In reaction to Russia’s assault on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the US administration launched the Nuclear Incident Response Team.
However, Jennifer Granholm, America’s secretary of energy, confirmed the facility’s units are being “safely decommissioned.”
Granholm tweeted Thursday evening she spoke with Ukraine’s energy minister regarding the status of the Zaphorizhizia nuclear power facility.
The Russian military activities in such proximity to the plant are irresponsible and must be halted.
I just spoke with Ukraine’s energy minister about the situation at the Zaphorizhizia nuclear plant. Russian military operations near the plant are reckless and must cease. 1/
— Secretary Jennifer Granholm (@SecGranholm) March 4, 2022
Status of Things
Granholm declared the US Energy Department triggered its Nuclear Incident Response Team in addition to the White House, the US Department of Defense, and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission monitoring developments.
“Sturdy containment buildings safeguard the plant’s reactors, and the reactors are securely shut down,” she added.
The Nuclear Incident Response Team is deployed “when disasters concerning nuclear weapons, radiological events, or acts of nuclear terrorism occur,” per the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
NIRT has “specialist assets” that can help with nuclear or radiological crises, radiation exposure, radiological aid, and other things.
“After a phone discussion with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, US President Biden accompanied the Eastern European leaders in “urging Russia to halt its military exercises in the vicinity and allow firefighters and rescue personnel access to the site,” the White House said in a statement.
Additionally, Biden spoke with Jill Hruby, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security at the US Department of Energy and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), to get an overview of the situation at the plant.
BREAKING: Russian tanks fire at Nuclear plant in Ukraine. International Nuclear watchdog warn that if a nuclear accident happens there, half of Europe will be wiped out. 😳😳
— Mo-Mo💙 (@Morris_Monye) March 4, 2022
Must Cease Fire
On Thursday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated the Russian army was firing on Zaporizhzhia NPP from all directions. Zaporizhzhia is Europe’s largest nuclear power facility.
He stated, “a fire has already started. If it explodes, it will be ten times the size of Chernobyl! The Russians must stop the fire right away, let rescue workers work, and set up a safety zone.”
Additionally, the International Atomic Energy Agency stated on social media it is “informed of allegations of shelling” in Zaporizhzhia and “in contact with Ukrainian authorities” regarding the situation.
The assault on the nuclear reactor came after Russian and Ukrainian authorities failed to reach an agreement.
Although negotiators agreed to establish “humanitarian corridors” to assist civilians fleeing Ukraine’s towns, according to the Wall Street Journal, Russian President Vladimir Putin “signaled his determination to continue the conflict.”
On Thursday, the Russian military resumed its offensive against residential areas in Kharkiv and Chernihiv, while also conducting airstrikes against Kyiv’s capital and dispatching warships to the port city of Odesa.
President Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday focused heavily on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to shake the free world’s foundations in the hope of bending it to his frightening methods,” the commander-in-chief declared.
“However, he made a grave error in his calculations. He reasoned that if he rolled into Ukraine, the globe would roll over. Rather than that, he encountered a great wall of strength.”