— EWG: PG&E reports nuclear reactor welding leak at Diablo Canyon facility

From Environmental Working Group

January 5, 2023

PG&E reports nuclear reactor welding leak at Diablo Canyon facility

EWG: Critical questions about coolant system damage go unanswered

SAN FRANCISCO – Pacific Gas & Electric found damage to part of a reactor cooling system at the aging Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in California, but it hasn’t yet answered key questions about the extent of the problem.

PG&E is the owner of the state’s last remaining nuclear power plant, and found the fault with the reactor coolant system during a routine inspection in October. PG&E detailed the damage in a report[1] to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, in December.

The power company says the system had a crack in the welding of the wall of Diablo Canyon’s Unit 2 reactor, which was shut down for refueling. PG&E says the presumed cause was fatigue, which was caused by vibrations at the facility indicating a weld defect. The utility says the damage meant the unit fell short of NRC operating requirements.

PG&E says it repaired the leak, and the public and plant workers were never at risk. But the utility’s filing with the commission raises several questions, including:

  • When was the affected weld last inspected?
  • When does PG&E believe the crack in the weld formed?
  • Why had the weld flaw not been identified?
  • What was the size of the leak when it occurred?  

“The communities near Diablo Canyon deserve to know the full details of the incident, how it happened, why it wasn’t discovered earlier and how long it took for PG&E to identify the damage to the reactor coolant system,” said Environmental Working Group President and California resident Ken Cook

“The main reason for shuttering this aging facility is the potential threat it poses to the public – and PG&E’s overall safety record across its vast service area in the state is among the worst of any power company in the country,” Cook said.

Diablo Canyon’s latest problem highlights ongoing concerns about the stability of the facility and shows why EWG and others are pushing to shut the plant down. 

Yet state and federal officials are trying to keep the aging facility operating beyond 2025, when it’s slated to shutter under the terms of a settlement carefully negotiated between PG&E, California and environmentalists.

Last September, at the urging of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the state legislature approved Senate Bill 846, a law that will keep the plant operating for five more years, until 2030. It will also give PG&E a $1.4 billion loan to cover costs during that extra time.

In November, the Biden administration announced it will give PG&E more than $1 billion in federal funding to keep the plant operating past its scheduled 2025 closure date.

PG&E has also petitioned the NRC to fast-track its October 31 request to extend the license of the twin Diablo Canyon reactors. Four environmental organizations, led by San Luis Obispo-based Mothers for Peace, or SLOMFP, have sent letters to the NRC warning it would violate federal law if it accepts the proposal. The other groups that signed the letters are EWG, Friends of the Earth and Committee to Bridge the Gap.

“PG&E cannot have it both ways,” claimed SLOMFP Board President Jane Swanson. “PG&E stopped preparing the reactors for continued operation in 2016 and voided their license renewal. The company has spent the past six years preparing to mothball the reactors and has saved money by not investing in future operations. It is too late to get a license renewal before the plant must shut down.”

###

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy, and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news-release/2023/01/pge-reports-nuclear-reactor-welding-leak-diablo-canyon-facility

[1] nrc[dot]gov/docs/ML2235/ML22355A081.pdf

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— PG&E asks to fast-track NRC safety requirements — Organizations respond with a second letter to NRC

From Mothers for Peace SLO

On December 6, 2022, in their second letter to the Commissioners of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) within the space of three weeks, four environmental organizations once again put the NRC on notice that the agency would violate federal law if it accepted Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E’s) October 31 proposal to resurrect and fast-track its review of PG&E’s long-abandoned 2009 license renewal application for the twin Diablo Canyon reactors. San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOFMP), Friends of the Earth (FOE), Environmental Working Group (EWG), and Committee to Bridge the Gap (CBG) warned that PG&E’s proposal runs afoul of the NRC’s safety requirements and procedures and would violate the federal National Environmental Policy Act.

The NRC terminated the Diablo Canyon license renewal proceeding in 2018 when PG&E decided to close the reactors in 2024 and 2025. “PG&E cannot have it both ways,” claimed SLOMFP Board President Jane Swanson. “PG&E stopped preparing the reactors for continued operation in 2016 and asked the NRC to terminate the license renewal proceeding. The company has spent the past six years preparing to mothball the reactors and has saved money by not investing in future operations. They can’t reverse course and revive a license renewal application that was declared dead years ago at their own request.”

