Russia Has Destroyed the Lab That Monitors Chernobyl Radiation Levels, Ukraine Says

Russia Has Destroyed the Lab That Monitors Chernobyl Radiation Levels, Ukraine Says

According to the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management, Russian invading forces looted and destroyed a lab in the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Facility complex that was meant to monitor radiation levels at the decommissioned plant and the region surrounding it. Chornobyl was one of the primary targets of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, and since then, the nuclear power plant has been cut off from the monitoring system that sends data to the International Atomic Energy Agency, has lost power several times, has been threatened by wildfires, and only recently has a long-delayed staff rotation been allowed to some of the workers who were being held hostage inside.

The news of the loss of Chornobyl’s relatively new central analytical laboratory adds to the region’s long history of disasters. The aim of the cutting-edge laboratory was to give an extensive scientific analysis of every stage of the radioactive waste processing process. This was accomplished with 100 modern pieces of equipment that the CIA claims have no European analogues. Given that the Chornobyl tragedy was the greatest civil nuclear disaster in history, this lab’s work on radioactive waste management over the previous seven years has been revolutionary. As a result, the harm being done right now has an influence not just on the work being done in the exclusion zone, but also everywhere else.

“The laboratory employed extremely active radioactive samples that are presently being taken by the adversaries,” the agency concluded. “We really hope that their acts would injure just themselves, rather than the entire civilized world.” There is no fear of another tragedy because the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant has been shut down for almost two decades. However, the situation remains dangerous for the employees who are keeping the site secure, as well as the chance that the huge progress achieved in making it safe will be interrupted or worsened by Russian invading forces.

When Russian forces took over the region, 211 technical employees and guards remained in the facility. Last weekend, the long-awaited staff turnover took place. Thirteen members of the technical crew, as well as the guards, refused to rotate. The local fire brigades’ fire station, which is battling wildfires that are prevalent throughout the area’s usual “fire season” this time of year, does not currently have connection to the energy grid and is depending on generators. If a safety corridor can be agreed upon, the International Atomic Energy Agency says it will deploy experts and equipment to Ukraine.