The Russian Fires are causing threats to nuclear facilities and the area around Chernobyl. The story is being reported around the world. Here is the story from Wired: Russia Fires Approach Nuclear Plants:
‘There are much bigger problems looming. The fires have approached the Red Forest, an area that suffered the worst of Chernobyl’s fallout in 1986, with the soil still heavily contaminated by cesium-137 and strontium-90.
Similarly, the Mayak nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in Chelyabinsk Oblast is also threatened by the flames, as is a nuclear research center in Sarov, which was formerly known as the secret town Arzamas-16. If any of the structures succumb, then radionuclides could be spread widely afield, generating new zones of radioactive pollution and displacing the population of those areas.
By chance discovered this story about the threat of fire to US nuclear plants from earlier this year.
Emergencies were declared at two Progress Energy nuclear power plants in the Carolinas over the weekend due to fires. There was also a fire at a nuclear power plant in Ohio on Sunday that sent two firefighters to the hospital. The blazes were put out and disaster averted, but the incidents underscore concerns about U.S. nuclear plants’ failure to comply with fire safety regulations……
The emergencies “are a reminder that virtually all U.S. nuclear power plants remain in noncompliance with fire protection regulations,” says Jim Warren, executive director of the N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, an energy watchdog group.
Fire represents the leading risk factor for a US nuclear plant meltdown.
In 1975, a fire broke out at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama in an area that housed electrical cables used to power critical safety equipment.
In response to the near-disaster at Browns Ferry, the NRC adopted fire-safety regulations designed to prevent similar incidents. However, most of the nation’s commercial nuclear power plants still not have come into compliance with those regulations, according to reports by the NRC Inspector General and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.