Despite the furor in the local and international press and social media over the potential terrorist attack by Russian occupying forces on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), Ukraine’s Minister of Health and the bulk of Kyiv’s international community are taking a phlegmatic approach to the threat.
“Kyiv will not feel the consequences of a nuclear explosion at the ZNPP, should the Russians dare to carry out this terrorist attack,” according to the Minister of Health, Viktor Liashko said in an interview with My-Ukraine. “Kyiv is outside the influence limit.”
According to Liashko, the capital is beyond the area likely to suffer any potential radiation impact from an attack on the ZNPP. He says the Ministry of Health (MOZ) has, in any case, developed, put into place and checked notification systems that will identify the level and scope of any “fall-out.”
The MOZ has established an evacuation plan for a radius of 30 to 50 kilometers around the plant, which would be the area of immediate concern – even though it is still not clear how big any explosion the Russians might trigger would be.
This is supported by other measures, according to Minister for Internal Affairs Ihor Klymenko, including the large-scale training of emergency services for dealing with either an immediate explosion or the release of radiation.
Kyiv Post has been in contact with embassies and other international organizations within the Ukrainian capital to gauge what precautions are being taken in response to the threat. The answers generally seem to reflect “business as usual.” A number of those contacted were almost genuinely surprised by the suggestion of concrete contingency plans.
The reaction of a contact at a Western embassy was typical: “Evacuation? We don’t have any plans to evacuate personnel in Kyiv, the ZNPP is far from here and doesn’t pose any great immediate threat.”
A senior representative of an international organization told us: “We’ve briefed people on what to do if the worst happens, which boils down to just stay put, close your windows and doors, and wait for official advice. We’re not withdrawing anyone from Kyiv but continue to monitor this situation, particularly for our staff working in the field.”
The general view of those “who know” is that comparisons with Chornobyl are both unhelpful and wide of the mark.
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