Ukraine Steps Up Protection Of Its Nuclear Power Plants, Cites "Grave Russian Threat"

Tyler Durden's picture

This one should be intuitive: with Ukraine scrambling to load up on natgas ahead of the price surge once Gazprom ends its discount pricing, and unclear what if any access it will have to Russian gas in the future and at what cost, it was only a matter of time before the Ukraine stepped up the protection of its only true energy asset: its 15 nuclear power plant, which supply nearly half of the country's energy needs. Ukraine told as much to the U.N. atomic watchdog on Tuesday, although it framed it as a result of the "grave threat to the security" of the country posed by the Russian military.

From Reuters:

Ukraine has 15 nuclear power reactors in operation, accounting for nearly 44 percent of its electricity production in 2013, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's) website.  Ukraine's envoy to the IAEA said in a letter to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano: "Illegal actions of the Russian armed forces on Ukrainian territory and the threat of use of force amount to a grave threat to security of Ukraine with its potential consequences for its nuclear power infrastructure."


Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk's letter, dated March 4, was circulated among delegations attending a week-long meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation governing board in Vienna. It was given to Reuters by a diplomat from another country.


Prokopchuk's letter to Amano, apparently written before Putin's comments, said: "Under these circumstances, the competent authorities of Ukraine make every effort to ensure physical security, including reinforced physical protection of 15 power units in operation at four sites of Ukrainian NPPs (nuclear power plants).


"However, consequences of the use of military force by the Russian federation against Ukraine will be unpredictable."


On Sunday, Ukraine's parliament called for international monitors to help protect its nuclear power plants, as tension mounted with its neighbor. Prokopchuk urged Amano to "join international efforts in de-escalating the crisis around Ukraine and to urgently raise the issue of nuclear security" with Russia.


Amano said on Monday there were 31 nuclear-related facilities in Ukraine that were being monitored by the IAEA to make sure there was no diversion of material for military purposes, as it does in other countries with nuclear plants.

Whether or not the protection surge is a result of Russian fears is irrelevant: one thing that is certain is that it is quite welcome, when one recalls that it was in the Ukraine where 28 years ago Chernobyl exploded in what was unti then the worst nuclear disaster in history.

In fact, perhaps instead of Crimea, Putin should have gone for one of the Japanese isles several years ago. Maybe only then could the great Fukushima disaster, which continues billowing alpha, beta and gamma rays to this day having surpassed Chernobyl in the worst radioactive catastrophes of all time record, would have been avoided.

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cossack55's picture

They could cut costs and have TEPCO operate them.

Motorhead's picture

Long yellow cake, bitchez!

Thought Processor's picture



This is Pro-Nuclear right?   I mean come on, I'm sure potential failed 'states' factored into the whole Nuclear Power equation long ago.

Who does actually run the reactors when the Government (and it's funding) vanishes?



Never mind.  Just one more problem with Nuclear Power that can't exist and so therefor doesn't.



Not Too Important's picture

All it takes is to lose cooling for a few days and BOOM!

It's a good thing these old Russian reactors (and all the other reactors around the world) have cooling systems that won't break down for 2 billion years.

Oh, wait, what?

DannoH's picture

Boomyness is caused by reactivity transients, usually resulting in the generation of steam. Meltyness is caused by loss of cooling. The two processes operate on fairly different timescales. Chernobyl was by no means a cooling issue, but an operations issue. Did nobody learn from NRX that low power reactivity studies which bypass engineered controls are the best way to make a safe system act silly?

Not Too Important's picture

Well, it only took three days for Fukushima to go BOOM (the first two explosions were much quicker), with the melting occuring immediately thereafter. And there won't be hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians rushing in to 'fix' any reactors that go, unlike the Russians 'capping' Chernobyl, and I use the term 'capping' loosely.

Nobody has learned nothing. But life is about to hit them upside the head with a big stick.

Debugas's picture

i can tell you one thing you probably did not know - when there was an earthquake in Armenia some 20 years ago russian nuclear specialists rushed to the nuclear plant there and found that it was abandoned by local personal. If not for this effort to take control over we would have one Chernobyl more

CPL's picture

It's one of the most awful engineering problems. 

