Expert comment - Dam explosion near Kherson, Ukraine
"The explosion at the Nova Khakovka dam is clearly deeply concerning in terms of the flooding, loss of hydroelectric power and water supply issues.
"The risks regarding the release of radioactive materials from the nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia appear to be limited at this time as the cooling of the fuel rods in their water pools seems to remain intact. These are housed inside the reactor containment but do rely on water from the nearby reservoir
"The potential for loss of water in the cooling pools, which could cause some fuel rods to melt, does not seem to be an issue at present.
"Any possible meltdown of fuel rods resulting in the release of radioactive materials to the environment would be noted immediately by the presence of elevated levels of radio-caesium and other signature isotopes in the wider environment which have not been reported at the present time. The situation clearly needs continued and accurate monitoring, but the first health problems surely arise as a result of flooding of homes and farms from the destroyed dam."
Notes to Editors
- Professor Patrick Regan is available for interview upon request
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