Russian bombardment outside Zaporizhzhia. Photo courtesy mvs.gov.ua
As the world watches the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant suffer “weeks of shelling,” the potential for “another nuclear disaster on the scale of the Chernobyl explosion” looms large, writes Bard alum C Mandler ’19 for CBS news. The similarities between Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia are as much organizational as they are structural, says Jonathan Becker, executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs for Bard College. Both share “an environment… in which people are disincentivized from communicating genuine problems to higher-ups,” Becker says, which could result in a “series of mistakes, which are reinforced by a system which doesn't encourage transparent communication.” A nuclear disaster in Ukraine would be catastrophic on “both human and geopolitical” levels, Becker says. Should a nuclear disaster occur, “it will be difficult to imagine the path forward after that,” he said.