Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the closing of NATO countries’ airspace to Russian aircraft, the flight has drawn attention as it was seen over Europe. It has repercussions, but the journey has an explanation.
The flight was carried out on Tuesday morning (01) between Moscow and Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, on the Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft of Volga-Dnepr Airlines, a private Russian company and the largest cargo airline in the country.
The track attracted attention as it bypassed Ukraine, and flew over Poland, a member of NATO and the European Union, which Prohibited flights from Russia Or planes from airlines there, obviously due to the fact that they are destined for another member state of the military bloc and alliance, Slovakia.
In light of the repercussions that the subject was gaining, The Slovak government publicly announced itself to explain the reason for the trip. according to The Ministry of EconomyIn an official note, the flight of the IL-76 was transporting nuclear fuel from Russia to the country’s reactors.
Slovakia was part of the socialist bloc (still like Czechoslovakia), at the time of the Soviet Union, and today has four nuclear reactors PWR / VVER (pressurized water reactor), of the same technology used in Brazil in Angra 1, 2 and in the future 3.
According to Slovakian media, this plane was transporting nuclear fuel to Slovakia.
It was granted an exemption from restrictions based on wording in NOTAMs.https://t.co/n82a7GH6jm
– Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) March 1, 2022
These reactors, like other reactors, use enriched uranium rods where fission of atoms occurs, generating heat, heating water and turning it into steam that drives turbines, thus generating power, according to Brazilian nuclear industries.
Obtaining these materials is the main challenge for nuclear power generation as well as making nuclear weapons, and not all countries have this capability. Therefore, Slovakia needs to import bars.
According to the country’s Minister of Economy, Richard Sollick, After gas and oil, our economy has another guaranteed energy. I am grateful that we were able to manage the logistics for that, and I would like to thank the Secretary of State and Transport for the excellent coordination with permits.”.
The permits the minister talked about are the exceptions that Poland, Slovakia and other countries have imposed on the ban on Russian flights. Among them are humanitarian and essential flights, as was the case with this nuclear fuel load.
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