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The Looming Catastrophe in Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Complex

The time to act is now as the world grapples with a historic nuclear crisis in Ukraine. Six nuclear reactors and fuel pools in Ukraine, in particular the Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex, are now under an apocalyptic threat that requires rapid care.

Inaction could have serious effects that cannot be overlooked. An emergency United Nations peacekeeping force must be sent in to protect the Zaporizhzhia plant and avert an unthinkable tragedy due to the severity of the situation.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex has been occupied by Russia since March 2022, which has further destabilised the situation there. According to the Ukrainian nuclear agency Energoatom, the careless firing up of Unit 4 to a "hot shutdown" is a flagrant violation of the nuclear facility's operational licence. An environment of hostile instability has been produced, along with claims and denials from both Russian and Ukrainian forces over sporadic mines and firing around the site.

Six reactors and six fuel pools make up the Zaporizhzhia complex, which contains much more catastrophic radiation than previous nuclear catastrophes like Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl, or Fukushima. The site might become a radioactive firestorm if the power and cooling water supplies are cut off, releasing deadly radiation that could harm the entire Earth's ecology and endanger all human existence.

An underqualified workforce trying to operate under constant panic and fear exacerbates the complex's vulnerability even further. Anti-personnel mines close to the plant's perimeter and the denial of access to the main power backup line have led to a precarious situation. If ignored, the historically unprecedented hazards in Zaporizhzhia could prove to be just as serious a menace as the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

It is obvious that a strong and capable global force is needed to stabilise the situation given the complexity of the issue and its possible global implications. Although it lacks the operational capability required to assume full responsibility, the International Atomic Energy Agency has been contributing vital expertise at the site. The Zaporizhzhia complex must be protected by a demilitarised zone that is set up by a UN peacekeeping force.

To preserve their reputation, some commercial interests in the nuclear sector may want to minimise the hazards. However, it would be a mistake to understate the seriousness of the threat that Zaporizhzhia poses. The human race cannot afford to look back or take chances with such a perilous situation.


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