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Catastrophic Flooding Feared as Critical Ukrainian Dam Is Destroyed; Zaporizhzhia Nuke Plant at Risk

Written by on 06/06/2023

Evacuation efforts are underway in southern Ukraine, where floodwaters are rising after a dam on the Dnipro River was breached overnight in the Ukrainian city of Nova Kakhovka. The breach has created an additional humanitarian disaster in an area that’s seen heavy fighting since Russia’s invasion. Ukraine’s government says floodwaters are threatening 80 towns and villages, as well as the city of Kherson, home to 300,000 people. The breach could also limit drinking water supplies across Kherson and Crimea. Ukrainian officials accused Russia’s military of deliberately sabotaging the dam, calling it an act of “ecocide,” while Russian officials blamed Ukrainian artillery fire for the breach. The disaster has raised fears of a nuclear accident at Europe’s largest nuclear power station, the six-reactor Zaporizhzhia plant, which is upstream of the dam breach and relies on a reservoir formed by the dam for critical cooling systems. We go to Kyiv to speak with Olexi Pasyuk, deputy director of the Ukrainian NGO Ecoaction, to discuss the environmental implications.

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