21 March 2023
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Slavutych mayor Yurii Fomichev: “Chornobyl NPP at the brink of catastrophe, Slavutych at the brink of famine...”

The town of Slavutych was built for nuclear power engineers working at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. The plant’s emplyees were traveling to work by a rail road through the territory of Belarus. This was not a problem in Soviet times, nor was it a problem since Ukraine gained independence.

“However, on the first day of the war, the Russians blew up the railroad bridge. The roads to Vyshhorod and Chernihiv were blocked by ongoing military action”, says Slavutych mayor Yurii Fomichev. “We actually found ourselves in the enemy’s rear. Thus, for two weeks the employees couldn’t get to the Chornobyl plant to change shifts. Chernobyl is one of the few nuclear power plants in the world to be decommissioned, and it’s operations are not like at other plants”.

“The Russian military, sadly, cannot realize the scope of potential danger. They are moving freely through the Chornobyl zone, without even thinking about the dangers of radioactive damage. They don't understand what radiation is, what a nuclear power plant is, why safety measures are so important there. I'm scared of even talking about what might happen to them in a while. They breathed radioactive dust, and then they carried the same dust moving further on  Ukrainian roads. But the dust problem is nothing compared to the dangers of power outage at the plant. And two days ago, high-voltage power lines were damaged due to military action”.

“Since 2000, the Chornobyl plant hasn’t been producing electricity, only consuming it. The power outage causes the cooling of nuclear fuel to stop. The same situation was the reason for the Fukushima NPP explosion. But there is a sea nearby, and the fuel was later cooled by seawater. There is no water at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant: the ponds around the station have long been drained. That is, in case of a tragedy, nothing is there to cool the nuclear fuel”.

“Since there’s no Internet connection in Slavutych, the plant can’t send data to IAEA. We use  diesel power plants to charge our phones, but don’t have much diesel fuel left. And it’s impossible to bring in more”.

“The town currently lacks medicine and food. About twenty insulin-dependent residents are threatened with death. The situation is very bad, because there has never been gas supply to  Slavutych. When we run out of diesel fuel, our lives will stop completely. We are now completely cut off from Ukraine. We are like on an island. If the Russian troops don’t organize a humanitarian corridor for us in the upcoming days, we will be starving and freezing. Nuclear power engineers, experts of the highest level, are now forced to cut firewood and cook food on open fire. 25,000 town residents became hostages of Russia”.

“We must immediately restore connection to the rest of Ukraine via Chernihiv or Vyshhorod. It’s impossible to travel to these cities by trucks on dirt roads. And not much can be transported by SUVs. Moreover, that's very dangerous: no one can guarantee the driver returning alive”.

“Theoretically, we can get to the rest of Ukraine through the Belarusian city of Gomel, but neither I nor the residents of Slavutych would like that. Missiles and military planes fly from Belarus to Ukraine every day, bombing our relatives. We could also cross the Dnipro river by boat if we were given them and guaranteed safety. The governments of Ukraine and Russia must immediately agree to unblock our city. After all, this is not just about the very real famine in Slavutych. We are talking about the danger of a new Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident”.

10.03.2022 - 19:21 | Views: 4798
Slavutych mayor Yurii Fomichev: “Chornobyl NPP at the brink of catastrophe, Slavutych at the brink of famine...”




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