The victory of «national revolution» in Kiev and the ensuing destabilization of the country call for assessment of emerging threats. There are four nuclear stations with fifteen units on Ukrainian soil:
– The Khmelnitsky Nuclear Power Plant – two units with VVER-1000 (the Russian abbreviation VVER stands for «water-cooled, water-moderated energy reactor») design reactors in service since 1987 and 2004. There are two more units (VVER-1000-design reactors) under construction to be launched in 2015-2016.
– The Rovenskaya nuclear power plant – 4 units with VVER-440 reactors in service since 1980, 1981, 1986 and 2004.
– The South Ukraine nuclear power plant – 3 units with VVER-1000 reactors (in service since 1982, 1985 and 1989).
– The Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plant – six units with VVER-1000 reactors launched in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1995.
The modern technology can be a weapon of mass destruction in case a nuclear plant is damaged as a result of conventional strike or an accident caused by terrorist act leading to generation of excessive heat. It may result in a nuclear or conventional blast. Heating up will make uranium dioxide destroy the vessel, break through concrete shielding and allow heated radioactive material to get into the ground. As it gets to subsoil waters, an explosion will occur directing a wave back to the reactor with all the ensuing fallout.
Reactors, storages and recycling plants will be contaminated by residual fuel and fission products. The isotopes pose special threat, especially: plutonium – 239, iodine -131, caesium – 137 and strontium – 90. Nuclear fuel may cause contamination just as a nuclear warhead does.
Switching to the type of fuel used in the United States may result in immediate stoppage of reactors. As is known, in 2010 the second and third units of Zaporozhskaya power plant began to use the Westinghouse fuel. Problems started, repairs were needed too often, and there were sudden stoppages. The employees sent a petition to Energoatom and President Victor Yanukovych, as well as to some other state agencies. As a result, chief state inspector of Ukraine Nuclear Security Michael Gashev promised to review the situation, so the South Ukrainian and Zaporozhskaya power stations started to use Russian fuel again in 2012. Does Ukraine have enough money now to satisfy its needs in heat generating elements?
What stands it the way of Bandera gangs capturing the Rovenskaya nuclear power plant?! Berkut (special police units in Ukraine) was the only force capable of preventing terrorist acts. It is disbanded now; its place is taken by Bandera assault units. TV channels showed automatic gun toting Sashok Biliy, ex-guard of Dzhokhar Dudaev (self-proclaimed «president» of Chechnya in the 1990s), who became known for threatening Rovenskaya Oblast (region) local organs of power with an assault rifle.
Under certain circumstances the nationalist armed formations may capture nuclear stations (the Rovenskaya plant, for instance) and nuclear burials. Who’ll take the AKMS (Kalashnikov modernized automatic rifle) away from gunslinger Sashok Biliy, the new boss in town?!
Having established control over nuclear sites, Nazi will resort to blackmail demanding for themselves top positions in the country’s power agencies like the Ministry of Defense and the Ukrainian Security Service.
The chances of accident increase because militants are totally incompetent; they have no basic knowledge and knacks needed to operate plants. They can be used. The responsibility for nuclear contamination of territory and death of thousands could be shifted by real perpetrators on illiterate and bigoted extremists.
The subversive actions against Ukrainian nuclear plants could be staged by operatives of Western special services infiltrated into the ranks of militants.
Nuclear burials are of special concern. The one in Dneprodzerzhinsk, near Pridneprovsk chemical plant is especially vulnerable.
Pridneprovsk chemical plant was the first facility in the Soviet Union designed to recycle uranium. Territory – 250 thousand square meters. Today it has 22 facilities; seven of them are private property. There are nine nuclear burials within the city limits, in the industrial zone and beyond. Officially it stores around 42 million tons of waste, total radioactivity – 75 thousand curies.
Dneprodzerzhinsk chemical plant is the alleged main objective for a large-scale nuclear terrorist subversive action. The situation has worsened as there is no guard; its territory is not surrounded by any fence. There have been a few attempts to get radioactive waste out in recent years. With the facility captured, it won’t be a big thing to get access to the Doomsday weapon.
Russia should be ready to act in case a nuclear accident takes place in Ukraine threatening adjacent lands, including Russian territory, with nuclear contamination. Russian experts are also concerned over the possibility of transporting nuclear waste to the Russian border areas, like it took place during the former President Yushenko tenure… As Ukrainian media reported, Kiev secretly promised to the Western partners that it would agree to store the nuclear and chemical waste brought from outside. Today Ukraine has no money for modern, duly equipped storages, but the word should be kept, especially if the West pays for it. The solution was easily found – taking the waste to the Russian border. There are many deserted mines in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
According to some reports, an open pit in the settlement of Novoamvrosiivs'ke and a mine in the village of Snezhnoye which belong to Dontsement facility, are used for the purpose. There are more opportunities in the Lugansk region. Nuclear waste has been buried in mine Dolzhanskaya near the settlement of Sverdlovsk. Chemical waste was buried in mines Komsomolskaya and Tsentralnaya in the heart of Antratsit city and in Yankovskaya-3 and Sterovskaya near the settlement of Krasny Luch.
Summing it all up, experts find it expedient for Russia to take the following steps:
1. To resolutely address the issue of nuclear infrastructure safety in view of worsening security situation in Ukraine at international level (the United Nations Security Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union etc.).
2. To revive the Soviet days practice (as it was done to counter the US plans aimed at deploying intermediate missiles in Europe and neutron weapons) and go straight to the people of European countries telling them there is an imminent threat emanating from Ukraine which is relevant for everyone living on the continent!
3. To establish special equipment at the border with Ukraine to monitor the transfer of nuclear material.
4. To put the Russian Armed Forces on high alert to conduct counterterrorist operations in case a threat is posed to nuclear sites. To adopt a corresponding legislation.
5. To help responsible elements of society form and equip rapid reaction units (like Automaidan) to counter terrorist threats and protect the infrastructure sites vulnerable to accidents till Bandera forces are disarmed and law and order are restored in Ukraine.