This Week’s Featured Interview:
- Kevin Kamps is Nuclear Waste Specialist at Beyond Nuclear.
- Dr. Gordon Edwards has been president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR.org) since 1978. He graduated from the University of Toronto after studying mathematics, physics and chemistry with a gold medal in mathematics and physics.
Numnutz of the Week (for Outstanding Nuclear Boneheadedness):
Dear Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: In light of the nuclear dangers of the past month that have been raised by Russia in Ukraine and in threats to use nuclear weapons… CAN YOU NOT TELL TIME???
- NPR Video Analysis of March 3 Russian attack on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia 6-reactor nuclear power site. https://www.npr.org/2022/03/11/1085427380/ukraine-nuclear-power-plant-zaporizhzhia
- REGISTER for Bob Alvarez Lifetime Achievement Award – Saturday, March 19, 2022, 3 pm Eastern time, presented by Nuclear Information Resource Service (NIRS) and Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.
- Dianukes zoominar, Nuclear Power in the Battlefield: Ongoing Concerns at Chernobyl, Zaporizhzhya, and Beyond with Dr. Gordon Edwards; Dr. Olga Koshama, nuclear and safety expert, Ukrainian Nuclear Society, Kyiv; and Dr. Andrey Ozharovskym, Russian physicist and an independent expert on nuclear matters. https://www.dianuke.org/chernobyl-in-the-war-zone-dianuke-conversation-on-the-unfolding-crisis-in-ukraine-zoom-recording/
- Pinar Demarican article: Rosatom’s woes before and beyond the war: implications of Russia’s embattled nuclear industry
- TRANSCRIPT OF MARCH 4 UKRAINE NUCLEAR REGULATOR REPORT
Nuclear Ukraine, week three, while the Ukrainian people continue to fight valiantly against the Russian invaders nuclear reactors on the ground, continue to remain prime targets and potential disaster flash points, nuclear energy apologi are holding to their pro nuclear talking points. When they got on the media, trying to give the false impression that all is well, nothing to see here, pay attention to NATO and the bomb, but we know that the nuclear power reactors in Ukraine, indeed all nuclear power reactors have vulnerabilities that make them prime targets for saboteurs, as well as intentional or accidental shelling in a war zone. And then you have a genuine expert who tells you
Nuclear power plants, whether accidentally through misfired, explosives, or intentionally as intentional targets of military attack, what they essentially represent is dirty bombs on your domestic territory. So if they get blown up, no matter how they get blown up or meltdown, no matter how they meltdown, these are gigantic dirty bombs that have been preyed throughout your domestic territory. And at a time of war, that’s a pretty bad idea to have those preyed nuclear, dirty bomb, radiological, dirty bombs deployed throughout your territory.
Well, that’s kind of the opposite of quote unquote, clean green energy. And when Kevin camps radioactive waste specialists for beyond nuclear puts it that clearly, and you realize that there are already more than 400 of these nuclear monsters on domestic territories around the world, you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are stuck in that terrible deadly seat that we all share
Nuclear hot seat. What are those people thinking? Nuclear hot seat. What have those boys been drinking? Hot seat? The is sinking. Our time to act is shrinking, but the activists are licking new hot seat. It’s de
Welcome to nuclear hot seat. The weekly international news magazine, keeping you up to date on all things nuclear from a different perspective. My name is libi Halevi. I am the producer and host as well as a survivor of the nuclear accent at three mile island from just one mile away. So I know what can happen when those nuclear so-called experts get it wrong. This week, we continue nuclear hot seats coverage of the nuclear aspects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. With an interview with Kevin camps, he is nuclear waste specialist for beyond nuclear, and he shares with us the exact nature of those nuclear dangers faced by Ukraine that have nothing to do with bombs being dropped and everything to do with nuclear power reactors as dirty bombs on the ground. And we’ll also hear a brief set of comments by Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian coalition for nuclear responsibility on the well known limits to nuclear energy safety.
We will also have numb nuts of the week for outstanding nuclear bone headedness and more honest nuclear information. Then you’re going to get from Tucker Carlson ever. All it coming up in just a few moments today is Tuesday, March 15, the odds of March, 2022. And here is this week’s nuclear news from a different perspective as we have for the past two weeks, our focus is going to be on Ukraine where video analysis by NPR reveals that the Russian attack on Ukrainian nuclear plant at Zappia was far closer to disaster than has yet been admitted. NPR conducted a thorough review of a four hour 21 minute security cam video of the attack, which reveals that Russian forces repeatedly fired heavy weapons in the direction of the plant’s massive reactor buildings, which house dangerous nuclear fuel photos show that an administrative building directly in front of the reactor complex was shreded by Russian fire and a video from inside the plant shows damage at a possible Russian shell that landed less than 250 feet from the unit two reactor building.
The security camera footage also shows Russian troops, haphazardly firing rocket propelled grenades into the main administrative building at the plant and turning away Ukrainian firefighters, even as a fire raged outta of control in a nearby training building, this evidence stands in stark contrast to early comments by the international atomic energy agency, the IA E a which while acknowledging the seriousness of the assault emphasized that the action took place away from the reactors. The footage shows that the training, the building took multiple strikes and it was hardly the only part of the site to take fire from Russian forces. The security footage supports claims by Ukraine’s nuclear regulator of damage at three other locations, the unit one reactor building the transformer at the unit six reactor and the spent fuel pool, which is where highly radio active nuclear waste is stored. It also shows ordinance striking a high voltage line outside the plant and the IA E a admits that two such lines, which is power from the grid, which is needed to fuel.