Last September, the California Legislature passed SB 846 to provide PG&E with economic incentives to request a five-year extension of Diablo Canyon’s license from the NRC. “With years of extended operations on the table for this outdated and potentially deadly nuclear facility, it is crucial that we cut zero corners,” said FOE Legal Director Hallie Templeton. “The California legislature has not provided PG&E carte blanche to seek exemptions and streamline relicensing. If it intends to continue operating Diablo, PG&E should be required to file an entirely new and up-to-date license renewal application, which the NRC must thoroughly analyze by the full letter of the law before reaching a decision.” 

The organizations also noted that PG&E had no legal basis for its request to exempt it from important federal regulations requiring an environmental analysis before the NRC can allow the reactors to operate beyond their current license terms.

“The last time the NRC did an environmental review for operation of the Diablo Canyon reactors was 1993,” said Ken Cook, EWG’s President and Co-founder. “Given the potentially extreme impacts and risks of continuing to operate Diablo Canyon, it would be both illegal and sheer folly to proceed with extended operation in the absence of a thorough and up-to-date Environmental Impact Statement.”

Dan Hirsch, spokesperson for CBG, commented, “PG&E’s request to be exempted from regulatory requirements for Diablo Canyon is very dangerous. If the requested exemption were granted, Diablo could keep running, potentially for many years, while the critical issues of whether it is safe to do so are not yet resolved. This creates the potential for an accident and massive radiation release to occur after license expiration and before a renewal decision could be made on those vital safety issues. It is the proverbial nuclear version of shooting first and asking questions later.”

These groups, which submitted their first letter to the NRC on November 17, pledged to continue their efforts to ensure that any license renewal application filed with the NRC by PG&E is reviewed with all the rigor required by federal safety and environmental laws.

Organizations 12.6.2022 letter to the NRC

Organizations 11.17.2022 letter to the NRC

https://mothersforpeace.org/organizations-send-a-second-letter-to-the-nrc/

— December 14, 2022, Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel meeting

The Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel (DCDEP) hosted an informational online webinar on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 to update the community on the status and proposed schedule for the continued operation of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) and implications on decommissioning activities, such as, repurposing, land use, and environmental permitting.  The online meeting included presentations by PG&E, the California Energy Commission and the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee.  Members of the community submitted questions and concerns prior to the meeting.  In preparation for the meeting, PG&E prepared a brief summary of SB 846 and the status of activities relating to the extended operation of DCPP.diablocanyonpanel(dot)org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/SB-846-PGE-Summary-11_23_22.pdf

View meeting agenda, meeting recording and presentation materials —
diablocanyonpanel(dot)org/2022-panel-meetings/#12-14-22-panel-mtg

– – – –

From Mothers for Peace SLO prior to the meeting —

Topics include: review of SB 846 funding and accelerated permitting provisions to allow for extended operations; actions already taken by PG&E; the role of the Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee; the role of the Diablo Canyon Independent Peer Review Panel to address seismic issues; and implications of extended operations on the current decommissioning CEQA process.

No public comment will be allowed, but you may submit written comments at any time [to the Panel].
diablocanyonpanel[dot]org/submit-comment/

Talking Points:

  • There is supposedly a list being developed of deferred maintenance projects and the associated estimated costs. Who is participating in the compilation of this list? When will it be available to the public? Who will oversee these projects?
  • There is much controversy over the seismic safety of Diablo Canyon. What agency(ies) is/are responsible for the independent analysis of seismic dangers? How and when will the public be informed of the findings?
  • Explain the plans for how the high level radioactive waste will be stored as a result of the proposed extended operation. How will the fuel pools and the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation be managed? 
  • SB 846 allows 5 years of extended operation. But the 2018 agreement to shutter the reactors in 2024 and 2025, signed and approved by the CPUC and the NRC, was ignored and reversed. What assurance does the public have that the plant would operate for 5 additional years and no more?

