Australian news, and some related international items

With dry and windy conditions, new areas of ‘smoldering’ reported near Chernobyl nuclear plant

New areas of ‘smoldering’ reported near Chernobyl nuclear plant, Accu Weather, By Courtney Spamer, AccuWeather meteorologist,  Apr. 18, 2020    A massive fire that broke out in northern Ukraine at the beginning of April is no longer said to be threatening the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the region. However, officials are monitoring hot spots as winds whip through the region.

The fire began to burn in the region back on April 3, near the town of Pripyat, located over two hours north of the country’s capital of Kiev and near the border with Belarus.

Police say they arrested a 27-year-old man who is being accused of starting the fire last week. On Monday, police said that another local resident burned waste and accidentally set dry grass ablaze.

The location of the fire was reportedly only one kilometer (less than one mile) away from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the site of the world’s largest nuclear catastrophe back in April 1986.

However, Greenpeace Russia, on Monday, warned that the fire being in close proximity of the power plant posed a radiation risk.

“Higher-than-usual” radiation levels were first reported by the AP on April 5, and are being carefully monitored as the fire continues.

According to Reuters, Chernobyl tour operator, Yaroslav Yemelianenko, shared on Facebook that the fire was only two kilometers away from where “the most highly active radiation waste of the whole Chernobyl zone is located.” He called on officials to warn people of the danger.

Emergency services said on Tuesday morning that there were still some acreage “smoldering” in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, but that the zone contained no open fire.

Acting Chairman of the State Environmental Inspectorate, Yegor Firsov, later said that the fire in the Chernobyl exclusion zone was extinguished, and cited some rain that moved through the region as one helpful factor.

Hundreds of firefighters, as well as several planes and helicopters, battled the blaze for 10 days.

………Strong winds increased the difficulty in containing what’s left of the blaze and new areas of “smoldering” were reported in the Exclusion Zone, but did not pose a threat to any critical facilities, reported officials……..

Dry weather across much of eastern Europe has allowed for a more volatile environment for fire to thrive.

Through April 13, only two percent of the month’s normal rainfall has fallen in Kiev. Since the beginning of 2020, the city has been much drier than normal, only recording 81 mm of rain instead of the average 150 mm.

The dry weather has also caused crop losses already this year across Ukraine, with further damage possible should the dry stretch continue.

Keep checking back on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


April 18, 2020 - Posted by | General News

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