The container that contains a 'controlled' nuclear explosion only lasts 50 years...maybe 60, the reaction in the core of the chamber is lethal to all known life for 8000 years.  It makes as much sense as deciding to built a train service with 50 years of track and train that can travel 8000 years.  THe obvious outcome is obvious, it breaks and kills everyone while at top speed.  Wouldn't be a hole deep enough to hide from it or a place to run in a space ship once they all start popping like firecrackers on a string.  Then again, you might be right.

I often wondered myself if they actually have been using as much nuclear as publically stated.  I noticed something odd in how energy is accounted.  No clue if these figures are correct, they seem very low even for 2011 in comparison to given numbers by other yearly agency releases over the past ten years.  Literally there are no straight answers in any of them.

Because the assumed power draw of everything worldwide in 2006 was the same as all energy consumption from 'the internet' from 2011??

Something squirrely with those numbers if judging the numbers given by one agency over another equals the energy consumption of a single industry sector.  If what I think it means, it means we currently supply 400% more power than is required for total consumption of world needs.  Which leads to the other questions.

What's making all that extra power?

where is it being used?

why aren't power bills 1/4 what they are today with all the reported numbers on energy production? 

And most important question to ask: who knows the answer?

mkhs's picture

The stargate needs a lot of energy!

Flakmeister's picture

Goldman has a bunch for sale...

That should be telling you something...

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Is Kiev playing a game of chicken?

StychoKiller's picture

Yuck!  Chicken Cordon Bleu is mucho better.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

But Chicken Kiev comes complete with Iodine to reduce the effects of radiation.  Soon to be a staple of our diets....

Lore's picture

It's okay: these are NOT designed by General Electric.

Still, a Russian security detail would do much to allay public fear...

logicalman's picture

The point of this announcement is, IMHO, designed to increase public fear.

Scared people will do what they are told by government.

Not Too Important's picture

No, they were built from plans stolen from GE, and 'Russianized'.

It's all good.

Lore's picture

What do you mean, "Russianized?"  You mean to downplay the GE aspect and imply some connection to Chernobyl?  If so, on what level is there a connection? What is "all good?"

Not Too Important's picture

If you mean taking a shitty nuclear reactor design by GE, and making it shittier after the Russians made significant changes to further cut costs/corners, as 'downplaying' the GE aspect, and inferring that this shittier design is the basis for the shitty design of the Chernobyl reactor, and all the other shitty Russian reactors, you might be on to something I missed.

Thank you.


SameAsItEverWas's picture

Baloney.  RBMK ain't nuthin like GE Mark 1.  RBMK similar to Hanford N reactor.

Stoploss's picture

If the central planners cant do it by protest, then like clockwork, it's straight to the nuke plant danger.

Surely, that will scare the shit out of 'em!

blackscorpi's picture

how would they protect them against an ICBM?

denverdolomte's picture

With Hope and Change! /sarc

logicalman's picture

I think after an ICBM, melt-down would be moot.

Not Too Important's picture

Blowing up an NPP with a missle is no different from them blowing themselves up. It's all going to go up in the air or water sources.

Ah, I love the smell of enriched uranium and plutonium in the morning. Nothing like waking up to that metallic taste in your mouth . . .

FieldingMellish's picture






BTFATH, bitchez.

Thought Processor's picture




We live in a manufactured reality.

yrbmegr's picture

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our newest NATO member country.

_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

That big wheel in the picture is a nice power source.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Putin Conspiring With ETs

According to Reuters, Ukrainian officials have proof that Vladimir Putin is conspiring with Flying Saucermen from Planet X. The unnamed official, reportedly a Ukrainian border guard, requested anonymity as he was operating covertly as a custodian in a bar.

Shillary Boobsalot of The Diplomat added that this proves Putin is an enemy of all earthlings.

Seasmoke's picture

That's it. I'm done following this soap opera. Wake me up if the World War starts. 

Carl Popper's picture

A very campy soap opera, Naked Gun Style

MarsInScorpio's picture



I posted - repeatedly - there isn't going to be a hot war. MAD is still around, and doing its job.


Frankly, I wondered why anyone would oppose anyone else having the bomb. After all, it's highly effective at stopping war.


Then it dawned on me: The reason is because then the US, China, Russia, et. al couldn't go in and drone countries, or loot counties, or finance a coup in countries that have the bomb. They’d have to actually use win-win scenarios to advance their agendas.