The cooling systems were damaged in the attack. We will link to that NPR report on our website, nuclear hots seat.com under this episode, number five 60, for those who are relying on the IA E a the international atomic energy agency for its interpreter of what is going on, I need to bring your attention to article two of the I a E a statute its objectives, which include the agency shall seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health, and prosperity throughout the world, which goes a long way to explaining the IA E A’s systemic bias towards minimizing risks and dangers in all nuclear circumstances, including their repeated comments last week, the I a E a sees no critical impact on safety in the wake of the attacks at Zaia on March 13, it was reported that staff at the Cher noble nuclear plant have stopped repairing and maintaining safety related equipment in part due to physical and psychological fatigue.
And from working nonstop since Russian forces invaded on February 24th, Ukraine’s nuclear power company, a NAGO Adam said specialists from Ukraine had fixed one of two damaged power lines, which allowed offsite power to be delivered from the grid to the plant. This has now happened twice and been repaired twice. And at Zappia two of the four offsite power lines connected to the grid had been damaged. And the IA E a has been saying that as long as there is at least one power line, as well as diesel generators with enough fuel backup power can be provided. But in a quote from I a E a director general Rafael Grossi, we, he can’t afford to lose more time. On Monday, March 13, Ukrainian authorities accused Russian troops of, of detonating ammunition at the Zaia six reactor nuclear power plant site. Ukrainian officials also allege that Russian forces plan to continue with explosions at the plant and that staff had fled. And now
Clear hot seed, no clear hot seed, no clear hot seed, none sound awake.
The bulletin of the atomic scientist doomsday clock is an internationally recognized symbol of how close the world is to nuclear annihilation at its own hands. Three years ago, in 2020, it was set at 100 seconds to midnight. The closest it has ever been that setting remained in place for 2221. And as of January 27 of this year, 2022, the same. So what’s happened in less than two months since then. Let me see. Russia invaded Ukraine took over the cheer noble radioactive site turned off radiation monitors, lobbed missiles at the six nuclear power reactor site of Zappia setting an administrative building on fire, a short distance from the reactors and doing still undisclosed damaged. Oh, and Russian president Vladimir Putin threatened the world with nuclear annihilation. The term he used was you will witness quote, such consequences that you have never in, in your history TMA to threatening that Russia would use nuclear weapons.
So what did the bulletin of the atomic scientists do about their doomsday clock, their own science and security board met after the invasion to consider their position. And they left the clock unchanged really saying that we are no more at risk than we were before Russia took all the bad actor positions. It has, but not acknowledging it. That’s more than a missed opportunity. It’s numb nuts territory. The bulletin had the opportunity to raise awareness in the world, a dire nature of the nuclear threat using a symbol that is recognized everywhere to up the alarm. And they went, meh. We knew all that was possible. Last January, all this war stuff in Ukraine is a manifestation that has no impact on nuclear threat, which means it has no impact on our alarm system. Oh yeah. Or bulletin, are you shaking in your boots afraid to alert people to how bad it actually is in Ukraine? I know I’m not reassured by your lack of action. It seems like an abdication of duty or a really big blind spot. And I feared to think that it might be something worse. So in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its targeting of nuclear sites for not signaling to the world, that the nuclear situation is far worse today than it was in January of 2022. And who knows how much worse it might be getting, even as I’m recording this union of concerned scientists and your science and security board, you are this week’s
Clear hot seat, none sound awake.
You’ll hear about all these stories in much more detail from Kevin camps during today’s featured interview, we will also have links up on the website, including an in depth and insightful look at the politics of rose Otum before and beyond the war and the implications of Russia’s embatled nuclear industry. This was written by PIAR DeMar Jean. She is from Turkey, an independent researcher, PhD candidate, nuclear cs.org coordinator, and nuclear editor at GA. This article was posted on Diane nu.org. And as I said, we will link to it. We will also have links up to the R. I was a nuclear missile operator. There had been more near misses than the world knows by Cole Smith. That’s from the guardian in London. We will also have a link up to the impasioned article, do not use nuclear weapons, a message from Japan written by Todd Toshi, Akiba, former mayor of Hiroshima.
He also calls for a current Japanese prime minister KDA, who is from Hiroshima to visit Moscow, to meet president Putin and attend the United nation security council meeting. To explain why nuclear weapons must not be used by conveying the cry of the Hiba, the Tomic bomb survivors of hi Shima and Nagasaki, and an article by the esteemed and revered Dr. Helen Caldecot Russia’s war could spell worldwide nuclear disaster in it. She describes the medical effects of a single bomb dropping on a city. She states a Russian 20 megaton bomb would enter at 20 times the speed of sound exploding with the heat of the sun, digging a hole three quarters of a mile, 1.27 kilometers wide and 88 feet, 26.8 meters, deep converting all buildings, people and earth shot up into the air. As a mushroom cloud, 20 miles, 32.2 kilometers from the epicenter. All humans would be killed or lethally injured.
