Ex-Policy Analyst: Ukraine Fighting Risks Nuclear Meltdown

Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 07:15 PM

By Cathy Burke

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The military conflict in Ukraine could trigger a nuclear meltdown if fighting disrupts the electrical grid keeping that nation's reactors running, a former U.S. government policy analyst warned Wednesday.

"Given the stakes, failure to prepare for the worst is not an option," Bennett Ramberg, a policy analyst in the State Department’s Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs under President George H. W. Bush, wrote in Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper.

Ramberg said that if Russia attacks Ukraine, "fighting could disrupt" nearby power plants or electrical grids that send power to the nation's 15 atomic energy reactors.

"Twenty-eight years after its Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded, Ukraine confronts a nuclear specter of a different kind: the possibility that the country's reactors could become military targets in the event of a Russian invasion," he wrote.

Though the Kremlin calls past warnings about the threat — including an alert from Ukraine's acting foreign minister Andril Deshchytsia — "malicious slander," Ramberg wrote, the fears are real.

"The sheer scale of Ukraine's nuclear enterprise calls for far greater global concern," he wrote, noting that "15 aging plants" provide 40 percent of the country's electricity generation.

"Given that Russia, too, suffered serious consequences from the Chernobyl accident, it is to be hoped that the Kremlin would recoil at the idea of bombing the plants intentionally. But warfare is rife with accidents and human error, and such an event involving a nuclear plant could cause a meltdown."

Ramberg noted that nuclear plants keep large emergency diesel generators as backup, but that "Japan's Fukushima Daichi power station in 2011 demonstrated what happens when primary and emergency operating power are cut."

"[T]hough no one stands to gain from a radioactive release, if war breaks out, we must anticipate the unexpected," he warned, adding: "In Ukraine, nuclear emissions could exceed [those of] both Chernobyl and Fukushima."

"Such risks might be one reason for Russian President Vladimir Putin to think twice about ordering a military invasion of Ukraine, if indeed that is his intention. But, should war come, combatants must do all they can to keep conflict away from the nuclear sites and the off-site power sources feeding them."

Ramberg urged plant operators in Ukraine to stockpile diesel fuel to keep emergency generators operating and "perform review and maintenance of generators to ensure that they are set to go."

"In the event of fighting near reactors, the West should prepare to ferry forces to secure the plants and keep generators operating, and, in the event of a meltdown, the West should rally both governments to initiate a cease-fire to deal with the disaster," he urged.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

US Targets Al Shabab Leader in Somalia Airstrikes

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 05:31 AM

U.S. military forces attacked the extremist al-Shabab network in Somalia Monday, the Pentagon said, and a witness descri . . .

Sen. Mark Udall: 'I Absolutely Stand By' Call for CIA's Brennan to Resign

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 21:58 PM

Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan may have avoided losing his job over charges that the CIA spied on Sen . . .

US Forces Carry Out Operation Against Al-Shabaab in Somalia

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 20:44 PM

U.S. military forces carried out an operation on Monday against al Shabaab militants in Somalia, a U.S. Department of De . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved