Ukraine’s nuclear power plants are at risk of being hit by missiles and bombs during the Russian invasion. If this happens, Europe could be affected by radioactive pollution. The effect could be similar to a second Chernobyl, with Ukraine has 15 nuclear reactors in 4 separate locations. There are also a number of nuclear waste stores, including a new nuclear waste repository at Chernobyl.
Attacks On Nuclear Power Plants And Waste Storage Facilities
It is unlikely that nuclear sites would intentionally be attacked. Many non-precision weapons are being used during the invasion, particularly in rebel held areas to the east of Ukraine. There is a high risk that non-precision missiles used in the area of a nuclear facility could hit it accidentally. Several nuclear sites, including Chernobyl, are near the Ukrainian borders, and are likely to be in areas of conflict.
An explosion at a nuclear power plant or storage facility could cause a huge amount of radioactive contamination. Any explosion that includes nuclear material, even if it’s not a nuclear explosion, can cause contamination. The explosion would throw irradiated dust particles up into the atmosphere, causing radioactive pollution. The radioactive particles would then be carried long distances by the wind.
Shelter To Stay Safe From Radioactive Particles
Exposure to the radioactive particles is very dangerous. Sheltering is the only way you can protect yourself. See our article about how to survive nuclear fallout, and follow the guidance for sheltering. Avoid going outside while irradiated particles are falling from the atmosphere.