Chernobyl is not the only nuclear threat Russia’s invasion has sparked in Ukraine

(Inside Climate News, 26 Feb 2022) The potential for fires in the “Red Forest” still tainted by radioactive fallout from the 1986 meltdown, and 15 reactors running elsewhere in the country, pose greater risks.

It took only hours for the Russian invasion of Ukraine to hang a nuclear threat over Europe. But the defunct Chernobyl power plant may pose less of a hazard than the forest surrounding it, or the 15 nuclear reactors still operating in the country.

On Thursday morning, Ukrainian officials reported a fierce fight in the exclusion zone around the dead  Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which in 1986 blanketed parts of Europe with radioactive fallout after a meltdown that remains the worst nuclear accident in history.

“Our defenders are giving their lives so that the tragedy of 1986 will not be repeated,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported on Twitter. “This is a declaration of war against the whole of Europe.”

The Russian attack “may cause another ecological disaster,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported. Chernobyl “can happen again in 2022.”

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Inside Climate News, 26 Feb 2022: Chernobyl is not the only nuclear threat Russia’s invasion has sparked in Ukraine