362 Items

Soviet-Era Chernobyl Welcome Sign

Wikimedia Commons/ Jorge Franganillo

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

In Ukraine, There's No Second Chernobyl Disaster in the Making Yet

| Mar. 10, 2022

As the battle for Ukraine enters its third week, the specter of Chernobyl, site of world's worst nuclear accident, returns to haunt us. A few hours after the Russian invasion started, early on Feb. 24, the Russian military occupied the Chernobyl exclusion zone, some 30 kilometers in radius, that houses the decommissioned power plant, nuclear fuel storage, and nuclear waste facilities. On March 9, Ukraine's nuclear regulator informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that the Chernobyl power plant lost electricity and that the safe operation of the plant's cooling system was in danger.

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News - BBC News

Ukraine Conflict: How Dangerous Is Russia's Nuclear Plant Attack?

| Mar. 04, 2022

Russian forces have seized the largest nuclear plant in Europe, Ukrainian authorities say. It comes hours after a fire broke out at the Zaporizhzhia plant following a Russian attack. The fire has since been extinguished, and officials say the site is safe but Western powers have condemned Russia for what they called a "horrific" and "reckless" act, and Ukrainian President Zelensky says the attack could have caused "six Chernobyls". Mariana Budjeryn is a Research Associate with the Project on Managing the Atom  at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center. She says that as far as we know, the shelling hit a number of facilities but that the flow of electricity must be kept constant to allow the fuel to keep cooling. She goes on to say that reactors are protected to withstand a certain level of impact, but none have been designed to withstand sustained artillery fire. She says there is concern that at this level of hostilities, there is a risk of a serious nuclear accident, or one that is planned to stop the war quickly and on Russia conditions. "You can't just hit a switch on a nuclear reactor - there are still a number of procedures that have to be followed quite closely to keep that reactor safe."

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Analysis & Opinions - The Guardian

Fears mount for safety of Ukraine’s nuclear reactors amid Russian invasion

| Feb. 25, 2022

Concerns are mounting about the safety of Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactors and the possibility of an ecological disaster in the midst of the Russian invasion.

“There are contingencies but I doubt that these power plants have prepared for a full-scale invasion,” said Mariana Budjeryn, a Ukrainian research associate with Harvard University’s project on managing the atom. “In the middle of a large scale conflict, there’s a myriad of things that could happen, for which normal, even very robust, safety procedures at a nuclear power plant [would be insufficient].”

Ambassador Ivor Richard, left, of the United Kingdom, and U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young, right, raise their arms during vote, Friday, Nov. 4, 1977 at the United Nations Security Council.

(AP Photo/Dave Pickoff)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Caught Red-Handed: How States Wield Proof to Coerce Wrongdoers

| Fall 2021

States frequently acquire proof that other states have violated norms. Yet, existing theories do not fully explain how states wield such proof to coerce wrongdoers. Four case studies of nuclear proliferation probe a novel theory of how states coerce norm violators by concealing, sharing privately, or publicizing proof of guilt.