Impossible to forget

August 9, the 167th day of the war

Yesterday’s Apple news started off with a post about The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in southeastern Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and among the 10 largest in the world. It was built by the Soviet Union near the city of Enerhodar, on the southern shore of the Kakhovka Reservoir on the Dnieper river.

I didn’t know that. Really I cannot know everything about everything. I even don’t know geography well. I’m learning it with my life.

I looked it up online.

Russians said: 

“The Armed forces of Ukraine launched a missile attack on the territory of the Zaporozhye NPP. It is noted that the area of the dry storage of spent nuclear fuel and the post of automated control of the radiation situation turned out to be in the affected zone”.

Ukrainians said:

“On August 5-6, Russia fired several times at the facilities of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

As a result of Russian shelling on August 5, power lines were damaged at the Zaporozhye NPP, which is why the fourth power unit of the NPP was disconnected from the power system. There are six reactors in total at the NPP. Russian missiles damaged three radiation monitoring sensors around the site of the spent nuclear fuel dry storage facility. Now it is not yet possible to track the deterioration of the radiation situation or the leakage of radiation from the storage containers in a timely manner.

Russian troops have placed military equipment with weapons and explosives in the engine rooms of the power units of the station. If this station explodes, it will be the second Chernobyl”.

Honestly I don’t trust Russian’s media anymore. However, I don’t want to make any conclusions here, on my blog. I hope soon we will learn the truth from the specialists, for example the International Atomic Energy Agency . I hope that we will be able to do so, meaning survive that war and craziness. 

Russian Winter Forest

If you remember in the beginning of the war Russian soldiers spent some time (a couple of days?) in the area of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. I think they call it “Red forest”, because of the radiation in that zone.  Poor soldiers most likely received some radiation. Here is an article from The Reuters

At the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant after the departure of the Russian troops, the IAEA inspectors have already restored radiation monitoring sensors and other radiation detection devices. 

Right now they cannot do the same in the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station. 

For people who don’t know about Chernobyl I found a few videos on Youtube, in Russian and in English.

I, myself, have watched a documentary about it just recently on TV. 

The accident had happened in 1986. I was young. I knew it was bad. But the officials didn’t really want to tell the whole truth. 

So, it’s good to be able to learn it at least now. I will post all the links under my post.

However, I have my own scary moments related to nuclear power. 

In 1993, an accident occurred at the Siberian Chemical Plant (SHK) in Seversk.

First, a little bit of history.

I was born in the small Siberian city of Tomsk. 

All my childhood, I and all the citizens knew about a town near Tomsk, where there was a nuclear plant. The town was “closed”, which meant you had to have a special permit in order to get there. And just recently I found out that Tomsk was a closed city and Seversk was a secret town. 

Seversk is a new name though. And now you can see this town on the map. It is still closed though, but not so secret anymore. 

So, On April 6, 1993, after lunch, there were rumors about an accident in Seversk. Allegedly, there was an explosion at a nuclear reactor. A radioactive cloud may be about to cover the regional center. 

Honestly I don’t remember when exactly I got this information. The officials said nothing. The governor of the Tomsk oblast learned about this only the next day from Moscow. 

For three days we didn’t know what to do. Can we take kids for a walk? Should we go away somewhere, but where? Should we take some medicine, but which one? The radiation is invisible. It can affect you at any time and you don’t know about it.

Russian Autumn Forest

I found the story of the firefighter whose crew arrived first at the scene of the accident. His name is Oleg Vlasyuk. The link is as usual… down below. 

And his story, briefly:

Arriving at the place, they were shocked. The building collapsed vertically in half: one part stood, and the other lay right on the road. The roof was burning, smoke was coming from the side of the railway entrance gate.

The senior firefighter offered to put on all protective equipment and gas masks, including. 

Most likely, this is what saved people from radiation exposure.

.… And Tomsk and Seversk were saved by the weather.

“The wind was from the river, snow, rain, everything was washed up in one fell swoop… If not, it might have covered the city. Chernobyl was still living in the minds at that time, so the fear was”, —says Vlasyuk.

“It turned out that at 12:58 the chemical apparatus AD-6101/2 exploded in the workshop No. 1 of the RHZ, the size of half a railway tank. Part of the building was destroyed, and a fire  broke out. And 10-15 percent of the 25 cubic meters of solution containing compounds of uranium, plutonium and other radionuclides were thrown out.

The wind was blowing north-northeast that day. And the radioactive “tail” formed after the explosion settled on the territory where very few people lived. Moreover, the change in wind direction occurred literally half an hour before the accident. In addition, thick snow fell and pressed the radiation to the ground. The villages of Georgievka and, to a lesser extent, Naumovka suffered from it.

Fortunately, Chernobyl did not happen in Seversk in 1993. The ill-fated AD-6101/2 apparatus at the RHZ has been liquidated, this place is filled with concrete and, they say, covered with a lead plate”- Viktor Fefelov in his article on “News “

Last year I wrote a post about Tomsk. Nothing special, post-review of what was going on in my hometown. 

I mentioned that the official opening of the launch of a new project – the unique BREST-300 reactor plant – took place in Seversk on Monday, June 7.

Since 2011 Rosatom has been working on a  project to create a closed fuel cycle technology.

At the Siberian Chemical Plant (SHK) in Seversk,there will be a pilot demonstration complex (ODEC), which will include three industrial facilities that have no analogues in the world: a module for the production of uranium-plutonium nuclear fuel, the BREST-300 power unit and a module for the processing of irradiated fuel.

They say that the safety level of the complex and the reactor actually excludes accidents. 

Is it really possible to create this type of complex safe and healthy for the environment? 

I hope so. 

I really hope that people will be able to use nuclear energy for good.

I hope that the German government will consider extending the life of the country’s three remaining nuclear power plants as it seeks to strengthen its energy sector. They really need it, instead of depending on Russian oil and gas.

I hope that Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station will survive the war and be freed from Russian troops.

And I hope that the war will stop soon and no more people will die.

*The name “Red Forest” comes from the ginger-brown colour of the pine trees after they died following the absorption of high levels of ionizing radiation as a consequence of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on 26 April 1986.

Author: Elena

Hi, My name is Elena. I am Russian living in the US. My blog is about my life and experience. This is my new hobby. So, please, don't be too hard on me. Thanks

2 thoughts on “Impossible to forget”

    1. Hi,
      I do not know what you mean by “UA” – United Arab Emirates? I’ve never watched them. If they are controlled by the government – no.
      I did trust Russian television. I learned about COVID from them long before CNN mentioned it. February 24 changed everything. Now all the independent journalists are gone. Although I still watch Russian news.
      I hope you and your family are doing well.

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