That’s what we are facing. And it is closer than 100 seconds to midnight. We’ll continue with this. Week’s featured interview in just a moment, but first the nuclear tree is going all out to obscure the nature of the nuclear threat within Ukraine, giving false assurances in carefully focus group, tested, quotes, reading over their well constructive and massively disseminated talking points. It’s clear that this is nuclear business as usual and unfortunate. Most mainstream media reporters don’t know enough to ask the questions that will bust through to the genuine situation. Add to that mainstream media’s short attention span, and any mention of nuclear comes in short spurts of alarm, but not followed up and not with any persistence of vision, but that’s the case here at nuclear hot seat. Even when the media is not paying attention to nuclear dangers, we follow it closely because we know that nuclear does not go away.
And the current dangers in Ukraine, as well as the ongoing aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster are just two examples of the pain, danger, health threats, and worse that we face from this deadly technology using it is a definition of madness. If you ever had any doubts as to why nuclear hot seat needs be here for you, this is another episode that should put that thought to rest without nuclear hot seat, you would at best only know bits and pieces of those nuclear dangers that you chase down yourself online and not see the big picture and how it all fits together. So if you’ve ever thought about donating to new nuclear hot seat now would be the time go to nuclear, hot seat.com, click on the big red donate button. Any amount will help, and you can set up a sustaining donation of $5 a month, which will support us in our efforts and know that whatever you can do to help I’m deeply grateful that you’re listening and that you care. Now, here’s this week’s featured interview. The nuclear problems and dangers in Ukraine are ongoing and evolving, and they’re not going to go away to get an overview of the range of problems faced both those endemic to nuclear energy technology and the specific threats posed by the current by Russia. I talked with Kevin camps. He is nuclear waste specialist at beyond nuclear, and that title barely covers his range of expertise. We spoke on Monday, March 14, and there have been developments since that interview, which I will bring you up to date on at the end.
Kevin cam, thank you so much for making the time to speak with us this morning. This very busy morning on nuclear hoed.
Thanks for having me.
The situation in Ukraine changes from moment to moment, it seems that the Russians are intent on taking control of the nuclear rights in Ukraine. Right now, our focus has been on the radioactive remains at Cher noble and a six reactor site at Ze. Let’s start with Cher noble before the current Russian invasion. What were the requirements to keep the Cher noble site safe and its radio activity under control?
Well, at the immediate side of the Trino nuclear power plant itself, you’ve got four reactors unit four was the one that suffered the explosions and meltdown in 1986. The other three were operational the last one shutting down in the year 2000. So the situation now fast forward 20 years, I guess, is you have, what’s called the new safe confinement, which is a giant movable structure. The biggest Mo moveable structure in human history that was built a half mile away and then rolled over the old sarcophagus from 19 86, 19 87, the original cover over the melted down and exploded reactor that’s unit four, there’s 200 tons of highly radioactive molten, but solidified for the most part nuclear fuel in unit four, the other three atomic reactors at Cherno have been shut down for 20 plus years, a grand total from those three of 20,000 plus nuclear fuel assemblies, a radiated a and that fuel has been moved into indoor wet pools storage at four different pools, I believe at the Cher noble site.
So they were just beginning after many years of delay to move, to transfer the irradiated nuclear fuel, highly radioactive waste from those four indoor wet storage pools to a dry cast storage facility of gigantic size at Cher noble, not only is this new dry cast storage facility supposed to accommodate the three reactors worth of I radiated nuclear fuel from Cherno itself, but it’s actually a Ukraine wide facility. And so there were plans. There still are plans. I us to transfer all of the irradiated nuclear fuel from the other four nuclear power plants in Ukraine, into Cher noble for what they call consolidated, interim storage. That process of moving from the other nuclear plants was spent nuclear fuel to Cher noble, I believe had not started yet. What the process of transferring the wet pool storage fuel into the dry cast storage at Cher noble itself had just started
When Russia began the invasion on February 24th, it seemed that one of the first targets that they had was Cher noble. Why do you think that be?
I think it is mostly because the Russian military had deployed to Belarus already and Cheral nuclear power plant is less than 10 miles from the bell Russian border. And it just so happens to be a straight shot to key of from the Bero border. And not very far, I mean, we’re talking, I believe set. So it was one of the nearest borders to Kia of itself. The bell Russian dictator was all too happy to have the Russian military on his territory in large numbers. So one of the first invasion prongs was across that bell Russian border passed Cher noble through the radioactive exclusion zone, own the dead zone and on to Kiev. And one of the first things they would encounter coming across that border is Cherno nuclear power plant itself. And I said, hasten to mention that the tanks, the armored personnel carriers, the trucks, the troop movements coming across that border in the dead zone kicked up a lot of radioactive dust.
That’s why it is a dead zone. That’s why people are not supposed to live there. There are a small number of people who do live there. The only people that are supposed to enter and exit the Cher noble exclusion zone, which is, I believe it’s a thousand square miles in size is the Cherno nuclear power plant workforce itself, which the workers reside in a city far from Cherno called sloo to get them out of the radioactive contamination. And then they come to work and then they go back home to sloo outside of the exclusion zone. So now you’ve got count numbers of Russian soldiers running around and the Ukrainian nuclear safety agency has pointed out that the Russian military is violating exclusion zone rules left and right at will, of course, and they have held the Cherno workforce that happened to be on shift. When the war started, they have held them hostage. Now for more than two weeks,
How dangerous is it that these workers, the people who actually run Cher, noble have been under such intense hostage situation for this period of time?
