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Nuclear power plant employee tortured to death by Russian troops for refusing to dewater the cooling ponds

Andriy Honcharuk, a diver at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is currently controlled by Russian forces, died as a result of torture at the hands of the occupants, who tried to get him to “justify the need to dewater the cooling ponds” reports Energoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear operator.

“On June 29, Andriy Honcharuk was admitted to a hospital in Enerhodar in a coma with multiple injuries. Unfortunately, his injuries were fatal, and he passed away today without regaining consciousness,” Energoatom writes in its statement.

As Dmitry Orlov, head of the Enerhodar city administration, wrote on Telegram, the occupants demanded that Honcharuk dive into the NPP's spray pond and beat him up after he refused. A spray pond is an open reservoir that forms part of the wet recirculating cooling circuit.

Earlier, Energoatom stated that Russian troops were forcing Zaporizhzhia NPP employees to dewater the cooling ponds. The operator insists a provocation is in the works: the Russians intend to accuse Ukraine of stashing weapons on the power plant grounds. To that end, the occupants have captured several employees and are torturing them to make them confess they hid explosives or munitions on the bottom of the cooling ponds back in March.

Russian commanders are using it as a pretext for dewatering the cooling ponds and inspecting the reservoirs, which implies shutting down the pumps feeding water to the unit safety systems, warns Energoatom. As a result, Europe's largest nuclear power plant could have its cooling system disabled, which poses a nuclear threat. “Further down the line, occupants could throw anything into the concrete reservoirs: explosives, unexploded munitions, or other weapons,” Energoatom says in its statement. This is how Russia plans to justify its request to the IAEA to transfer the Zaporizhzhia NPP to Rosatom's control.

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