Crucially, Rosatom is in charge of maintaining Russia’s nuclear arsenal – the very weapons with which Vladimir Putin has threatened the world.
Rosatom also played an important role in Russia’s targeted attacks on two Ukrainian nuclear power plants (NPPs): the now-defunct Chernobyl, site of the greatest nuclear disaster in history, as well as of Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest nuclear facility.
The invading Russian army and Rosatom have shown clear signs of criminal negligence and extraordinary recklessness in the recent assaults on Ukraine’s NPPs.
The attack on Chernobyl left the whole facility without power. The outage compromised the damaged reactor’s sarcophagus as well as the cooling system for the spent fuel rods, increasing the risk of radiation leaks. Risking an all out nuclear disaster, the Zaporizhzhia NPP was shelled and engulfed in flames, putting the reactors and the adjacent nuclear waste storage facility in immediate danger. Staff at both nuclear facilities was held hostage and forced to work long shifts without proper rest, drastically increasing the risk of human error.
These two incidents are only the latest examples of the blatant disregard for human life and the environment that Russia’s invading forces have displayed. While the Russian army and Rosatom left Chernobyl in April, they are still holding NPP Zaporizhzhia and its staff hostage. Their ability to secure and manage Europe’s largest nuclear power plant properly is highly dubious.
Rosatom’s involvement in Russia’s nuclear weapons program and Putin’s threat of nuclear terrorism make it imperative to immediately sever all ties with Russia’s state-owned nuclear company.
Every nuclear power plant type requires a specific kind of fuel. In practice, this means that if Rosatom builds a reactor, it also supplies its fuel, with almost no exceptions. In Europe, Russian reactors are running in Finland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
These companies cooperate with Rosatom through fuel imports, uranium waste exports, or building of new reactors:
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