German public debates on the Ukrainian conflict are mostly focused on political issues, the principles of international law and economic interests.
However, the fact that Germany is not that far away from the Ukrainian conflict zone is often ignored, according to the German media outlet Focus.
Taking into account the disastrous situation in eastern Ukraine, the Germans should be worried about four Ukrainian nuclear power plants, the article says.
Particularly, the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe’s largest NPP, which is located 250 kilometers from the Donbass conflict zone, should raise concerns, Focus points out.
The article poses a serious question: who would take care of the nuclear power plants if the Donbass war resulted in a default or even the collapse of the Ukrainian state?
The author hypothesizes that it cannot be ruled out that the war could spread from Donbass to the Zaporizhia Region where most of the population is Russian-speaking. There would be a serious risk that the nuclear reactor of Europe’s largest NPP would be damaged by shelling.
It would a terrible disaster taking into account that the Chernobyl disaster is still in the memories of many Germans, Focus concludes.
Explosions at the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986 released considerable amounts of radioactive material into the environment, mainly the radioisotopes iodine-131, caesium-134 and caesium-137.
In response to the accident, in 1986 around 115,000 people were evacuated from areas surrounding the reactor, which was destroyed during the catastrophe, and after 1986 another 220,000 people were subsequently evacuated from adjacent parts of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.