PG&E’s Summary of SB 846 and the status of activities relating to extended operation
diablocanyonpanel(dot)org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/SB-846-PGE-Summary-11_23_22.pdf

https://mothersforpeace.org/december-14-2022-meeting-of-the-diablo-canyon-decommissioning-engagement-panel/

— Jan. 10, 2023: CPUC hearing on San Onofre decommissioning

California Public Utilities Commission —

CPUC To Hold Public Forum on San Onofre Decommissioning

December 16, 2022 – 

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold a remote public forum to provide an opportunity to offer comment about Southern California Edison’s (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) requests related to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), as follows:

WHEN: January 10, 2023, 5 p.m.

WHERE: Remote access via webcast or phone:

  • Live video broadcast with English or Spanish captions via webcast: www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc
    • Participants who choose to participate via webcast will only have audio and video capabilities but will not be able to make verbal comments. If you would like to make a comment during the meeting, the phone-in information is below.
    • For captions, after clicking on the name of the workshop, click the green button at the bottom of the video for captions. Then select captions by clicking on the white icon next to the word “live” at the bottom of the video.
    • The forums will also be recorded and archived for future viewing.
  • English Phone: 800-857-1917, passcode: 1767567#
    • Participants will have audio in English and will be able to make comments. (To make a comment, after entering the passcode, when prompted press *1, unmute your phone, and record your name.)
    • Wait times depend on the number of speakers in the public comment queue. During times of high call volumes, wait times will be longer. The operator will call on you when it is your turn to speak.

You can also make your voice heard in this proceeding, and read the comments of others, on our online Docket Card comment section for the proceeding at apps.cpuc.ca.gov/c/A2202016.

The public forum (also formally known as a Public Participation Hearing) will not have in-person attendance. Members of the public can view the public forum via the Internet or listen. Those who would like to make public comment must participate by telephone and make comment through the toll-free phone line.

WHAT: The public forum will begin with a brief overview by SCE and SDG&E explaining its updated nuclear decommissioning cost activities for the Palo Verde and SONGS nuclear power plants. Public comments will be taken live by phone. At least one representative from SCE and SDG&E will be present throughout the forum to answer questions.

BACKGROUND: On February 28, 2022, SCE and SDG&E submitted an application for their Nuclear Decommissioning Cost Triennial review to the CPUC requesting approval for cost recovery related to Palo Verde and SONGS nuclear power plants that were completed during January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2020, and for undistributed decommissioning expenditures incurred during the same period. SDG&E owns a minority share of SONGS.

The CPUC welcomes attendance and comments on SCE and SDG&E’s request at the public forum, as public comments help the CPUC reach an informed decision. The Administrative Law Judge assigned to the proceeding is scheduled to issue a Proposed Decision in the case for consideration by the CPUC within a year.

While a quorum of Commissioners and/or their staff may attend the remote public forum, no official action will be taken on this matter.

If special accommodations are needed to attend, such as non-English or sign language interpreters, please contact the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s Office at public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov or toll-free at 866-849-8390 at least three business days in advance of the public forum.

Further information on public forum is available at www.cpuc.ca.gov/pph.

The Ruling setting the public forum is available at docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M496/K525/496525027.PDF.

Documents related to this proceeding are available at apps.cpuc.ca.gov/p/A2202016.

To receive electronic updates on CPUC proceedings, sign-up for the CPUC’s free subscription service at subscribecpuc.cpuc.ca.gov.

The CPUC regulates services and utilities, protects consumers, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services. For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.

###

Press Release docs.cpuc.ca(dot)gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M500/K003/500003592.PDF

cpuc.ca(dot)gov/news-and-updates/all-news/cpuc-to-hold-public-forum-on-san-onofre-decommissioning

— EPA won’t require full cleanup of Hunters Point, SF

From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility PEER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Contact:
Jeff Ruch jruch@peer.org (510) 213-7028


EPA Says Hunters Point Will Never Be Fully Cleaned  

EPA Plans to Ignore Prop P Mandate and Its Own Superfund Standards  

Oakland, CA —The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that Hunters Point Naval Shipyard cleanup will not be sufficient to allow unrestricted residential use, according to an agency memo sent to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Instead, the agency will rely upon caps and “land use restrictions” in violation of Proposition P, the overwhelmingly approved voter initiative demanding a full cleanup for the shipyard, a Superfund site since 1989.  

