Fire at Europe’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant

Katriona Page, Senior Copy Editor

On Thursday, Mar. 3 – the morning of Friday, Mar. 4 in Ukraine – Russian forces started a fire at Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

This attack is part of a larger conflict between Ukraine and Russia and is part of the Russian government’s strategy to limit Ukraine’s access to the ocean.

A spokesperson for Zaporizhzhia explained that while Russians were shelling the entire plant, they set fire to a reactor currently under construction. However, the spokesperson reported that the reactor – which is not currently operating – does contain nuclear fuel. 

Thankfully, investigations and reports from other sources offer some reassurance. The International Atomic Energy Agency, for example, said that the fire had not ruined any necessary equipment and that Ukraine’s nuclear regulator showed that radiation levels remain unchanged. 

Fortunately, this fire is unlikely to cause another Chernobyl, the world’s worst nuclear disaster. For one, the reactors at Zaporizhizhia differ from those used at Chernobyl and the containment vessel remains intact.