Day 190 Roundup: Nuclear Inspectors Press On to Zaporizhzhia Plant Amid Reports of New Attacks

Photo: Reuters

The Facts

  • Amid new reports of attacks near Europe's largest nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have so-far decided to press on despite the dangers. IAEA head Rafael Grossi, the Italian leading the 14-member mission, said the group was aware of "increased military activity in the area," but added: "Having come so far, we are not stopping."

  • In a statement on Thurs., Russia's defense ministry claimed: "Today, about 6am Moscow time, Ukrainian troops in two sabotage groups on seven boats numbering up to 60 people debarked on the shore of the Kakhovs'ke reservoir three kilometers to the north-east of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and attempted to take over the power plant." The ministry added that measures were taken to eliminate the attackers.


The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Experts have made it clear – the situation at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant presents the risk of another Chernobyl. Nuclear disaster has, miraculously, been avoided so far, but continuing risks 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 over stating 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 17% 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

CRITICAL

PRO

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