Disinfo: Dangerous experiments of Americans in Chernobyl worse than fires

Summary

The wildfires lasted more than a week in the Chernobyl (exclusion) zone. However, it’s not the worst trouble in that region. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant found itself in difficult conditions because it lost contact with Russian specialists, the opportunity to buy Russian fuel and equipment. But the main danger is in the experiments conducted at the station by Americans.

Westinghouse is trying to get into Ukrainian reactors. They already got into Czechoslovakia, the situation at the Czech station almost ended up in a catastrophe after the Americans began to supply their equipment. Something similar is now happening in Ukraine. This is very dangerous. Much more dangerous than fire. Although fires are also bad.

Disproof

One of the Kremlin's disinformation narratives about a possible "new Chornobyl" in Ukraine, the accusation of Westinghouse and so-called experiments of the West in Ukrainian nuclear plants.

In 2005, Ukrainian Energoatom and the US company Holtec International signed a contract for the construction of spent fuel storage. There was no such storage facility, and the country was forced to spend 200 million dollars annually for services for the export and processing of spent nuclear fuel to Russia. Construction began in 2017. According to the contract, Holtec International will supply special equipment for dry storage of spent nuclear fuel and its transportation, and will also provide Ukraine with technologies that will be applied at its nuclear power plants and also during the transportation of spent nuclear fuel from the plants to this storage.

At the same time, Holtec International has built a storage facility exclusively for the fuel of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. The “cold” tests, on simulators, ended in autumn 2019, “hot” tests were scheduled to start soon, with real fuel, which will begin to be transported from the old storage to the new one.

“We are absolutely sure that the storage is completely safe and ready for operation,” VOA quoted American engineer Michael Pence. “We applied the same technology that we use in the USA. In fact, we have even enhanced safety thanks to the double-walled containers. In the USA, they are single-walled, and here they are double-walled," he said.

Westinghouse currently supplies fuel to six of Ukraine's 15 nuclear reactors, and this will increase to seven from 2021. The nuclear fuel is manufactured at the Westinghouse fuel fabrication facility in Västerås, Sweden. The claims about the dangerousness of usage of the Westinghouse's fuel are constant from the Russian side since Ukraine decided to use fuel of other countries on its nuclear plants.

The fires in the middle of April in the Chornobyl zone did not damage the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, and there are no concerns about the state of nuclear and radiation safety of the plant.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 195
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: experiments, Chernobyl
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Disproof

The recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the alleged power of Nationalists in Ukraine and their influence on the state processes.

All right-wing groups have suffered spectacular defeats in every national election since 2014. In 2019 the far-right "Svoboda" (often described as "ultra-nationalist" or "Nazis" by pro-Kremlin outlets) gained only 2.15% of the vote, far short of the threshold needed to enter Parliament. This demonstrates the public's lack of support for far-right nationalist parties in Ukraine.

The time for a union on equal terms with Russia may be over; Belarus will beg to become a part of Russia

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Disproof

This is a classic pro-Kremlin claim consistent with recurring propagandistic narrative about Belarus as an integral part of the Russian world. It promotes a false dilemma for Belarus's development and which paints very bleak prospects for Belarus up to the complete loss of sovereignty and independence in case it does not proceed towards a very close integration format in relations with Russia.

See earlier disinformation cases promoting a similar false dilemma and alleging that Belarus faces either normal development under Russia or a forced Polonization and economic devastation, that the only possible scenario for Ukraine and Belarus to prevent their descent into Nazism through the politicisation of national clothes is to become a Russian western federal area, and that the direction of Belarus and other post-Soviet countries' political development is either a union with Russia or unavoidable degradation.

The West hates Russia because of its strong state and traditional value system

Recent years have brought the United Kingdom and the West, in general, a new reason for the hatred of Russia. After Russia had managed to rise from its struggling condition after the 1990s, it started, like the Soviet Union did before it, to offer an alternative to the world built by the Anglo-Saxons. Britain demands of Putin, day and night, to cease to undermine the world order.

One wonders here: What is the nature of this “undermining”, and what is the secret behind the exaggerated reaction to it? Ultimately, Russia cannot challenge the West economically; it even depends on it. Militarily, Russia is several times weaker than NATO and cannot, by definition and common sense, initiate any aggression against the West. Russia cannot impose its will on the West in any way.

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Disproof

This message is in line with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's moral decay aimed at portraying Russia as superior to the West in terms of values and morals. This narrative often claims that President Vladimir Putin saved Russia’s values and identity from the threat of Western decadence and that he is the only world leader that protects traditional European and Christian values. “Threatened values” is one of the most common narratives used by pro-Kremlin outlets.

According to these narratives, the liberal societies of the West are depravedthey seek to destroy traditional values and to promote deviant sexual behaviour.