Day 193: IAEA Says Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Lost Power Link as Red Cross Fears Radiation Disaster

Photo: Reuters [via CNN]

The Facts

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has announced that Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant - currently under Russian control - has lost its link to the last power line and is currently only supplying energy to Ukraine's energy grid through a backup line.

  • The IAEA reports that only one of six reactors is in operation, with both Russian and Ukrainian forces blaming each other for nearby shelling. The International Red Cross has warned that the artillery fire could cause a humanitarian catastrophe in the event of a radiation disaster.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Experts have made it clear – the situation at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant presents the risk of another Chornobyl. The nuclear disaster has, miraculously, been avoided so far, but continuing risks to the safety and effectiveness of staff to control the reactors could have catastrophic consequences.

Establishment-critical narrative

Although Zaporizhzhia's cooling systems will be relatively vulnerable due to their contact with the outside world, the worst-case scenario would only cause serious damage at a local level. Both Russia and Ukraine are overstating the risk of nuclear catastrophe to galvanize domestic support for the invasion and play upon Western fears to incentivize providing military and public support respectively.

Nerd narrative

There is an 18% chance that there will be a serious radiation incident at any nuclear plant in Ukraine by 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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