“What if THAT happened again?” – a documentary film about dramatic events in the exclusion zone was released in Ukraine

“This is an act of nuclear terrorism. And this is the main message that must be delivered to the world” – a documentary film about the seizure of the exclusion zone was released in Ukraine

“Those who seize dangerous nuclear facilities are worthy of the Nuremberg nuclear tribunal!” – a documentary film about the events in the exclusion zone is presented

This year, the anniversary of the accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant became an additional reason to raise the issue of the nuclear security situation both in Ukraine and the world in connection with the seizure of critical infrastructure facilities in the exclusion zone during the attack of Russian troops on Ukraine. Women in Nuclear (WiN) Ukraine invited experts and eyewitnesses to discuss this important issue, and the idea of ​​creating a documentary on Chornobyl, war and nuclear security, which we present to you today, arose in the course of these conversations.

“What if THAT happened again?” https://youtu.be/S7kjulI7gRg

Margaryta Rayets, president of WiN Ukraine: “We worked on this film at a very intense pace. It was especially difficult going through the hard times to organize contact with the necessary experts so that they would give interviews. For our team of like-minded people, this was a pilot project, made entirely online. The war separated us all physically, but definitely not on a mental level! The recurrent theme is the idea of ​​”what if … such an accident happened again???” And our experts broadcast relevant messages to the whole world that “the nuclear is not a toy, but a serious thing that, if handled carelessly or maliciously, can change the course of human history forever.” This video is social, it is instructive for present and future generations.

Materials for the video were collected during April 2022, and information was processed and edited already in May and June. A few months after the Russian soldiers left the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, the situation has changed slightly for the better in terms of demining the area and gradually returning a few people to their workplaces. Those places that survived. In a general sense, everything that our experts say in the film about damage and losses is of course still relevant for the exclusion zone.”

So, for your attention, a documentary film which was created these months by a team of like-minded people about the events that shook the entire civilized world! And here we are not only talking about the biggest man-made disaster of all times and peoples, which is the Chornobyl accident on April 26, 1986, but also about the full-scale war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which caused the unauthorized seizure of the exclusion zone and multimillion-dollar losses from the occupation exactly 36 years after the accident ! The scale of the new accident that could occur as a result of this invasion, which is an undeniable act of nuclear terrorism, could be even worse than the disaster of 1986! Our recognized experts talk about these and other events in the film during their online interviews. 

We recall  that from February 24 to March 31, the Chornobyl NPP was captured by Russian troops. The station personnel were held hostage, National Guard servicemen were captured, enemy soldiers and equipment were on the territory of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, shelling was carried out, ammunition was detonated, and for some time, as a result of hostilities, the power plant did not receive external power necessary for the safe storage of spent fuel on the territory Forest fires started in the exclusion zones, and the occupiers did not allow them to be extinguished. For the first time since 1986, the Exclusion Zone was put on emergency alert, and the whole world watched with bated breath.

Anatolii Sydorenko – head of the radiation safety shop shift: “Our long shift lasted 26 days and nights, 52 working shifts. We were all as one then. We understood that a lot depends on us in these conditions. There were no such moments when someone from the staff said: “That’s it, I can’t fulfill my duties, I’m sorry”.

I believe that the task set before the staff to maintain in a safe condition all nuclear hazardous objects at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant has been fulfilled. Also, the staff of the shift preserved the flag of Ukraine, which, after the assault, the armed forces of the Russian Federation tried to dismantle and, according to information, even destroy. Currently, it occupies a place of honor in our museum in the city of Slavutych. None of us had any doubts that the Chornobyl station has always been, is and will be Ukraine!”

“This is nuclear terrorism. And this is the main message that must be delivered to the world, because keeping weapons at such dangerous facilities is nonsense at all!” – Mariia Verbylo, Head of the Chornobyl NPP and Spent Nuclear Fuel Management Department of the State Agency of Ukraine for Management of the Exclusion Zone.

“To understand what the scale of the new accident could have been (and this accident could have been caused by anything: the impact of shells, the interruption of the power supply, the psychological stress of the personnel) – just compare: in 1986, one reactor at the Chornobyl NPP exploded. There were 200 tons of fuel. And there are currently 2,500 tons of fuel in the spent nuclear fuel storage! And the accident could develop according to the scenario of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which led to the contamination of large areas of Japan with radionuclides, – emphasizes Yurii Shibetskyi, Candidate of Geological Sciences, senior researcher of the State Institution “Scientific Center for Radio-Hydrogeoecological Polygon Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine”, member of the National Commission on Radiation protection of the population of Ukraine. – Those who seize nuclear dangerous facilities and endanger the entire European community are worthy of the Nuremberg nuclear tribunal!

For reference: Women in Nuclear (WiN) Ukraine  is the national chapter of the Women in Nuclear Global (worldwide network). The main mission of the organization is the development and support of comprehensive cooperation between women and men in the nuclear sphere, the exchange of information, knowledge and professional experience, the development of the scientific potential of women professionals, the creation of a network of business contacts, the support of women in STEM and the implementation of relevant projects. In wartime, the team of the organization also engages in volunteer and humanitarian activities.

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