Well, they’re working at gunpoint. There’s loud rumors from even the international atomic energy agency that there’s little food at Cherno for this workforce. It’s 211 workers, both technical staff, maintenance, staff and guards. And there was a fire fight involving the Ukrainian national guard against the Russian military at Cher noble itself. There were Ukrainian troops deployed to the nuclear power plants and Ukraine to defend them against seizure by the Russian military, the international atomic energy agency at the United nations is a very pro nuclear institution. And yet they are raising alarm bells about the condition of the workforce at Cherno and at Zappa nuclear power plant. We’ll talk more about that. Luckily at Zapp, it appears that shifts are able to change, but at Cherno for more than two weeks, the shift that was on duty is the only workforce at Cherno all communications lost, all communications lost at Cherno and they are under the direct Russian military control.
At least, you know, you can compare and contrast Cherno and Zappia, but at Cher, no communications, they lost power several days ago for a number of long days. And the danger there was you need electricity from the grid to run the cooling pumps at the indoor wet storage pools to keep the waste cooled and safe. And fortunately, there was a lot of water in those pools. So the were going from the top nuclear regulator in Ukraine and the company that owns turnover, so to speak, they said a week there’s a week of safety. There’s enough water that were safe for a week without electricity. And then you had other voices, like for example, ed lineman at union of concerned scientists who said maybe weeks, may even months because the waste, fortunately at Cher noble, the silver lining is 20 plus years old. So it has cooled some it’s not as thermally hot as it would be if it was straight outta a reactor core.
So the, the fuse Thatcher noble in the pools was a long one, fortunately, but the dry cast storage at Cherno, we have information from an inside source, an anonymous whistleblower that the dry cast storage facility at Cherno is very flawed. It was designed by a Reva of France. And then when they built it, they screwed up the construction. And then whole tech took over after Ari got fired for these huge mistakes they made. And I should point out something that’s not mentioned is all of these delays due to Ava’s mismanagement. And then whole tax mismanagement has led to the situation where those pools are still full of waste. This was a opposed to have gotten done a long time ago. This transfer of spent nuclear fuel into the dry cast storage, which would be a safer configuration if they built it well, but they did not. They built it so badly that our inside source, our anonymous whistleblower said it would’ve been better if they had knocked down the dry cast storage facility and started over from scratch, but they did not do so. They were activating it. And here we are in this current crisis,
How significant is it that the radiation monitors at true noble have been turned off since February 25th,
Very significant before they turned off, it was clear that that Russian military through the dead zone was kicking up radioactive dust into the air because the remote monitors, which were automatic transmission to international atomic energy agency and the Ukrainian nuclear safety regulatory agency were showing elevated readings above control levels. So these are impermissible, even in the lax troll standards of the Cheral dead zone, they were depicted as red dots instead of green. That means there’s a problem here something’s going on. And what was going on was heavy troop movements through the dead zone. So now we don’t even know what the readings are. The last reading I was aware of was something like one milligram per hour. That’s problematic. If you were to be exposed to that for a year, you’re talking a 10 REM dose. And granted there are small numbers of elderly people.
Who’ve moved back to the Cherno dead zone, and sometimes there’s even toddlers in there, families with no other choice, but to be there refugees go out there. And ironically enough, from the Chu in the war, back in the day that Putin launched against Chenia, there were Chechen refugees living in the Cherno dead zone, cuz they were desperate and had nowhere else to be. Those are the kind of peoples the workforce at Trenoble the Russian soldiers that’s, who’s being exposed to dust in the air and that millirem per hour I mentioned or 10 REM per year. If you’re exposed to it for a year, those are external readings. If you breathe in a particle of plutonium, it’s so much worse. If you ingest it through drinking or eating, it’s so much worse. Once radioactivity is inside of you, one milligram per hour, 10 rum per year is an external dose, bad enough, but internally so much worse
In terms of the safety at the site, power from the grid was launched on Wednesday, March nine and Trino switched to the backup generators, which then we learned only had a two day supply of diesel to run them as the I a E a said three day supply. Now apparently more diesel has been delivered and Russia claimed that power was being restored. But as of this morning, Monday, March 14th, we’ve learned Thatcher noble power lines have again been damaged. And now Belarus is trying to set up emergency power lines from their country. Two true noble. What does this say to you about the stability at the site?
Well, it’s obviously a very unstable situation. Apparently these losses of power loss of the grid is due to fire fights in the area that are damaging the electrical transmission system. So it’s very, you know, unstable. The only silver lining is that there’s a lot of water in the pools. Apparently the water could be compensated for as it evaporates due to heating by the nuclear fuel stored in the pools. But this all is happening in an active war zone, right? So anything could happen at any time. All of this assurance that maybe we have weeks, maybe we have months before the pools would evaporate down to the tops of the nuclear fuel assemblies that all assumes that no other shoes drop that nothing else happens that a stray missile or a stray mortar or an intentional attack. We’ve seen intentional attacks on this appre nuclear power plant that none of that additional violence and damage happens.
