What are the risks of nuclear power plants in wartime?

Key takeaways

  • The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is unprecedented in terms of nuclear safety. It is the first armed conflict in a country with a major nuclear programme: Ukraine
    derives about 50% of its energy from fission.
  • A plant can be damaged in a number of ways: breaching missiles, a power cut leading to core meltdowns, etc. This can have serious consequences for the environment and the health of the population. This can have serious consequences for the population and the surrounding nature.
  • Moreover, no specific treaty exists to deal with this threat. However, Protocol I and II of the Geneva Convention allow for “norms” of behaviour in wartime that should be respected.
  • One of the most effective ways to minimise the risks would be to create a demilitarised zone around nuclear power plants to protect the population.