Ukraine alleges Russian operatives are doing ‘secret’ work at a captured nuclear power plant and could make a dirty bomb

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A Russian serviceman stands guard in an area of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in territory under Russian military control, southeastern Ukraine, on May 1, 2022.
A Russian serviceman stands guard in an space of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in territory below Russian army management, southeastern Ukraine, on May 1, 2022.

  • Ukraine alleged Russian forces are doing “secret” work at a captured nuclear power plant.
  • The nation’s state nuclear operator stated the unauthorized exercise could yield a dirty bomb.
  • Russia has accused Ukraine of planning to make use of such a weapon, which Kyiv rejects.

Ukraine has accused Russian army personnel at a captured nuclear plant of doing “secret” work that could make a dirty bomb as allegations surrounding the potential use of such a weapon are tossed again and forth between Kyiv and Moscow.   

Energoatom, Ukraine’s state power operator, alleged Russian operatives have been finishing up “unauthorized construction works” over the previous couple of days at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant’s Dry Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility, the place spent nuclear gasoline is stored. 

These operatives have been working “by themselves, in secret,” Energoatom claimed in a Tuesday statement shared to Telegram, including that Ukrainian personnel and representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency are not given entry to the location. 

“The destruction of these containers as a result of detonation will lead to a radiation accident and radiation contamination of several hundred square kilometers of the surrounding area,” Energoatom stated. 

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The firm slammed Russia’s actions, saying any building at the nuclear plant is unlawful, a violation of the plant’s operations licensing, and a breach of worldwide necessities for radiation security. 

Spent uranium saved at Zaporizhzhia’s Dry Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility could be used to assemble a dirty bomb — a kind of radiological dispersal machine that makes use of standard explosives to unfold radioactive materials. Although such a weapon is unlikely to trigger mass casualties, it’s designed for radioactive contamination and terrorizing civilians. 

“Energoatom assumes that such actions of the invaders may indicate that they are preparing a terrorist act using nuclear materials and radioactive waste stored at [Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant] site,” the corporate stated. Insider could not instantly confirm these claims, which comply with different Ukrainian warnings of nuclear catastrophe.

Russian management accused Ukraine this week of planning to detonate a dirty bomb by itself territory, and the Russian protection ministry has stated it’s getting ready its forces to have the ability to function in radioactive conditions

Experts have stated that such allegations are an try by Russia to scare away NATO army assist for Ukraine and undermine Kyiv’s credibility. Military consultants and analysts argue Russia’s false allegations are meant to unfold confusion, worry, and panic.  

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Ukrainian officers and Western international locations have strongly rejected Russia’s baseless accusations.

“Russian lies about Ukraine allegedly planning to use a ‘dirty bomb’ are as absurd as they are dangerous. Firstly, Ukraine is a committed NPT member: we neither have any ‘dirty bombs’, nor plan to acquire any,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Sunday, referring to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. “Secondly, Russians often accuse others of what they plan themselves.”

Energoatom touched upon the Kremlin’s claims in its Tuesday assertion, saying that Russia has spent the previous couple of days accusing Ukraine of planning to construct a dirty bomb by utilizing the radioactive waste and spent nuclear gasoline saved at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is the biggest in Europe and has been occupied by Russian forces since early March.  

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“Russia’s statements about the creation of a [dirty nuclear bomb] may indicate that [Russia] is preparing an act of nuclear terrorism,” Energoatom stated. 

US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price echoed these sentiments throughout a Tuesday briefing, saying Russia has “demonstrated a pattern of accusing others of that which it ultimately itself is planning.”

Although he was unable to talk to Russia’s actions at the nuclear power plant, Price stated he shared the considerations expressed by Energoatom in its assertion and rejected Russia’s dirty bomb accusations as “patently false” and “objectively untrue.”

“The type of rhetoric that we have heard from Russia consistently over the course of this conflict, the nuclear saber rattling and now references to the false allegation of a dirty bomb use — that’s irresponsible,” Price stated. 

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