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Strike on Zaporozhye NPP may cause ‘dirty bomb’ effect: IAEA

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International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warns that a possible artillery strike on concrete containers containing spent fuel at the Zaporozhye NPP could result in a “dirty bomb” effect.

  • Zaporozhye NPP six reactors is operating. (Reuters: Maxar Technologies)

The Deputy Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mikhail Chudakov said, according to Sputnik, that a possible artillery strike on concrete containers containing spent fuel at the Zaporozhye NPP could result in a “dirty bomb” impact.

“If there is spent fuel in dry storage in concrete containers at the site, it is enough for an artillery shell to land there to get a ‘dirty bomb.’ There is no need to look for a bomb in the form of a bomb,” Chudakov said.

According to the official, the protective hermetic shell — a three-meter concrete wall — will not sustain an artillery hit.

“I once saw a hole two meters [6.6 feet] in diameter in the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant [in Iran], and by that time there was no fuel there. Then it was hit by a missile, which easily pierced and melted a containment wall,” Chudakov stressed.

It is worth noting that Russia has constantly warned of the increased threat of Ukraine’s use of a “dirty bomb”, which is expected to contaminate several thousand square meters of terrain if used.

Reports about Kiev preparing to use a dirty bomb in Ukraine to blame Russia for using nuclear weapons have been circulating for months.

Russia has recently called on the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to do everything possible to prevent Ukraine from carrying out its “dirty bomb” provocation, according to Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN.

The Russian Presidential Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told media in October that Ukraine’s provocations about using the “dirty bomb” are clear, adding that “this information was brought to the attention of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s counterparts.”

It is worth noting that Ukraine has a stockpile of radioactive material that can be used for its “dirty bomb”, including spent nuclear fuel storage facilities at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, according to the official.

See more: What’s a “dirty bomb”?

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