The Precarious Situation At Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant : Short Wave The world has been warily watching the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine. The nuclear complex is being held by Russian forces, while the plant itself is being run by an increasingly ragged and exhausted Ukrainian workforce. Shells have fallen on the complex, and external power sources have been repeatedly knocked out, endangering the system that cools the nuclear reactors and raising the specter of a meltdown. NPR's Kat Lonsdorf reports from inside Ukraine.

How Freaked Out Should We Be About Ukraine's Nuclear Plant?

How Freaked Out Should We Be About Ukraine's Nuclear Plant?

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Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, as seen from across the Dneiper River. Rehman/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Rehman/Wikimedia Commons

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, as seen from across the Dneiper River.

Rehman/Wikimedia Commons

The world has been warily watching the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, where the situation has grown more and more precarious.

This huge nuclear complex has been held by Russian forces since March, while the plant itself is being run by an increasingly ragged and exhausted Ukrainian workforce. There have been reports of those workers being mistreated and abused, even as shells have been falling on the complex itself. External power sources have been repeatedly knocked out, endangering the system that cools the nuclear reactors and raising the specter of a meltdown.

On today's episode, NPR's Kat Lonsdorf reports from inside Ukraine on the latest developments, in conversation with NPR Science Correspondent Geoff Brumfiel. They break down some of the scenarios that could play out at the plant, and help us figure out how freaked out we should or should not be.

This episode was produced by Berly McCoy, edited by Gabriel Spitzer and fact checked by Margaret Cirino. The audio engineer was Josh Newell.