Present Danger: Nuclear Power Plants in War
After Russia’s unprecedented seizure of Ukraine’s nuclear plant at Zaporizhzhya, the United States needs to adjust its military planning and policies to cope with hostile military forces’ targeting, seizure, and garrisoning of armed forces at large, operating nuclear plants and clarify its policies regarding possible US targeting of such plants. This article is the first to analyze these concerns. It compares Russia’s assaults with previous strikes against research reactors and nonoperating nuclear plants in the Middle East and clarifies what new military measures and policies will be needed to cope with military operations against large, operating nuclear plants. US Army and Pentagon officials, as well as military and civilian staff, will discover ways to mitigate and reduce future military harm to civilians in war zones and understand the operational implications of military assaults on and seizures of civilian nuclear facilities.