Why is the Chernobyl plant so interesting for the Russian army?

The nuclear power plant, which was taken over by the Russian army in February, has been without power for several hours. If it hasn’t produced anything since 1986, Chernobyl is a symbol exploited by the Russian occupier.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is making the world worry again. After the takeover by Russian troops at the end of February, the site has been without power for a few hours.

The plant, the cause of the worst civilian nuclear disaster in 1986, “has been completely disconnected from the electricity grid as a result of the military actions of the Russian occupying forces. The site has lost power,” Ukrainian operator Ukrenergo said on its Facebook page.

“I call on the entire international community to immediately call on Russia to cease fire and allow repair teams to restore electricity supplies as soon as possible,” Dmytro Kuleba tweeted early in the afternoon. Ukrainian Foreign Minister. Spare diesel generators will power the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. and its facilities for 48 hours. After that, the cooling system of spent fuel storage will be shut down, which will threaten radiation leakage.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Tuesday it had lost contact with remote data transfers from safeguards systems installed at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

“A Useless Take”

However, more than 200 technicians and guards are trapped at the site, working under Russian surveillance for 13 days in a row.

The IAEA said it was told by Ukrainian officials it was “increasingly urgent” to rotate personnel for the “safe management” of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant

The staff have effectively lived at the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster for 13 days and although they have “limited” access to food, water and medicine, their situation is “deteriorating,” the IAEA said.

Ukrainian authorities have not communicated the exact origin of the power outage. Is this an undesirable consequence of bombing or a conscious will of the Russian army?

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant, located less than 140 kilometers from the capital Kiev, has been shut down since the nuclear accident in 1986 and is not a priori a strategic foothold for the Russian army. Unlike the Zaporijjia power plant, which has been controlled by the occupying forces since last Friday, Chernobyl is not a central point in Ukraine’s energy production.

Moscow had not commented on its intentions when the site was taken on February 24. It could be a message to the West. That’s what most observers think. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Zelensky, called the Russian attack “completely unnecessary”.

A Russian security source had told Reuters that Russia wanted control of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor to give NATO a signal not to get involved militarily.

“It seems like [Poutine] poses a threat to any country that would like to support Ukraine, Julie Bishop, Australia’s former foreign secretary, told ABC. Taking Chernobyl only makes sense if Putin tries to warn the world that Russia is a nuclear power.”

If the factory seizure could therefore resemble a threatening message sent to Europe and the United States, is the power cut, if it is voluntary, the same desire to intimidate?

“Not a big risk”

A strange strategy in taking the plant also seemed to mark the Russians’ desire to secure a location on the border of their Belarusian partner.

“The Russians just want to make sure that nuclear safeguards are in place and that they are not responsible for any accidents,” Alexey Muraviev, a national security and strategy expert at Curtin University, said during the look at ABC.

Eight of Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactors are currently in operation, Ukraine’s nuclear regulator told the IAEA, and radiation levels still appear normal.

In addition, the IAEA wanted to reassure the international community in the afternoon. The power outage at the Chernobyl nuclear site has “not a major impact on safety,” said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), informed of the problem by Ukrainian authorities.

Given the time elapsed since the Chernobyl accident in 1986, “the heat load of the spent fuel storage pool and the volume of cooling water are sufficient to ensure efficient heat dissipation without electricity,” the IAEA explains on Twitter.