In meetings with top EPA officials in August and December 2021, PEER and allied groups asked for a commitment that the soil cleanup standards for Hunters Point be strict enough to allow for unrestricted residential use. They argued that the current soil cleanup standards violated EPA’s own Superfund guidance and would leave so much radiological waste that 1 in every 473 people would get cancer or the equivalent of getting a chest X-ray every other day for decades. 

Via an unsigned September 30, 2022 memo transmitted by Silvina Fonseca, a senior official with EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management which oversees Superfund, the agency demurred on the groups’ request to tighten the soil cleanup standards and would instead rely upon restrictions on allowed land uses at Hunters Point contrary to the demands of Proposition P, passed by more than 86% of voters in 2000, that the shipyard “be cleaned to a level which would enable the unrestricted use of the property – the highest standard for cleanup established by the [EPA]” – 

“Regarding your recommendation that soil radiological cleanup goals be based on an unrestricted use scenario consistent with the City/County of San Francisco’s Proposition P, broadly, EPA’s policy is to achieve protective remedies consistent with reasonably anticipated future land use. Institutional controls, like land use restrictions, are a common component of Superfund remedies nationwide to ensure protection of human health but also to ensure the integrity of remedies in the long term.” 

 “The bottom line is that EPA will not commit to the full cleanup of Hunters Point,” stated PEER Pacific Director Jeff Ruch, noting that this memo was nearly one year after EPA had promised to answer the groups’ August 2021 request. “As things stand now, the plan at Hunters Point is to pave over contamination rather than remove it.”  

The EPA revelation occurred just one day after EPA testified before the Board’s Government Audit and Oversight Committee last week but failed to disclose the EPA decision to not require a complete cleanup. This revelation creates a new confrontation regarding Hunters Point. The President of the Board of Supervisors has pledged there will be no transfer of Hunters Point land to the City without a “100% complete cleanup,” and EPA has now declared there will be no such cleanup. Tomorrow, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will resume consideration of a County Grand Jury report about rising groundwater and sea-level rise would wash much of the remaining Hunters Point contamination into San Francisco Bay. 

“On one hand, EPA talks about the importance of community input but on the other hand says it is free to ignore Prop P, one of the strongest expressions of community input imaginable,” added Ruch, pointing out this was supposed to be the biggest redevelopment in the city since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. “After more than 30 years of EPA supervision, Hunters Point is and will likely remain a radiological waste dump.”   

### 

Read the EPA memo 

Look at the Navy/EPA plan to leave contaminated soil onsite 

View the Grand Jury report 

Examine the lack of transparency on cleanup plans 

Look at the call for a national “garden pathway” cleanup standard

https://peer.org/epa-says-hunters-point-will-never-be-fully-cleaned/

— Lawsuit over Newsom administration sweetheart deal with Boeing on SSFL cleanup

From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility PEER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 6, 2022
Contact
Jeff Ruch, PEER, jruch@peer.org (510) 213-7028
Melissa Bumstead, Parents Against Santa Susana Field Lab Santasusanacampaign@gmail.com (818) 233-0642
Denise Duffield, Physicians for Social Responsibility, dduffield@psr-la.org (310) 339-9676
Lawrence Yee lhyee306@gmail.com 


Boeing’s Weak Santa Susana Cleanup Triggers Lawsuit 

Sweetheart Deal Negotiated Behind Closed Doors Violates CEQA Mandates  

Oakland — The Newsom administration’s backroom deal with the Boeing Co. to dramatically weaken cleanup standards at the profoundly polluted Santa Susana Field Laboratory violates the public involvement and transparency requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), charges a lawsuit filed today by community and public health groups. The suit would open the cleanup agreement to public scrutiny and force the state agencies and the Boeing Co. to justify a cleanup methodology that leaves 90% of the contamination onsite.

Filed today in Ventura County Superior Court by Parents Against Santa Susana Field Lab, Physicians for Social Responsibility (LA Chapter), and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the suit would, if successful, vacate both the cleanup agreement and an accompanying promise to free Boeing from toxic stormwater discharge requirements.

“This suit does not prevent cleanup from beginning immediately but instead aims to ensure it continues until it is fully completed,” stated Pacific PEER Director Jeff Ruch, noting that under a prior Consent Order, the cleanup was supposed to have been completed back in 2017. “This lawsuit is about having this cleanup done right and well beyond the outrageous ‘rip and skip’ deal that Boeing wrangled behind closed doors.”

