NewsZaporizhia nuclear plant: how big is the danger for...

Zaporizhia nuclear plant: how big is the danger for Germany?

Created: 09/07/2022 at 9:49 p.m

Infolge von Beschuss zerstörte Fenster am Atomkraftwerk Saporischschja.
The situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is serious. © Dmytro Smolyenko/Imago

In the Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe: Zaporizhia. How badly would a nuclear catastrophe in the nuclear power plant affect us?

Vienna – The UN Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has described the situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which is occupied by Russian troops, as “unsustainable”. In a report published on Tuesday (6 September) on the situation around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, the IAEA called for the establishment of a “safety zone”.

The “bombardment of the plant and the surrounding area” would have to “be stopped immediately” in order to avoid further damage, the IAEA report goes on to say. According to the Ukrainian state operator Energoatom, the last working reactor in the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant was only taken off the grid on Monday (September 5). The reason is a fire triggered by attacks that damaged a power line between the power plant and the Ukrainian power grid.

Zaporischschja: That’s how far the nuclear power plant is from Germany

The situation on the ground is therefore becoming more critical. And the fighting surrounding the nuclear power plant is fueling fears of a nuclear catastrophe like the one in Chernobyl in 1986. But what does the situation in Zaporizhia mean for Germany? What would be the effects of a nuclear catastrophe in Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in this country?

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is located near the Dnipro River in the territory of the city of Enerhodar. The distance to the nearest major city, Zaporizhia, is 50 kilometers. The nuclear power plant is 2,265 kilometers away from Germany.

Accident in the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant: In these cases, polluted air would reach Germany

Florian Gering, head of the radiological emergency protection department at the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, spoke in an interview with ZDFheute about the risks Germany should expect.

The conclusion of his investigation of worst-case scenarios: In the event of a nuclear catastrophe, which is similar to the Fukushima and Chernobyl cases, no civil protection measures are required. Nobody had to be evacuated or take iodine tablets. However, agricultural products could become contaminated so that they are no longer allowed to be sold.

However, the fact that contaminated air comes to Germany is only conceivable in 17 percent of the weather conditions. Otherwise the wind would carry the radioactive particles to the east and thus towards Russia. “That means the risk is relatively low,” Gering said. (tk with afp)

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