Russia's Destruction Of Kakhovka Dam In Ukraine: Bombing of Europe's Biggest Nuclear Plant Threatens Lives

Russia's Destruction Of Kakhovka Dam In Ukraine: Bombing of Europe's Biggest Nuclear Plant Threatens Lives

  • The bombing of the major Kakhovka dam in Ukraine has raised concerns about the possibility of a nuclear disaster
  • Although there is no pressing danger to the massive Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, experts fear the rapidly dropping water level in the reservoir is dangerous
  • Already, there are fears that there could massive deaths of rare animal and plant species at the banks of the Dnipro River due to the flooding

Russia's decision to bomb the Nova Kakhovka dam in Russia-occupied southern Ukraine on June 6, 2023, has prompted fears of a possible nuclear catastrophe if things don't change soon.

Apart from the humanitarian consequences of the destruction, characterised by the flooding of homes, experts fear an environmental crisis that could hit soon.

Since the dam was destroyed by Russian bombs, rising water levels, sometimes above 10 feet in the Kherson region, have driven hundreds from their homes.

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Russia's bombing of Kakhovka dam opens up possibility for a nuclear disaster.
Local resident floats on a raft near his house on June 8, 2023, in Kherson, Ukraine (R) and a view of a spent nuclear fuel storage grounds at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plan. Source: Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

But perhaps the biggest concern arising out of the bombing of the dam is the draining of the Kakhovka reservoir. People with knowledge about the matter raise concerns about the state of the massive Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant near the dam.

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The nuclear power plant is the largest in Europe, and although it is not believed to be in any immediate danger, rapidly dropping water levels in the reservoir will ultimately make it difficult to access the water necessary to cool the plant’s six reactors.

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Russian forces continue to tip the scales towards disaster

Experts believe a Chornobyl-type meltdown and disaster is not possible at the Zaporizhzhia plant, however, the risk to the massive structure comes from a possible cooling system failure.

Since 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, it has repeatedly struck the transmission lines that power the Zaporizhzhia's cooling systems. This has compelled the use of backup generators to keep the cooling system operational.

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There is currently no pressing risk of a nuclear catastrophe at Zaporizhzhia although the alarms at the plant are constantly going off due to the close proximity of combat operations and deployment of Russian troops at the facility. The plant has numerous residual safety features.

However, the risk of a catastrophe is ever present.

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Thousands of animal species also risk destruction

Apart from the threat to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the destruction of the Kakhovka dam by Russian forces could also result in the deaths of hundreds of rare animal and plant species.

According to Ukraine's environment ministry, the breach of the southernmost dam on the Dnipro River reservoir cascade on June 6 forced thousands to evacuate the area found on its downward stream.

The worsening flooding situation risks permanently destroying the rich animal habitats and plant species found along Dnipro's banks.

Every bullet, every bomb that hits Ukraine from Russia hits pockets of Ghanaians

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Meanwhile, reported in a separate story that President Nana Akufo-Addo said last year that he is convinced that the Russian-Ukrainian war is to blame for the downfall of the African economy.

According to him, each bullet or bomb that hits a target in Ukraine hits African pockets directly, which in turn exacerbates the economic crisis currently ongoing.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly held in New York, USA, Akufo-Addo said the invasion had aggravated an already worsening economic situation in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

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