Can't have that, can we? How can you rape the world if everyone is carrying a gun to kill the attacker?


The more I read ZHer posts - well, some excluded of course but most posts - the more I realize how long I bought the Big Lie of the oligarchs and their wage slaves carrying out their policies.


George Wallace once said of the Dems and Reps, "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum."


How true.


And how true of all the Controllers no matter where you are in the world.


So I say, "People of Ukraine, you have thrown off the chains of one group of oligarchs to have them replaced with the chains of another group of oligarchs. Either way, you are nothing but slaves."


And to think of all the innocent lives the oligarchs are guilty of murdering for wealth. 


The French Revolutionaries only killed half the guilty parties - and replaced them with the other blood-thirsty half that survived.


In the Big Scheme of things, nothing changed.


And nothing ever does.


Or to put this in the form of a Robert Crumb cartoon:


Average Joe is climbing the mountain to seek the wisdom of Mr. Natural.


He reaches the top, and exhausted, he asks, "Mr. Natural! Mr. Natural!! What's it all mean??"


Mr. Natural, in his finest guru attire looks down at him and says, "Don't mean shit."



Fix It Again Timmy's picture

CNN [Collection of Neverending Nitwits] says be afraid, be very afraid....

1stepcloser's picture

Do we have anymore rights to give up...Keep me safe CNN

NoDebt's picture

Those Chernobyl pictures still creep me out.

Not Too Important's picture

Which ones, the plant or the mutated children?

Coming to a neighborhood near you.

Carl Popper's picture

Now the Ukranians are sounding like whiny little pussies.

The sky is falling! Lol

Not Too Important's picture

Actually, it is. All NPP's depend on outside power to keep the cooling systems running. None are self-supporting. If the oil and gas runs out, they'll have to divert all their coal energy to keep the plants cool.

If the workers don't get paid, they'll walk away.

And all this has to be continuously running for 2 billion years. Yeah, there's a problem there.

Clowns on Acid's picture

The Ukrainians are learning that the western media loves "victims". The US Media has been trained in Journalism school to write very powerfully about "victims" . The Obama Admin then takes the Media coverage and justifies the spending of taxpayer $$ based on the emotional balckmail, real or fictionalized.

The Ukrainians asked for $35Billion, ... so far $1B from Kery / US, and a muted $ 2 Billion from the EU. have a lot of sob stories to cover yet to get the remaining $32 Billion.    

Bryan's picture

Hey, that pic looks familiar.  I think I fought off a bunch of russkies from that merry go round thing.  They were dropping out of helicopters and I was picking them off one by one.  And then I planted a bunch of C4 all over the place and blew up a bunch of em.  I love the smell of C4 in the morning.  Ah, seems like yesterday.

Unknown Poster's picture

Maybe Horseface can help guard Chenobyl.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

When the next "catalyzing" event occurs in John Kerry's own words a "false pretext" (as he should know plenty about them) comes our way will the U.S. of A. fall for it "again"?


Flying Wombat's picture

 Putin Speaks In Live Broadcast About Ukraine

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

"My God" an alive breathing and kicking Democratic Leader that cares about the rule of law and his people.

Wish we had that "Ameriku"

Thanks FW great insight to cancel out the trolls here that habitually bad mouth this guy.

Chuck Knoblauch's picture

Is this how Communists in Russia live? Where do I sign up?

f16hoser's picture

There are Russians already in the country. Obama brought them in to take our guns. Who do you think shot-up the power plant in California??? They took a page out of the Navy Seals Playbook.

jonjon831983's picture



IF the nuclear plants were truly in danger from official Russian attack, Europe would be calling NATO / US to move their asses.  Russians would also be effected by any radioactive emissions.


lol... if anything some desperate faction of Ukranians could use it as a MAD chip to force either side to make concessions or else... they'll let loose Chernobyl x 9/11.

This type of news report plays on people thinking Russians are crazy/mad Ivans.

shinobi-7's picture

Of course! Still the reactors are unsafe (which has nothing to do with Russia except for building them that way).

Ukraine has nothing to negotiate with Russia, just its "nuisance" power, mostly on Europe, and that unfortunately, they plan to use aplenty!