Chernobyl radiation monitoring lab destroyed by Russia, according to Ukraine's government

23 березня 2022
Chernobyl radiation monitoring lab destroyed by Russia, according to Ukraine's government

 Russian forces have looted and destroyed a lab close to the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant that was used to monitor radioactive waste, according to Ukraine’s government

The site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster fell into Russian hands in the first week of Russia’s invasion, triggering fears that safety standards inside the exclusion zone could be compromised.

According to a Ukrainian government agency, the laboratory was part of a European Union-funded attempt to improve radioactive waste management through on-site analysis of waste samples as well as the packaging used to dispose of waste. 

The government agency also reported that samples of radionuclides — unstable atoms that can emit high levels of radiation — had been removed from the lab. It said it hoped Russia would use the samples to “harm itself, and not the civilized world.”

It is the latest scare to emerge from the infamous Ukrainian site that sits close to the border with Belarus.

More background on Chernobyl: Staff working there on the day it was captured at the end of February only recently had the chance to go home, three weeks after they were due to rotate with an incoming team. 

Local Slavutych Mayor Yuriy Fomichev spoke to CNN after the workers had been confined to the plant for 10 days, describing them then as “exhausted, both mentally and emotionally, but mainly physically.”

Fomichev said that more than 100 people were shift personnel who should have been relieved after 12 hours.

Earlier this month, the site was forced to get power from emergency diesel generators for several days before being reconnected to the national electricity grid after repairs to damaged lines.

And on Tuesday, Ukraine’s government also warned of several fires close to the plant, which it said had probably been triggered by Russian artillery or arson.

Джерело CNN
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