[Washington, 4th Reuters]-Russia’s bombardment and suppression of Europe’s largest Zaporozh’e nuclear power plant in Ukraine has forced policymakers and companies to be more cautious about plans to build nuclear reactors as a measure against climate change. It should be an attitude. Nuclear safety experts said yesterday.
The Russian army acquired the Zaporozh’e nuclear power plant on the 4th, but a fierce battle had developed by then, and a large fire broke out at the training facility of the nuclear power plant. The fire was extinguished and officials declared that the reactor was okay, but the nuclear power plant was vulnerable to wartime attacks and warned the world that there was a risk of serious radiation leaks.
Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear safety issues at the U.S. non-profit organization, the Alliance of Concerned Scientists (UCS), said, “We need to take steps to protect nuclear plants from natural as well as man-made disasters. We must take sex more seriously. “
US Ambassador to the United Nations Greenfield accused the attack on the Zaporozier nuclear power plant as “incredibly reckless and dangerous” at the United Nations Emergency Special Assembly on the 4th, ensuring the safety of people not only in Ukraine but throughout Russia and Europe. Claims to be threatening. The US Embassy in Ukraine has denounced Russia’s nuclear attack as a “war crime.”
Henry Sokorsky, director of another non-profit organization, the Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation Policy Education (NPEC), said the attack on the Zaporozier nuclear power plant was a headwind for the entire nuclear industry. “Ukrainian reactors were not hit directly. (But) nuclear power itself will be even more painful in the future if countries take into account the vulnerabilities of nuclear reactors in the event of a military attack. I will get my hands on it. “
In recent years, the promotion of nuclear power plants, which have virtually zero greenhouse gas emissions from power generation, has been accelerating for governments working on global warming. According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), 58 reactors are currently under construction and 325 are in the planning stage. Most of the plans are in Eastern Europe.
The US government announced in November last year that Newscale Power had signed a contract with Romania to build a plant for its small modular reactor (SMR). He added that the agreement would “lead US technology in the global competition for SMR development.”
Last month, Newscale signed a contract with a Polish company to build an SMR plant by 2029. It is part of Poland’s efforts to break the dependence on coal, which emits large amounts of greenhouse gases during power generation.
A spokeswoman for Newscale said the attack on the Zaporozier nuclear power plant “has once again highlighted the robustness and adequate safety of the nuclear energy plant,” stressing the company’s technology as even safer. did.
In January of this year, Westinghouse Electric signed an agreement to cooperate with 10 Polish companies to build six pressurized water reactors, the AP1000.
The company has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Polish engineering giant Rafaco to seek the construction of nuclear power plants in Ukraine, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
A Westinghouse spokeswoman said, “Nuclear energy is a safe and carbon-free source in Ukraine and around the world.”
Washington’s think tank, Thirdway, which supports nuclear power, argues that the worsening climate change problem will force the world to rapidly expand its nuclear energy in the coming decades, even at risk. ..
“There is no risk-free energy,” said Josh Fried, senior vice president of climate change and energy. It should have been possible, but the reality is that the nuclear plant is incredibly safe. “
The U.S. industry group Nuclear Energy Association (NEI) tells Reuters that nuclear reactors are safe and that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine only works to increase the need for Europe to expand its nuclear capacity. Was expressed. Russia is currently the leading natural gas supplier for European power plants.
“The tragedy of the past few weeks has only increased interest in working with the United States to develop next-generation nuclear energy,” said John Cotec, senior vice president of policy trends and public affairs at NEI. I was confident.
However, UCS’s Lyman said that the industry’s explanation that the new reactor is very safe and can be installed virtually anywhere in the world with the minimum defense measures is “a story that can not be relied on just by mouth.” Truncate.
(Reporter by Timothy Gardner)