Civilian Nuclear Infrastructure and the War in Ukraine

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This webinar, hosted jointly by RUSI’s Proliferation and Nuclear Policy and Military Sciences research groups, examines the risks posed to Ukraine’s nuclear power plants in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country.

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The event follows the recent publication of RUSI’s report on the subject, ‘Dangerous Targets: Civilian Nuclear Infrastructure and the War in Ukraine’.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in serious threats to the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear infrastructure. The Russian military captured Ukraine’s Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) hours after the start of the invasion. A few days later, Russian forces attacked the Zaporizhzhia NPP – the first instance of an operational NPP directly targeted as part of a military operation. The latter remains under Russian occupation and in the vicinity of ongoing military action, which threaten the safe operation of the NPP.

Given the significant projected global increase in the number of nuclear reactors over the coming decades as countries work to move to cleaner energy alternatives, NPPs could regularly be embroiled in warfare. Understanding the kinds of threats that NPPs face in military conflict, how to prevent and mitigate against radiological incidents in these scenarios, as well as what viable options exist for defending NPPs during military operations, will be key.

In this webinar, Darya Dolzikova and Dr Jack Watling, co-authors of RUSI’s new report addressing these issues, will discuss their analysis, informed by research conducted in Ukraine earlier this year. The discussion will be moderated by Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who will also offer his thoughts on the threats to Ukraine’s NPPs.

Dangerous Targets: Civilian Nuclear Infrastructure and the War in Ukraine

About the speakers

  • Darya Dolzikova, Research Fellow for Proliferation and Nuclear Policy, RUSI. Her work focuses on understanding and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), as well as other issues relating to nuclear technology and proliferation.
  • Dr Jack Watling, Senior Research Fellow for Land Warfare, RUSI. He works closely with the British military on the development of concepts of operation, assessments of the future operating environment, and conducts operational analysis of contemporary conflicts.
  • Mark Hibbs is a nonresident senior fellow in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program, based in Berlin and Bonn, Germany. His research is focused broadly on international nuclear trade and nonproliferation governance in four main areas: the international nuclear trade regime, decisionmaking at the International Atomic Energy Agency, nuclear safeguards and verification, and bilateral nuclear cooperation arrangements.

How to attend

This event is open to all. To take part, you must pre-register no later than 22 May by submitting the booking form available on this page. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information with instructions on joining the webinar.

If you have any questions, please email Sabrina Downey, Events Director, at, or Mar Casas Cachinero, Programme Manager for Proliferation and Nuclear Policy, at

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