In Atomic Blackmail? Simon Bennett examines the very real possibility of the 'weaponisation' of nuclear facilities during the Russia-Ukraine War. The War is being fought in proximity to nuclear facilities and working nuclear power stations, including the six-reactor Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Europe's largest, and the decommissioned four-reactor Chernobyl NPP that, in 1986, suffered a catastrophic failure that released radioactive contamination across much of Europe. In 1985, foreign affairs and nuclear expert Bennett Ramberg published Nuclear Power Plants: An Unrecognised Military Peril. In his visionary discourse, Ramberg posited that in future wars, regional or global, nuclear facilities and powerplants might be weaponised to gain political traction over an opponent and neutralise opposing forces' capacity for battlefield manoeuvre. While, at the time of writing Atomic Blackmail?, none of Ukraine's fifteen reactors had been damaged in an exchange of fire, the possibility remains that this could happen during Ukraine's 2023, and subsequent, offensives to expel Russian forces from sovereign Ukrainian territory. Though Ramberg's nightmare vision of destroyed NPPs rendering a country uninhabitable has not, yet, been realised in the Russia-Ukraine War, the longer and more intense the conflict, the greater the likelihood that one or more of Ukraine's NPPs will be damaged or, via a credible sabotage threat, used to leverage tactical or strategic advantage. Atomic blackmail finally exampled.
Atomic Blackmail? The Weaponisation of Nuclear Facilities During the Russia-Ukraine War
Paperback (04 Aug 2023)
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