“The reactors at the nuclear power plant in Enerhodar are of a completely different type than those at Chernobyl,” explains nuclear physicist Nathal Severins. These are PWR reactors, or pressurized water reactors, while in Chernobyl, Soviet-made RBMK reactors were used. Reactors of this type were already outdated in 1986, when the nuclear disaster occurred.
The oldest reactor at the Innerhodar power plant dates back to 1985, and the smallest reactor in 1996. They are much safer than those at Chernobyl, Professor Severance says reassuringly. A nuclear disaster like the one at Chernobyl can’t happen with this type of reactor, “that’s completely out of the question,” Severance says.
He notes that the reactor buildings are built very solidly, unlike those of the Chernobyl reactor. It’s about the same type of buildings we have at the nuclear power plants in Doel and Tihange: the dome is designed to withstand a plane crash. “To destroy them you have to use heavy artillery very deliberately.”
What could happen: The fuel rods stored outside the reactor buildings are being battered. But the radioactivity will then spread only in the immediate vicinity. There is no way for a radioactive cloud to form in such a situation,” as happened at the time after the Chernobyl disaster.
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