Russian provocations at ZNPP: why there is no strong reaction in the world

Another blackout occurred at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant: as a result of a missile strike, the high-voltage line that supplied ZNPP with electricity was damaged again. As a result, NNEGC "Energoatom" announced the possibility of an accident with radiation consequences for the whole world. After the loss of external power supply, which was vital for the operation of the nuclear fuel cooling pumps in the holding pools and nuclear reactors of the power units, the NPP automatically switched to diesel generators.

"The fuel supply for them will be enough for ten days. The countdown has begun. If it is impossible to renew the external power supply for the station within this period, an accident with radiation consequences for the whole world may occur," Energoatom emphasized.

Ukraine has many times appealed to the IAEA, the UN, and G7 (the most recently – at the latest meeting in Hiroshima). But we see that, unfortunately, the international community underreacts to this extraordinary danger.

Say, IAEA turned out to be absolutely helpless. The IAEA Director General Mr Raphael Grossi seemed to be trying to do something, but his constant trips to Moscow, negotiations with the Russian Energy Minister, with Rosatom, hugs with the head of the Russian militants at the NPP Renat Karchaa... prompt questions.

Moreover, all this happens when the largest nuclear power plant in Europe is captured by Russian terrorists who constantly blackmail the world with accidents, cut off power to the plant, create emergency situations, against the background of statements by Russian propagandists about possible Ukrainian "provocations" at the nuclear power plant, about "an increase in the radiation background after the destruction of Ukrainian weapons with depleted uranium", etc. This is a familiar FSB technique. All people who deal with this topic understand this. But, despite this, we see a very weak reaction of the international community.

Perhaps the reason is that more than a hundred Russian citizens work in the IAEA, Grossi can also be integrated with the interests of Rosatom. Furthermore, the world depends on Russian enriched uranium, supplies of uranium raw materials, and so on. Such dependence is difficult to overcome, it takes a long time to replace suppliers. In addition, there is a certain shortage of uranium and uranium enrichment facilities, etc.

What needed to be done? As soon as the occupiers captured the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and entered ZNPP on March 4, 2022, it was necessary to immediately put the entire management of Rosatom on the sanctions list, open criminal cases against them at the International Criminal Court, freeze Rosatom's accounts around the world, freeze all construction at nuclear facilities in the world connected to Rosatom. But unfortunately, business issues prevail over security issues now. 

What else can we do? Apparently, it is necessary for the USA and China to join forces and exert some pressure. But so far, the reaction is very weak.

Volodymyr Omelchenko

Director, Energy Programmes

Born in 1967 in Kyiv

Education: Kyiv Politechnic Institute, Department of Chemical Engineering (1992)

Author of over 50 scientific works and op-ed publications. Took part in development and implementation of international energy projects and scientific research in international energy policy


1992 – 1996 — worked in different positions in the mechanical engineering industry

1997 – 1998 — Head Expert of the Division of Oil, Gas and Petroleum Refining Industry of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine

1998 – 2003 — Naftohaz Ukrayiny National Joint-Stock Company, in Charge of Oil Transportation Section

2004 – 2007 — Chief Consultant at the National Institute of International Security Problems of Ukraine’s NSDC

since February, 2007 — Leading Expert, Razumkov Centre. Director of Energy Programmes since 2013

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