That’s the assumption. It’s a very optimistic assumption. So it’s a very dicey situation and don’t take it from me, take it from the director general of the international aro energy agency and take it from the Ukrainian nuclear power industry who are raising major alarm bells. And these are O nuclear voices. And as many observers have pointed out, this is an unprecedented situation. Yes, the United States did bomb a research reactor in Iraq in the 1991 war, but the fuel had been removed, but it was a radioactive facility. So there was a radioactive release from that us attack in Iraq. And yes, as we bombed a larger sized commercial reactor in Iraq, but it was pre-op operational. There was no fuel. There was no radioactive contamination. Yet here we have open warfare, brutal open warfare in one of the most nuclearized electric grids in the world, 50% of Ukraine’s electricity for a population of 44 million people comes from four operational nuclear power plants with 15 operational reactors, eight of which right now are operating, which is insane to be operating atomic reactors in a brutal war zone.
That is crazy because even if you shut an atomic reactor down, it takes days if not weeks to get that reactor cool enough that it’s stable. That if you were to lose the grid and lose the diesels, you might still be okay, but they’re operating at full power at, as we speak. And it’s craziness because if they lose the grid and they lose the diesels, those reactor cores will melt down within hours or days. As we saw at Fukushima DII, that was due to an earthquake and a tsunami here, we have open warfare and apparently at Zappia in the south of Ukraine, the Russian military of attack, there was a very close call, even national public radio. A couple, three days ago now reported that was a much closer call than initial media reports indicated
The attack took place on Zia on March 4th. And the initial response that was put out to the world was that it blew up and set a fire that destroyed some administrative and training building. But as you just stated, there was further damage and it was a much closer call. What do we know now about the damage that was done at that time?
Yeah, the national public radio coverage examined the security film footage from the security camera that the zap nuclear power plant itself had put out on YouTube in real time. And they examined several long hours of that footage and it showed the entire attack unfold. It was a column of Russian tanks, two Russian tanks followed by a half dozen or more armored personnel carriers. And the, the auxiliary buildings got hit. The training center got hit and severely damaged was on fire. But what did not get mentioned in the initial coverage? And that’s what NPR analysis showed was there was active Russian fire at the nuclear power plant itself at the atomic reactors. One of the most scary parts for me, E because I focus on radioactive waste was that two shells hit the dry cast storage facility at Zappia for high level radioactive waste storage. So reportedly none of the containers were breached.
There weren’t disastrous releases of radio activity. One of the possibilities, even with dry cast storage of high level radioactive waste is if you breach a container with an explosive, and that explosive happens to be hot enough and reaches the fuel. If you reach the ignition temperature of the zirconium metal cladding on the fuel rods, you can set it a fire and you can’t put it out. It becomes an exothermic chemical reaction, like a sparkler and the fuel rods burn and all the way down and the container is breached. So those releases would be directly to the environment. And these are disastrous amounts, catastrophic amounts of radioactive waste. It would depend on how many containers get breached, how much the fuel goes up in flames. That’s the dry cast storage, perhaps even more vulnerable of course, is operating reactor cores, indoor wet storage pools, which hold vast amounts of highly radioactive nuclear fuel.
And that was intentionally and directly attacked by the Russian military. And by sheer luck, perhaps apparently, I mean, one of the Ukrainian officials compared the Russian military behavior at Appia to monkeys with grenades, and there’s some truth to that, that those Russian soldiers know that they were directly firing on atomic reactors. I mean, there are so many soft spots forget about the contained protecting the reactor itself. And in the case of Zappia some of the storage pools, what about all the soft spots? What about the electricity? And the electric grid was hit and there are still down power lines that Zappia on the film footage itself from the security camera. It showed the Russian military open fire hit the transmit and they’re gone. So fortunately some of the transmission lines survived. The Russian military attack continued to provide electricity to the cooling and safety systems.
Appia that was sheer luck because they took some out. It’s not like any of this was calculated or carefully done. In fact, NPR went out of its way to point out one moment in the attack where a Russian soldier out of one of those armored personnel carriers fired and explosive randomly at, I believe it was unit one, atomic reactor is appre. You’re supposed to kneel down, take careful aim and hit what you’re aiming at. He was standing up and kind of walking and just inspired at Willie nilly at the unit one, a tonic reactor. So monkeys with grenades and Sherlock perhaps is why we did not suffer Cher noble time, six that’s how Ukrainian president Zelensky described the risk after the attack.
There was an extremely alarming report that just showed a up right before we started this interview on March 14, there was a report that Ukrainian authorities have accused Russian troops of detonating ammunition at Ze, and in a statement Ukraine communication center, alleged that Russian forces blew up explosives next to the nuclear plant. And the authorities. We were waiting for a response from the international atomic energy agency going on in this report. They alleged that Russian forces plan to continue with explosions at the plant. The staff had fled and ergo Adam Ukraine, state nuclear energy company said that 11 representatives of were Russia’s state atomic energy corporation, where at the nuclear plant, one of the explosions were reported. And it is obvious. The detonation of ammunition on the site of the station is carried out with their direct participation. So it turns out that Rosato is also involved in this terrorism. Again, this is a report that showed up maybe 15 minutes before we got on this call. What is your awareness of this?
