Senior Lecturer Dr Michael Rushton appeared on prime-time Sky News on the 1st of September to discuss the ongoing situation with the Zaporizhzhia power station in Ukraine – Europe’s largest nuclear power station.
The plant has 6 VVER-1000 pressurised light water nuclear reactors (PWR), each fuelled with 235U and generating 950 MWe, for a total power output of 5,700 MWe. The Zaporizhzhia plant supplies 20% of the country’s electricity.
Dr Rushton appeared on Sky News to discuss IAEA nuclear experts arriving at the Zaporizhzhia power plant in Ukraine to inspect any damage had occurred after both sides reported shelling near to the site.
It was discussed how the safety of the plant may be increased by shutting down the reactors and dealing with the reduced heat generation as opposed to keeping them online. This would be a trade-off because the Zaporizhzhia plant generates 20% of the country’s total electricity needed to sustain a modern way of life. Dr Rushton said that a balance would have to be struck in terms of a need for the power generated and the risks posed by the shelling. Shutting down the reactor early, could prevent having to react to an emergency, rather than having a controlled plan.
Sky News then asked if the Sizewell C power plant is a “sensible move” in terms of UK energy policy. Dr Rushton explained how the construction of nuclear power plants local to the UK may mitigate the county’s risk of rising energy costs because of the decrease of our reliance on electricity produced by gas. As a corollary to this, an increase in generated nuclear power would offer much needed energy security for the UK, especially to resist geopolitical pressure.
Watch the video on bob: On Demand TV and Radio for Education. (Institution login required.)