We are pleased to share details of Anna Davis’ recent publication ‘”Playing with fire”: implications of Russia’s Occupation of Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plants for the global nuclear order,’ St. Antony’s International Review (STAIR). 18:1, October 2023. pp. 137-149(13). Available here with login via your university or institution.
Abstract: On 24 February 2022, Russian military vehicles were sighted at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) as the world quickly realised the severity of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. On 4 March, fighting broke out around the Zaporizhzhia NPP between Russian and Ukrainian forces, ending in the occupation of this plant as well. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, has warned that those responsible for jeopardizing the safety and security of the NPP are ‘playing with fire.’ The primary research question of this research is, ‘To what extent does Russia’s attack, occupation, and operation of the Zaporizhzhia and Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plants in Ukraine affect the global nuclear order?’ As such, this paper takes a deep dive into how the events that unfolded, and in the case of Zaporizhzhia, continue to unfold, at the two nuclear power plants, have challenged assumptions within the international nuclear order about the weaponization of civil nuclear sites. Additionally, the paper looks into the possibility of state actors experienced in nuclear technology holding civil nuclear sites hostage while continuing to occupy and operate them in wartime.