no way in which this attack makes sense. If Russia wanted to cut off the power from the plant, they could take down the high voltage lines miles from the plant itself. The plant is out of the way, controlling it doesn’t give them better control of the area, or control of any important corridor.

It makes no sense. Why would someone attack a nuclear power plant? Why take even a slight chance? 


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 2:27:39 AM +00:00

·
Mark Sumner

There is just no valid military objective in doing this. None.

❗️#Zaporizhzhya NPP spokesman Andrey Tuz: “They bombed everything they could, including the reactor units and everything else. […] A white car with representatives of Russian military arrived to the plant. […] It is now being decided whether we will negotiate with them.”

— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 4, 2022


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 2:28:35 AM +00:00

·
Mark Sumner

White House Readout of Biden’s Calls with @Zelenskyy and NNSA Administrator Hruby pic.twitter.com/9Kf0t9Yixc

— Alex Raufoglu (@ralakbar) March 4, 2022


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 2:29:40 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

We just witnessed people having a firefight in a nuclear plant while at least one control room was burning and after multiple bombs had hit reactor structures. I’m still trying to make that sound like something that actually happened in the real world.


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 2:42:02 AM +00:00

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Mark Sumner

Still waiting for a full translation of Zelenskyy’s speech. Post it if you got it.

BREAKING: UK calls emergency meeting of the UN Security Council after fighting at nuclear plant in Ukraine

— BNO News (@BNONews) March 4, 2022


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 2:42:55 AM +00:00

·
Mark Sumner

#Ukraine tells IAEA that fire at site of #Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has not affected “essential” equipment, plant personnel taking mitigatory actions.

— IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency (@iaeaorg) March 4, 2022


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 3:02:31 AM +00:00

·
Mark Sumner

This is the Ukrainian Embassy’s English language translation of @ZelenskyyUa statement on nuclear power plant. https://t.co/UGjnXpZufR pic.twitter.com/xMPJFRMiSY

— Margaret Brennan (@margbrennan) March 4, 2022


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 3:22:54 AM +00:00

·
Mark Sumner

⚡️ Mayor of #Energodar Dmytro Orlov says that there are injured at #Zaporizhzhya NPP.

— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 4, 2022


Friday, Mar 4, 2022 · 3:37:23 AM +00:00

·
Mark Sumner

Reuters: U.S. ENERGY SECRETARY GRANHOLM SAYS THE DEPARTMENT HAS ACTIVATED ITS NUCLEAR INCIDENT RESPONSE TEAM AND IS MONITORING EVENTS AT THE UKRAINE NUCLEAR PLANT

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 4, 2022

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