Well, I have seen clear documentation of unexploded ordinance at Zappa, including Zappa and nuclear power plant workforce members taking video of an unexploded shell in a walkway that is adjacent to all six reactors. It was just laying on the floor. It had come through the ceiling of the elevated walkway. It was laying there. And then I believe there was an unexploded shell near the transformer yard at unit six. So yeah, there’s unexploded ordinance. And I hope and pray that the Russian military and the Russian nuclear officials who are deployed to that site, rose atom, 11 members of the Russian nuclear directorate, so to speak. I hope that they’re doing very controlled detonations of unexploded ordinance so that nobody gets hurt walking past when it sides to go off. But in the fog of war, who knows what’s going on, and maybe there was more unexploded ordinance that we haven’t even heard about yet at the site.
Again, the Russian military attacked the site intentionally and directly. I mean the international atomic energy agency, again, a very pronuclear institution has protested for the director. General Rossi has protested. Many of these developments that the Russian militaries is in control of a Ukrainian nuclear power plant that the workforce at Zappia is essentially being held hostage. At least when they’re on shift, they are operating at gunpoint and have to take all orders. C come from the Russian military. All decisions are made by the Russian military and probably these Russian nuclear officials, which all of this violates I a E a what they call pillars of safety. None of this is okay. The lack of communication, the workforce is supposed to operate and do their jobs under no additional pressure except for their jobs themselves. And they’re doing this at gunpoint with unexploded ordinance on the site with Deton nations taking place as we speak. So all of these are violations of IA E a standards, which to begin with are very lax.
It seems that from the start Putin has been aiming at the nuclear and having a very strong game plan regarding the new, what do you think that that might be
There’s various speculations. Some are that, well, the nukes were just in the way of the invading army and they took them because they could, and they’re just taking territory and controlling it. But of course, you know, these are nuclear power plants. We’ve, we’ve talked about the catastrophic risks located there. So another speculation on the other end of the spectrum is that Putin and the Russian military are essentially holding Ukraine and even the rest of Europe and the Northern hemisphere hostage, so to speak, it’s like nuclear blackmail. Either. You let us do what we wanna do, or, you know, we could blow this whole place up if we wanted to. What’s ironic about that. Speculation is of course, Russia itself is down wind of all of this. And not very far away Zappia is like a hundred miles from the Russian border. But when did Putin care about the Russian people? Right? So what does he care? You know, his claim is that the entire invasion of Ukraine is to protect Russian speakers and even Russian nationals in Ukraine. Well, car keys, the city that he is, as we speak and attacking maternity wards and killing pregnant women and their babies, that’s his supposed justification for the invasion is to protect Russian speakers while he’s killing them, you know, directly intentionally civilians. So who knows what he’s up to, who knows what he has planned, but it’s unprecedented to put it very mildly.
There are now reports that Russia is planning a false flag operation at Tru noble to blow it up, but to put the blame on Ukraine. And there has even been a media echo chamber claiming that Russia is stockpiling the bodies of dead Ukrainian soldiers at tri noble, to be able to pose them as saboteurs. How likely is this that Russia would intentionally damage the containment structure at the world’s worst nuclear accident?
It’s hard to know what Putin and his military are capable of. I mean, just look at Syria. I mean, the attacking of hospitals intentionally between the Syrian dictatorship and its Russian allies, chemical weapons use took place there that again, they tried to muddy the waters and say, no, it was ISIS did that, except that, you know, it was civilians who were dying and very likely it was the Syrian military that did it. Chenia, you know, know Putin verbalized the capital city of Chenia. That was one of his early career moves as leader of Russia, or soon to be leader of Russia. So who knows what he’s capable of? It’s just so ironic because Ukraine and Russia of course are very close and Putin himself is even said that Ukraine is Russia. And it’s the core of our identity is Russians going back in history. So who knows what he’s capable of? It’s all very scary.
What does this situation say about the quote unquote safety of nuclear reactors around the world and the current push to put small modular nuclear reactors everywhere under the umbrella, nukes are green and the solution to climate change.
There have been analysts like Bennett Ram who wrote a book called nuclear power plants as weapons for the enemy. He wrote that in the mid 1980s, during the cold war before Trenoble had happened. So it’s been known that nuclear power plants, whether accidentally through misfired, explosives, or intentionally as intentional targets of military attack, what they essentially represent is dirty bombs on your domestic territory. So if they get blown up, no matter how they get blown up or meltdown, no matter how they melt down, these are gigantic dirty bombs that have been preyed throughout your domestic territory. And at a time of war, that’s a pretty bad idea to have those preyed nuclear, dirty bombs, radiological bombs deployed throughout your territory. And there’s few places on earth where that’s more concentrated than in Ukraine where you still to this day, all these decades after Cherno, you still have 15 operational atomic reactors and all of the high level radioactive waste that they generate year after year. And it’s a sign of the insanity of the situation that nine of those reactors are still operating. As we speak eight of them. I’m sorry, with open warfare happening all around. How many radioactive bullets can we, Dodge is the question.
This is a moment when the whole world is aware of the nuclear dangers in Ukraine. How might those as of us who have been opposing nuclear for years, if not decades leverage this awareness to a genuine known nukes future. I mean, if we survive this, it seems like a teachable moment. So how do we use this to bark and inspire and motivate and international movement against nuclear reactors and nuclear bomb?
