BREAKING. Russia and Ukraine Accuse Each Other of Planning an Attack Tonight on Europe's Largest Nuclear Reactor

Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of planning an attack on the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. The facility, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and within the top ten in size in the World, has been under Russian control since February 2022. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has made several requests for Russia to put the power plant under international control, but ZNPP seems to have more value as a pawn (Putin’s War. Week 26: A Bizarre Assassination in Moscow, a Nuclear Power Plant Held Hostage, and Ukraine Launches (Maybe) Its First Offensive).

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Renat Karchaa, an adviser to the head of Rosenergoatom, which operates Russia’s nuclear network, said Ukraine planned to drop ammunition laced with nuclear waste transported from another of the country’s five nuclear stations on the plant.

“Under cover of darkness overnight on 5th July, the Ukrainian military will try to attack the Zaporizhzhia station using long-range precision equipment and kamikaze attack drones,” Russian news agencies quoted Karchaa as telling Russian television. He offered no evidence in support of his allegation.

Zelenskiy tweeted that he had told Macron in a telephone conversation that “the occupation troops are preparing dangerous provocations at the Zaporizhzhia (nuclear plant).”

There are numerous reports that the Russians have begun evacuating the city of Erenhodar, where ZNPP is located, and there have been sightings of mobile radiological diagnostic centers.

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A controlled detonation of explosives at the ZNPP would not create a nuclear blast but would make a mess downwind.

BREAKING. Russia and Ukraine Accuse Each Other of Planning an Attack Tonight on Europe's Largest Nuclear Reactor

Ukraine has sounded a warning about Russian sabotage at ZNPP, but there has been scant evidence to go along with those warnings.

Earlier last month Ukrainian spy chief Kyrylo Budanov said Russia was ready to orchestrate a technological disaster at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. The part most likely to be blown up would be the artificial pond needed for cooling the power station, Budanov said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has not confirmed Ukraine’s information that the cooling pond has been mined, although it also said it has not had full access to all sites at the plant.

According to the IAEA, its experts were able to inspect parts of the plant’s cooling system, including some sections of the perimeter of the large cooling pond, which still has a stable level of water needed to cool down the reactors. The IAEA experts have also been conducting regular walk-downs across reactor units and other areas around the site. The IAEA said it still expected to gain access to other parts of the site including the cooling system.

This time is so ominous because both sides are making the same claim but blaming the other.

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The odds are that nothing will happen tonight. While, after the Kakhovka Dam explosion, I think there is no doubt that Russia is perfectly capable of committing a major act of environmental terrorism (Ukraine’s Nova Kakhovka Dam Is Blown up Unleashing Widespread Flooding), I’m not sure that I see the percentage for Russia in causing a catastrophe at ZNPP UNLESS they have already decided to abandon Zaporizhzhia Oblast and would prefer to leave an irradiated mess behind rather than give Ukraine a victory. If that comes to pass, water supplies for much of southwest Ukraine would be contaminated, and millions of acres of agricultural land would be put out of use.

With this level of visibility, if anything does happen at ZNPP, reconnaissance satellites will record what happened.

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