The Center for Forecasting the Consequences of Radiation Accidents of the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Center of State Service on Emergency of Ukraine continues to monitor the radiation situation in NPP observation zones and, based on real numerical weather forecasts, creates models of atmospheric dispersion to assess potential consequences of natural, man-made and military emergencies.
The Center informs about the deterioration of radiation in the Exclusion Zone and beyond due to forest fires in radioactively contaminated areas, which is one of the factors that currently leads to increased levels of radioactive air pollution . Extinguishing fires is impossible due to the occupation of the Exclusion Zone by Russian troops.
According to The Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) https://firms.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov (https://firms.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov/), fire areas in the period from 11 to 18 March 2022 were observed mainly in the western and central parts of the Exclusion Zone.
If the current situation continues, in the near future, the radiation situation in the Exclusion Zone and beyond, including not only Ukraine but also other countries, may deteriorate significantly due to the following reasons:
1) Currently, the automated radiation monitoring system in the Exclusion Zone isn’t working. There are no data on the current state of radiation pollution in the Exclusion Zone, which makes it impossible to adequately respond to threats of deterioration of radiation situations in the Exclusion Zone.
2) Fire services that extinguish forest fires in the Exclusion Zone don’t have the opportunity to perform their functions.
3) Forest fires in the cold season are an atypical phenomenon for the Exclusion Zone. There is a high probability that in the spring and summer the intensity of forest fires in the Exclusion Zone may reach the maximum possible limits, which will lead (in the absence of any firefighting measures) to almost complete burning of radioactively contaminated forests in the Exclusion Zone and, consequently, to significant deterioration of radiation in Ukraine and throughout Europe.