Well, I think of what happened in the immediate aftermath of the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe 11 years ago, almost to the day I added up all of the media interactions I had in the two weeks after Fukushima began. And it was 125 media interactions I had, they weren’t all interviews, but a lot of them were. And essentially that was more media attention that I got myself personally than I had in the previous 20 years. Right? Because there’s this mainstream media denial and we don’t care. We’re not interested, nothing to see here about nuclear power and radioactive waste. Then Fukushima began. And all of a sudden reporters who I’d been trying to get their attention literally for 20 years in some cases wanted to talk to me. So what we have to do as a movement is to take every single media request that comes our way and try to generate more and try to teach the media and the public and even our own elected officials and appointed officials the truth about the risks of nuclear power and radioactive waste.
And one of those officials I’ll name by name by name is Jennifer GRA home energy secretary in the Biden administration who the next day after Z APPA was attacked said, oh, there’s really nothing to worry about. The containment structures are so robust at Zappia. There’s really nothing to worry about. And then her deputy, the director of the national nuclear security administration, which is the nuclear weapons arsenal, and it’s complex in this country, her name is hubby. She went so far as to on CNN that actually nuclear power plants are designed to withstand shelling. And that was a lie that was either she’s really ignorant about the design of nuclear power plants, or she was lying to the American people on CNN. I’m not sure which is worse actually for such a high level official is that. So we need to educate people that this tiny planet we inhabit is too fragile for operating atomic reactors and high level radioactive waste storage. We need to stop doing it because one of these days, we’re not gonna Dodge the bullet. And we’ve already seen at three mile island and turn and Fukushima. Sometimes you don’t Dodge the bullet.
Is there anything you’d like to add that we haven’t had a chance to cover?
Well, there have been nuclear facilities that have been significantly damaged. We’ve mentioned Zappia, but there’s a place called neutron source in car. Keve that’s been hit not once, but twice by Russian munitions. And again, the I a E a being such a pro nuclear institution and so ready to downplay risks. Most of the time it’s been pointed out that it’s been difficult for the IA EA director to speak about what’s going on in Ukraine, because they have more than half century of practice downplaying the risks they downplayed Cherno in real time, I Han BLIS who was the director at the time downplayed the significance of Cherno. And we know that was a very big lie in the aftermath of Cher noble. Well, the current director gross is having trouble even speaking about the risks, but he is raising alarm bells that shows how serious the situation is.
But one risk that they have downplayed in real time is at this neutron source facility in car Keve that’s been hit twice. They’ve said, oh, there’s so little radio activity on site. That even if it were to be released, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Well, they have a atomic reactor on site. They have a radiated nuclear fuel on site. They have nuclear neutron sources on site. This is radioactive inventory that know if it were to blow up and burn, that would not be a small radio activity release. That would be a very large radio activity release. And then another similar facility I believe, or at least a low level radioactive waste storage facility in Kiev has also been very closely hit. I think a transformer got hit there. So, so these are minored by comparison to what has happened at the nuclear power plants, but the next nuclear plant, there’s three more.
We haven’t even talked about. There’s the south Ukraine nuclear power plant near the city of Michel. And if folks wanna learn more about that, there’s a great documentary film called God’s river. The name of the river, there is God’s river at the south Ukraine, nuclear power plant three reactors. That’s the next one in line for the Russian military to try to take over. And then in the Northwest of the country, you have the RNA and the mal Nitsky nuclear power plant, several more reactors. So what we seen thus far may be repeated at these other three nuclear power plants,
A personal question under this kind of ongoing pressure with all things, you know, what do you do to help yourself keep going
Right now? I’m wearing for good luck. My Cherno children’s project Ireland sweatshirt from 20 plus years ago, my ex-wife Gabriela, who is the film maker of that documentary. I mentioned God’s river. She lived in Lia for a year or two on a Fulbright back in 2019. She came back from Belarus because the Irish TNO children’s project focuses on helping and Belarus. She came back from a medical aid delivery there where she was doing futon with the sweatshirt that she gave me. So I’ve been wearing this sweatshirt a lot at the white house demos against the war, where a few weeks ago, there were a couple, 3000, mostly Ukrainians, but also LA and also bell Russians, and also Georgian and the occasional American. And I’ve been wearing it at the anti-war protest. There are so many good people in Ukraine and even Russia and even Belarus.
One of the signs at the white house that really moved me was a little girl on her dad’s shoulders that said, I love Belarus, but I hat its government. And I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. So just remembering all the good people who’ve done so much good work to try to help the children of Cherno and all the children of Cher noble, including adults, just the millions of people who have suffered for the past three plus decades from the first Cherno disaster. And let’s just hope and pray that there are no more Ukrainian nuclear disasters,
Kevin camps, you have been doing phenomenal work all of this, not only for years, but especially in the past two weeks. And we will turn to you again as a source for information on this time permitting.
Yeah, that’d be great.
And I wanna thank you for being my guest this week on nuclear hote.
That was Kevin camps. He is nuclear waste specialist at beyond nuclear. And if you haven’t yet signed up for their newsletter, you need to do [email protected]. Since we recorded that interview power has again been restored at Cher, noble and remains on as of the time this episode is being recorded. We do not however know whether that power is coming from a restored grid connection within Ukraine or from some Jilt extension cords running from Belarus. We will, of course, keep close watch on what’s happening in Ukraine because in nuclear terms, there is no greater threat on the planet. DIA nuke.org, which stands for dialogue on nukes has been putting together a great informative series of zoom ours, and just did the second DIA online conversation in entitled nuclear power in the battlefield ongoing concerns at Tru noble Zappia and beyond one of the speakers on that March 12th call was Dr. Gordon Edwards of Canadian coalition for nuclear responsibility, CC N r.org. Here is a brief excerpt from what he said.