After repeatedly promising to enforce a 2007 legally binding cleanup agreement with Boeing, the Newsom administration secretly negotiated an 800-page agreement that “supersedes” the prior order by substantially relaxing key cleanup requirements, allowing hundreds of times higher levels of toxic chemicals than previously permitted, and leaving much the contamination onsite.

“Because my daughter has fought cancer twice, I know firsthand why a complete cleanup is needed to protect our children,” said Melissa Bumstead, President of Parents Against Santa Susana Field Lab, representing families afflicted with diseases associated with contaminants at that site. “Our kids deserve to grow up safe from the daily threat of exposure to toxic and carcinogenic contamination. Their health and quality of life matter more than Boeing’s profit.”

The deal is so bad that Lawrence Yee who had been Chair of the LA Regional Water Quality Control Board, testified against it as a private citizen. He is joining with the groups advocating for a full cleanup at Santa Susana.

“The Boeing agreement will put surrounding communities at a perpetual risk of exposure to harmful contamination. We owe it to current and future generations to ensure that all of the contamination is cleaned up as promised,” added Dr. Robert Dodge, President of PSR-LA. “It is a shocking betrayal by the Newsom Administration and yet another example of why there is such little public confidence in California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control.”

The groups are represented in this litigation by the Oakland-based law firm LozeauDrury LLP.

###

See the complaint

Look at supporting brief

Examine deficiencies in Boeing cleanup deal

Read Lawrence Yee’s statement

https://peer.org/boeings-weak-santa-susana-cleanup-triggers-lawsuit/

— Newsom Lets Boeing Keep Groundwater Forever Polluted at Santa Susana

From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility — PEER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
CONTACT
Jeff Ruch (510) 213-7028 jruch@peer.org 

Newsom Lets Boeing Keep Groundwater Forever Polluted

New Deal Sets No Timetable for Cleaning Highly Toxic Santa Susana Aquifer

Oakland, CA — The Newsom administration has executed a Covenant “in perpetuity” with the Boeing Company allowing the highly polluted groundwater under the Santa Susana Field Laboratory to remain polluted for “an indeterminate amount of time,” according to documents posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). This arrangement will save Boeing a considerable amount of money by relieving it of any concrete remediation responsibilities or liability for the acutely polluted aquifer left behind on the controversial Venture County site, ten miles from downtown Los Angeles.

This deal is the latest chapter in a sweeping sweetheart deal the Newsom administration reached with Boeing this summer to absolve the corporation from having to clean up an estimated 90% of the polluted soil and from having to retain a stormwater discharge permit.

This reverses the state’s longstanding position that protecting public health requires a complete groundwater cleanup. In addition, leaving groundwater untreated for an indeterminate period –

  • Further imperils drinking and agricultural water supplies in Ventura County, where contaminants from the Santa Susana aquifer are already appearing;
  • Ignores further migration of contaminated water from the Santa Susana aquifer to other neighboring aquifers; and
  • Would allow Boeing to continue to apply the groundwater onsite for “dust suppression and irrigation,” possibly creating a new surface water threat.

“This deal condemns Santa Susana to serve as a perpetual sacrifice zone dedicated to corporate convenience,” stated Pacific PEER Director Jeff Ruch, pointing out that any timelines for cleaning the groundwater have evaporated in the state’s latest deal with Boeing. “Bottling up a toxic plume for eternity and then walking away is a deal most polluters would love.”

PEER is leading a coalition of groups suing the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and Boeing to invalidate all facets of this closed-door settlement on the grounds that it violates the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), especially with respect to the total lack of public involvement or consideration of alternatives. Ironically, DTSC is the state agency charged with enforcing CEQA.

The existence of the Covenant was revealed by a legal notice DTSC placed in a local newspaper one month after the Covenant was recorded.

“Until last year, DTSC contended that aquifer restoration at Santa Susana was a legally required public health measure; the exact opposite of its current stand,” added Ruch, pointing out that DTSC has completely adopted Boeing’s position. “The Newsom administration is now so deep into Boeing’s pocket they could collect lint.”

