ZNPP, which is located in Energodar, 120 kilometers from Zaporizhzhia, was captured on March 4th and has experienced a number of potentially dangerous episodes since then.
But the radioactive hazard escalated to an entirely new level in August as the facility was shelled directly. Russia blames Ukraine for the shelling, while Ukrainian authorities assert that it was Russia. Being the largest nuclear energy producing facility in Europe, ZNPP has 20 times more Uranium fueling its reactors and in its storages than the Chornobyl NPP did in 1986.
The head of Zaporizhzhia military administration Oleksandr Starukh said:
"In case of a nuclear disaster, around 400,000 people would need to be evacuated. The problem is that it is impossible to fully evacuate people, since part of the territory is occupied. Therefore, the situation is really difficult, and for the last week both the president and the government have been trying to do everything they can to stabilize it".
Half of Ukraine’s energy produced via nuclear power comes from the ZNPP. The facility generates more than 20% of the entire Ukrainian electricity supply. The station’s possible shutdown would have major consequences for the electricity supply in the country.
Energoatom, a Ukrainian company that operates all nuclear power plants in Ukraine urged world leaders to assist in resolving the situation.
According to an official statement, the ZNPP staff continues to work and make every possible effort to ensure nuclear and radiation safety, as well as eliminate the consequences of possible damage.
Energoatom states that the nuclear power plant is still occupied and controlled by the Russian military. Given that it is impossible to predict the actions of invaders, the threat to the station's security remains.