Dr. Gordon Edwards
This is a question where I think that every nuclear establishment in the world in different countries, we in Canada here, for example, our regulator and our government should be speaking out very loudly against this aspect of breaking the UN charter through what they’re doing in the nuclear domain. So we can, all of us work with our governments best, or our governments and our nuclear regulators in our own countries to be very open and in denouncing the breaking of the UN charter and the breaking of the statute of the I a E a by the Russian military and Ross Adam, for that matter, because we’ve got to break through this idea that they’re all buddy, buddy, and they’re all come be chummy, and they all defend each other. This is what happens in the nuclear world. Is that any nuclear industry, anywhere in the world that is caught doing something illegal or wrong, tends to be supported by the other nuclear industries around the world.
Dr. Gordon Edwards
We’ve gotta break through this clubby atmosphere. I think I just wanna also can other point this insane rush to build thousands of small modular reactors and put them all over the world. You should think about how dangerous this will be for the future, because it has been Warren time and time. Again, even years ago, back in 1972, Nobel prize, winning Swedish physicists on it wrote that nuclear power is safe only if everything is done right. And if there is no military conflicts, not even conventional ones where the nuclear reactors are located and no act of God is permitted. We have to take these words. Seriously. These are not idle comments. These are very serious comments. If we were to scatter small modular reactors all over the world, then wars are and civil strife and terrorist attacks are going to continue. And these are going to become targets, and they’re gonna be much easier targets than the great big reactors that we see now,
Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian call for nuclear [email protected], we will have a link up to the full Dinu discussion moderated by Kumar Syron, which also included Dr. Olga Khama nuclear and safety expert for the Ukrainian nuclear society in Keve and Dr. Andre oof scheme, a Russian physicist and an independent expert on nuclear matters. And one final note, there have been many statements being made by nuclear apologi, making its way onto of mainstream media. I bring your attention to us energy secretary, Jennifer GRA home. She has gone on record in the media saying that reactors in Ukraine quote are protected by robust containment structures and reactors are being safely shut down and quote, that gives the false impress. That all is well with Ukraine’s S Nokes. And as you’ve heard on this program, that is not the case to understand just how misinformed ignorant or compromise Ms. Grand home statement is. I direct your attention to last week’s nuclear hot seat, number 5 59, which featured a Ukraine nuclear update with nuclear engineer. AIE Gerson of fair winds, energy education, fair winds.org with great clarity and specificity. Ana makes the point that multiple vulnerabilities exist at zap nuclear reactors. And that containment is not the issue. The water intake system is you can listen to him on nuclear hot seat, number five [email protected],
Activists, activist, shout, shout, shout,
You and I. And everyone are invited to join the for nuclear accountability and nuclear information and resource service as they honor. And we honor Bob Alvarez with a lifetime achievement award. This will take place on Saturday, March 19th, 2022 at 3:00 PM to four 30 Eastern time, which is noon to two 30 Pacific time zone. Sorry I’m being US-centric here. The groups are collecting stories and gratitude for Bob for his decades of crucial work on nuclear issues. It’s going to be on kudo board, not a platform I’m familiar with, but we will link to it. And preference is for videos, but you can also post photos and write messages. If you’re not familiar with Bob, he is a senior scholar at the Institute for policy studies, where he is currently focused on nuclear disarmament, environmental and energy policies. His involvement with nuclear issues includes working for Congressman John Glenn, helping to protections for native American uranium miners and working with his late wife, kitty Tucker on the Karen Silkwood case, his full biography is far too extensive to go into here, but we will link to it at nuclear hot seat.
And if you can join in the celebration, this truly is a man who deserves every acknowledgement we can give him. This has been nuclear hot seat for Tuesday, March 15th, 2022. If you’d like to get nuclear hot seat delivered via email each week. So you never miss a single episode. You can sign [email protected]. Look for the yellow box, put in your first name and your email address. You’ll receive a link to the latest show. Plus a short description of what’s in there. You can also sign up on your podcast platform of choice. If you have a storyline, a hot tip or a suggestion of someone to interview, please send an email to info nuclear hotseat.com. We can always be reached there. And if you appreciate weekly verifiable news updates about nuclear issues around the world, such as this one, go to nuclear hotseat.com. Look, the red button, click on it, follow the prompts and know that anything you can do to help will really help. And we will appreciate your support. This episode of nuclear hot seat is copyright 2022 libe Hala and artistry communications, all rights reserved, but fair use aloud. That means that you can quote me or my guests just cite me and my guest by name and credit nuclear hot seat. And my guest organizations. This is libi Hal of heart history, communications. The heart of the art of communicating, reminding you that as Albert Einstein said, the unleashed power of the atom has changed everything. Save our modes of thinking and thus, we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe.
There you go. You have just had your nuclear wake up call. So don’t go back to sleep because we are all in the nuclear hot seat,
New clear, hot seat. What are those people thinking? New clear, hot seat. What have those boys been drinking? New hot seat. The is sinking. Our time to act is shrinking, but the activists are licking hot seat. It’s de.