The previous fire in the exclusion zone occurred hardly 2 months ago and it would be logical of the State Emergency Service officials to tighten their control over the dangerous area. Still we should see things as they really stay – Chernobyl is again at fire.
In the history of post-Soviet Ukraine this is the first such case when the exclusion zone has caught fire twice a year. Local authorities used to take all the necessary preventive measures after the fires had been extinguished. Now nobody can guarantee that this fire is the last. Ukrainians have yet to survive through two more summer months and September, normally rather a hot autumn month in Ukraine. And all this time they have to rely on wise guidance of ‘Poroshenko’s team’.
We shall live and see. But I only want to remind of some other huge energy facilities in the country apart from Chernobyl NPP posing real threat to people due to systematic connivance and negligence of the Ukrainian authorities.
Dnieper Hydroelectric Station
The scale of any anthropogenic catastrophe on this facility would par the 1986 year disaster. Matter of fact, there’s an enormous industrial complex comprising metallurgy, chemical and engineering industries in Zaporizhia.
Most of them will be just washed away and poisonous substances will contaminate vast areas at a distance of hundreds of kilometers. The nuclear power plant in Enerhodar will be also hit. Its explosion will surpass the fabulous scenarios created by the famous authors of Fallout and Mad Max. And it’s highly doubtful that heroic State Emergency Service of Ukraine will be able to do anything.
Only one faulty bearing, not tested and changed in due time, may cause a tragedy similar to that we witnessed on Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam in Russia. As for Ukraine, this bearing must be as big as 130 hectares to catch the eye of the local ‘specialists’.
Nuclear power plants
Apart from the Zaporizhia NPP there are three more electric power stations of the same type which keep functioning in Ukraine presently: South Ukraine NPP, Rivne NPP and Khmelnitsky NPP. When all those facilities were under construction the service life of power-generating units they were fitted with was planned as long as 30 years, no more than that.
The safest of them is Khmelnitsky NPP which has got only one power unit that reached the end of service life some time ago unlike the rest two NPPs.
On South Ukraine nuclear facility two of the three power units have the expired exploitation terms with one of them having operating license expired more than two years ago.
On Rivne NPP the operation safety level is nearing critical. Power units Rivne-1 and Rivne-2 were to be shut down in 2010 and 2011 respectfully. So they have been functioning overtime for 5 years already, which makes 1/6 of a (sic!) new power unit energy resource.
There are people who may argue that some power units, on Rivne NPP in particular, successfully passed the re-certification audit. True fact is that there were such reports actually but the fulfillment of the safety upgrading measures is highly doubtful.
Matter of fact, it was after modernization measures that some power units were tripped. Back into 2014 as many as 13 planned safety measures were implemented on Unit 3 of Rivne NPP so that to extend the unit lifetime). It took a year for the work to be accomplished. Still, in March 2015 the ‘upgraded’ unit was stopped to escape an emergency situation.
By the way, only the accomplishment (sic!) of the Complex Safety Upgrade Program for Rivne NPP is estimated at a cost of 4 bln hryvnias (nearly $180 mln) I wonder if that shutdown of the ‘fixed’ unit is somewhat related to the highest corruption level Ukraine is showing off in Europe?
Anyway, another Chernobyl disaster in Rivne is only matter of time. But unlike the 1986 disaster now these are going to be European countries to suffer most of all.
In addition to the above mentioned plants, there are about 1,500 unsafe chemical facilities posing danger to 17 mln people; more than 150 warehouses with 1.5 million tons of ammunition subject to utilization; around 30 mln tons of toxic red slime stored on Nikolaev aluminous plant. The list may be added with lots of other hazardous objects in Ukraine.
Does the threat of anthropogenic disaster exist in Ukraine? Make your own conclusions. As for me, the recent fire on the petroleum storage depot in Ukraine and Chernobyl radioactive burials escaping fire by miracle evoke string of nasty thoughts in mind.