Ukraine’s Nuclear Reactors Are Now War Zones

Every nuclear reactor is a balancing act, where fuel rods are carefully preserved just close enough together to generate the heat needed to generate electricity, while being continually monitored to prevent overheating, which would melt the fuel. This requires continuous cooling and a highly trained staff. The reactors themselves are covered with a steel shell and a heavy layer of concrete, expressly designed to withstand projectiles and plane crashes, and meant to contain the heat of the fuel melting down in a disaster. The Chornobyl reactors lacked this level of protection, which led to the open-air release of radioactive material.

Ukraine has four operational nuclear facilities, including Zaporizhzhia, according to the IAEA’s Power Reactor Information System database. According to Joshua Pollack of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, there are at least two worrying scenarios that concern experts about nuclear power plants becoming engulfed in war zones:

• While reactors are very tough, their pools, containing used-but-still-hot fuel rods, aren’t. If a cooling pond is damaged and stops working, the water eventually boils off, and these fuel rods will catch on fire, spewing radioactive particles skyward. This was a major concern in the Fukushima disaster.

• If a reactor shuts down, loses access to outside power, and then loses its backup power, the coolant inside the reactor itself stops flowing. Shortly later, the fuel catches on fire inside the reactor and releases hydrogen gas. “As we learned in Fukushima, this is quite dangerous,” Pollack said. In that disaster,

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The Next Three Years Are Crucial To Fighting Climate Change, Climate Scientists Say

The best possible future — the one with fewer climate disasters, extinctions, and human suffering — involves limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. But for this to happen, a new report warns, greenhouse gas levels must start dropping by 2025.

“We are on a fast track to climate disaster,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday while announcing the new report by the United Nation’s preeminent climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“This is not fiction or exaggeration,” he added. “It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies. We are on a pathway to global warming of more than double 1.5 degrees.”

In 2016, practically every country signed the Paris climate agreement pledging to stave off the worst climate impacts by limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, ideally to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to preindustrial levels. But the world has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius, and this new report makes abundantly clear that the warmer temperature goals could soon be out of reach if humans don’t immediately and radically change how they live, from how they get energy and food to how they build and move around.

“It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit),” Imperial College London’s Jim Skea, one of the report co-authors, said in a statement. “Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”

Skea was one of the hundreds

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Ukraine Asked For Donations In Cryptocurrency To Fight Russia

Yarema Dukh, a communications strategist who helped set up the official Ukraine Twitter account in 2016, confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the tweet and wallet were a legitimate government plan. He said he believed the cryptocurrency funds would go to “exterminate as many Russian occupants as possible,” but was not sure of exact government spending plans.

Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in the early morning hours on Thursday. Since then, Russian troops have entered Kyiv, putting its democratically elected government at risk.

Initially, some people, including ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, were concerned that the tweet may have been from scammers who had hacked the account. After hearing from the vice prime minister, Buterin tweeted that he had received confirmation, but encouraged people to always be cautious when sending donations in cryptocurrency.

So far, according to the ledger, the largest donation of 100 ethers (approximately $278,000) has come from Deepak Thapliyal, the CEO of, a blockchain technology company. “When I realized the Ukrainian government had requested donations in the form of crypto, I felt compelled to do my part to help,” Thapiyal told BuzzFeed News. “Crypto donations are borderless and near instant, so I am hoping that the government there can tap into it as soon as possible to help the people in need.”

Ukrainian NGOs and volunteer groups have a history of accepting bitcoin. The volunteer group Come Back Alive, which provides supplies to the Ukrainian military, has asked for donations in cryptocurrency since 2018, according to

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