###

Read the DTSC-Boeing groundwater covenant

Look at reports of groundwater migration from SSFL

See DTSC 2019 demand that SSFL groundwater be cleaned to protect public health

Look at the soil and surface water cleanup deals

See the PEER lawsuit

View the DTDC public notice

https://peer.org/newsom-lets-boeing-keep-groundwater-forever-polluted/

— MSNBC, November 14 – “In the Dark of the Valley” on Santa Susana Field Laboratory

From MSNBC

November 14, 2022
10 PM ET

IN THE DARK OF THE VALLEY

A Southern California mother discovers that the Santa Susana Field Lab, the site of one of the largest nuclear accidents in U.S. history, is located only 7 miles from her home. Concealed from the public eye for 20 years and never fully cleaned up, she grapples with the idea that the site may be responsible for exposing her daughter and community to cancer-causing radioactive waste. The feature documentary, directed by Nicholas Mihm, airs Sunday, November 14th at 10 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

https://www.msnbc.com/darkofthevalley

Trailer: https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/watch/-in-the-dark-of-the-valley-official-trailer-123022917987

https://data.nbcstations.com/national/KNBC/la-nuclear-secret/
LA’s Nuclear Secret

— Bruce Gagnon Writes to UN Chief on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant situation

From Anti-War.com

August 19, 2022

Dear Secretary General Antonio Guterres,

I am writing with grave concern about the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine.

I have been following this dangerous situation for many weeks. It is abundantly obvious to me that the US-installed Kiev government is doing the shelling of the nuclear plant.

Why would Russia want to contaminate the very region of Russian-ethnic citizens it is attempting to save from this out-of-control Kiev regime?

The fact that the Ukrainian plant personnel remain on their posts, and that Russia is trying to protect the plant from a disaster, indicates its good intentions in this matter.

I urge your offices to get the IAEA to the plant ASAP and you must publicly pin the blame for the shelling on the appropriate source – the Kiev regime that is clearly taking their marching orders from Washington.

Has the United Nations begun to also take their orders from the Biden administration? At this point one must surely wonder if that is the case as we face the possibility of a massive global disaster.

If you cannot perform your job appropriately, and protect the global population, then maybe it would be time for you to step aside and leave the post to someone more willing to speak truth to power.

The fate of much of humanity is at stake here.

In peace,

Bruce K. Gagnon
Coordinator
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
http://www.space4peace.org
http://space4peace.blogspot.com (blog)

https://www.antiwar.com/blog/2022/08/19/bruce-gagnon-writes-to-un-chief-on-the-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-plant-situation/

— Ukraine planning nuclear provocation on Friday, 19 August – Moscow

RT

August 18, 2022

Kiev is set on attacking the Zaporozhye power plant during a visit by the UN’s top official, the Russian military claims.

Ukraine plans to carry out artillery strikes on the Russia-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on Friday, and then accuse Moscow of causing a disaster at the site, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

The predicted attack will be timed to coincide with the ongoing visit to Ukraine by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Moscow insisted.

An official said they had detected the movements of Ukrainian troops, indicating a looming “provocation.”

Kiev has deployed units trained in responding to the use of weapons of mass destruction, pre-positioning them to report a radiation leak and demonstrate a purported action to mitigate it, Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

The ministry said it expects a Ukrainian artillery unit to attack the plant on Friday from the city of Nikopol. “The blame for the consequences [of the strike] will be attributed to the Russian armed forces,” the statement said.

In a separate statement on Thursday, Igor Kirillov, who heads Russia’s Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defense Troops, said his directorate has modeled possible scenarios for a disaster at the Zaporozhye plant. A plume of radioactive materials from the site may reach Poland, Slovakia and Germany, he warned.

Russia has accused Ukraine of conducting frequent drone and artillery strikes against the nuclear power plant in the city of Energodar over the past few weeks. Kiev has denied responsibility and said Russian forces were attacking the plant to discredit Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have also claimed that Russia is using the Zaporozhye facility as a military base.

During the briefing, Konashenkov denied Ukrainian claims that Russia has deployed heavy weapons at the Zaporozhye plant and is attacking Ukrainian troops from the site. The only Russian troops at the facility are lightly armed guards providing physical security, the official said.

The ministry pledged to do its best to prevent damage to the nuclear facility.

https://www.rt.com/russia/561073-provocation-nuclear-power-plant/

https://www.rt.com/news/561113-guterres-zaporozhye-suicide-iaea/