Nuclear power plant vulnerability in military conflict: Yuzhnoukrainsk (South Ukraine) technical briefing

Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to natural disasters, as Fukushima Daiichi showed in 2011, but they are also vulnerable in times of conflict.

This is the second Greenpeace briefing on the potential for disaster in the event of a military attack at a nuclear power plant during the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

The first, published on 2 March, focused on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant; two days later, the world held its breath as Russian troops took control of the site in an assault that involved the firing of an unknown quantity of heavy weaponry units, including artillery and /or possible tank shells.

Such an event, prior to its happening, had been deemed to be of low probability, but possible and with potentially severe consequences by nuclear security analysts. But it was “specifically excluded from consideration” by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its 2021 safety guidelines on external hazards to nuclear plants.

This new briefing seeks to explain some of the hazards and potential consequences of an attack at another of Ukraine’s four nuclear power plants, Yuzhnoukrainsk (‘South Ukraine’).

Media contacts:

Greenpeace International Press Desk, [email protected],

+31 20 718 2470 (24 hours)

Jan vande Putte, [email protected]

Shaun Burnie, [email protected]