28 peace activists have volunteered to act as an unarmed civilian protection team at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
John Reuwer, founder of the Zaporizhzhya Protection Proposal project, writes: ‘Among the most immediate of the many threats faced by Ukrainians is the release of a nuclear dirty bomb by an intentional or accidental mishap at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant.’
The group plans to send a team of trained unarmed civilians to support inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency and to monitor a demilitarised zone around the plant.
At the time of writing, after months of shelling around the power plant, there were reports that Russian forces might be about to withdraw from the site. Petro Kotin, head of Ukraine’s Energoatom agency, told national television: ‘In recent weeks we are effectively receiving information that signs have appeared that they are possibly preparing to leave’ the Zaporizhzhya plant.
The Zaporizhzhya Protection Proposal group aims to increase its numbers from 28 to 50.
Volunteers are expected to deploy at the nuclear power plant for one to two months: ‘Training would include the basic and advanced methods of unarmed protection, cultural awareness, radiation safety, monitoring techniques, and much else. Main qualifications needed are commitment to nonviolence, ability to function in a complex and potentially dangerous environment (though we intend to minimize the odds of anyone being harmed), physical and psychological stability, and the availability for deployment for at least one month or more after training. Russian language skills would be a real plus.’