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The global crisis at six Ukrainian atomic reactors and fuel pools has escalated to an apocalyptic threat that demands immediate action.

Protecting our lives on this planet now demands immediate deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force to operate and protect this plant.

petition is now circulating to help make that happen.

This week Russian occupiers threw the Zaporizhzhia site into deepening chaos by firing Unit 4 up to “hot shutdown.”  Until July 25, Unit 4 had been in cold shutdown, along with Units 1,2,3 and 6. Unit 5 had been on hot shutdown to help power the plant.

But the Ukrainian nuclear agency Energoatom warns that putting Unit 4 up to hot shutdown is “a gross violation of the requirements of the license to operate this nuclear facility.”

The Russian military has occupied Zaporizhzhia since March, 2022.

It previously assaulted Chernobyl, whose melted Unit 4 core—-which exploded in 1986—-still poses grave dangers.  Russian troops terrorized site workers and jeopardized operations that safeguard massive quantities of radiation still on site.

The six reactors and six fuel pools at Zaporizhzhia are burdened with far more potentially apocalyptic radiation than was released at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl or Fukushima.  Without sufficient power and a constant supply of cooling water, the site could turn into a radioactive fireball powerful enough to send lethal radiation throughout the Earth’s eco-sphere, threatening all human life.

The Russians and Ukrainians have accused each other of acts that threaten such a catastrophe.  Each has blamed the other for apparently random mining and shelling on and around the site.  Just one such hit could lead to a meltdown and a series of catastrophic explosions from which our species might never recover.

On June 6, an attack widely attributed to Russia destroyed the Kakhovka hyroelectric dam, threatening vital power and cooling water supplies for Zaporizhzhia.  Later that month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky charged that the Russians had planted explosives at the site to precede a possible attack.

In 2001, 9/11 terrorists who took down the World Trade Center apparently contemplated attacking the Indian Point Nuclear Plant, 35 miles north of New York City.  Such an assault could have blanketed much of New York, New England and the Atlantic Ocean in deadly radiation.

There have been other terrorist threats to atomic reactors and fuel pools.  But the six at Zaporizhzhia are the first in history to endure the hostile instability of a hot war zone.   on Monday IAEA inspectors spotted anti-personnel mines at the plant’s perimeter and still have not had access to reactor turbine halls or the roofs of reactors 3 and 4 to see what those new objects placed up there are.

The complex also recently lost access to its main power backup line.

With an under-skilled labor force attempting to work in an unpredictable state of terror, with at least two reactors now teetering on hot shutdown, and with six fuel pools vulnerable to loss of power and coolant, the dangers at Zaporizhzhia are on a scale never before experienced by the human race.  Though all-out nuclear war might well release more radiation, the instability at these reactors and fuel pools poses as profound a threat to human survival as our species has ever experienced, at least since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Such realities cry out for an armed, skilled, stabilizing global force.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, based in Geneva, has been providing vital expertise at the site, and does have the technical and human resources to take operational control.  A peacekeeping force, such as the one deployed at Suez in 1956, must create a demilitarized zone capable of protecting the site from shelling and armed attack.

Some interests aligned with commercial reactors may wish to downplay the dangers to avoid tarnishing the industry’s image.

But the apocalyptic scope of a potential catastrophe at Zaporizhzhia is simply too great to let humankind tolerate inaction.  There is no biological margin for later regrets.

The General Assembly of the United Nations must send an operational and peacekeeping force to manage and protect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex.



Denys Bondar, Scott Denman, Karl Grossman, Howie Hawkins, Joshua Frank, Myla Reson, Harvey Wasserman and others are among the signees of this article, and of the petition asking the UN to send Peacekeepers to Zaophrizhzhia at

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