Help Us Prevent a Global Catastrophe at a Nuclear Plant in Ukraine

UPDATE: Now called the Zaporizhzhya Protection Project.

By World BEYOND War, November 13, 2022

The peacekeeping initiative in Ukraine known as the Zaporizhzhya Protection Proposal initiated by World BEYOND War Board Member John Reuwer and described below has been gaining momentum over the last 2 months. Efforts like this are absolutely critical to ridding the world of war. If nonviolent unarmed actions become better organized and reported, it will become far easier to persuade the more representative governments of the world to invest in systemic preparations for civil resistance, and consequently to abandon military preparations as superfluous. And that model will be something that can be spread from nation to nation, with a great deal of determined work by those who find the vision, the courage, and the relentlessness worthy of the cause. We invite you to read the message below and join us in this work.
—David Swanson, Executive Director of World BEYOND War

Dear Peacemakers, 

Among the most immediate of the many threats faced by Ukrainians is the release of a nuclear dirty bomb by an intentional or accidental mishap at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which could create a Chernobyl-like disaster of far larger proportions. This plant has six nuclear reactors and 37 years of nuclear waste sitting in unprotected cooling pools that could contaminate tens of thousands of square kilometers if exploded by combat weapons. 

Due to shelling near the plant which caused damage to infrastructure, the plant shut down the last of its six reactors, but continued military activity has repeatedly destroyed power lines required to maintain the cooling systems for reactors and waste storage. The plant remains a considerable danger to the world, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency which urgently called for establishing a nuclear safety and security protection zone.

That’s why we are working on a proposal to establish an Unarmed Civilian Protection team to prevent a nuclear explosion that would impact Ukraine — and the world. We are in touch with leading experts in the field of unarmed protection and nuclear risk,  and will be meeting with activists in Ukraine to recruit and strategize. This project would require at least a symbolic presence of a few dozen people to accompany the IAEA inspectors, or better, many hundreds to patrol the large perimeter around the nuclear plant. Please let us know if you or anyone you know would consider being part of the team when there is a call for training and planning for deployment to protect the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant.

Up until now, the UN International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspectors have led the way by assuming, unarmed, the risks of protecting civilians from a disaster at the plant. The militaries on both sides of the conflict continue to blame each other for the ongoing violence, and are unable to establish such a zone on their own. We see this as an opportunity to offer a team of trained unarmed monitors to support the IAEA workers and patrol a demilitarized zone until the governments come to agreement. 

Training would include the basic and advanced methods of unarmed protection, cultural awareness, radiation safety, monitoring techniques, and much else. Main qualifications needed are commitment to nonviolence, ability to function in a complex and potentially dangerous environment (though we intend to minimize the odds of anyone being harmed), physical and psychological stability, and the availability for deployment for at least one month or more after training. Russian language skills would be a real plus.

Preventing a nuclear disaster is of importance not only to Ukrainians and people in the surrounding countries whose land and air would be contaminated, but to many activists around the world. Given an opportunity to train and participate in this way could inspire many to come.

Please reply on the form below to:

  • Volunteer for training and deployment in Ukraine
  • Help organize this very complex project and bring it to fruition.
  • Let us know of your willingness to provide financial support.


In peace,
John Reuwer, MD
Chair, Zaporizhzhya protection proposal steering committee
Member, World BEYOND War board of directors.

18 Responses

  1. Ukraine should unilaterally lead a Demilitarized Zone around ZNPP. An international civilian presence is the next best thing.

  2. Thanks you so much John Reuwer for your proposal to the protection of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plants. Your are really trying to end and foregoes the disastrous results of people planning with the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plants that would course serious catastrophic in human around and Ukrainian people if left unprotected.
    As early stated, I’m willing available to volunteer for training and deployment in Ukraine.

  3. This is an important opportunity for me as an international civilian to oppose aggressive russian violence against its neighbors, to help protect humanity from poisonous nuclear waste, and to show the dangers connected with nuclear power plants.

  4. Thank you all for the support. This is a groung breaking project, but needs as many volunteers as possible. Please spread the word, and ask people to fill out the form. We will have the first training online on December 13.

  5. This is a very important initiative to show the world – and specially Russia and the Ukraine – how nonviolence might work.

  6. This is a very important initiative to show the world – and specially Russia and the Ukraine – how nonviolence might work.

  7. I am a USMC Viet Vet and Veteran For Peace. I have believed for months that Putin will destroy the power plant to follow his threat of nuclear action to win the war. If he can use U.S. made weapons to accomplish this to make it look like Ukraine and the U.S. are responsible, I see no reason for him not to take such action if it means victory. The loss of his own soldiers in that area and civilians from any nation unarmed and trying to prevent such a catastrophe, would not matter to him. As long as nuclear weapons and power plants exist, it is inevitable that this existential crisis will take place. The questions remain – when and where and to what level of global impact. Proliferation = obliteration

  8. There should be an immediate and permanent cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia. This could save many lives.

  9. This is a late addition but, one avenue to explore is to suggest to anyone concerned that we just try on contemplating the situation as a global citizen–a citizen of the Biosphere (all life). Just try it on for size. This is not a recommendation for Ukrainians with bombs falling on their heads but for the rest of us. Just a different perspective. For example, would a global citizen pay for the construction of nuclear weapons (by people you never met and know nothing about) and the possible destruction of the Biosphere? This is a ‘yes or no’ question, it is just experimental. You will not be graded or held responsible for your answer.

    How would you respond? How would your behavior change if you were (just conceptually) a citizen of the Planet rather than (conceptually) a citizen of a ‘nation-state’?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Our Theory of Change

How To End War

Move for Peace Challenge
Antiwar Events
Help Us Grow

Small Donors Keep Us Going

If you select to make a recurring contribution of at least $15 per month, you may select a thank-you gift. We thank our recurring donors on our website.

This is your chance to reimagine a world beyond war
WBW Shop
Translate To Any Language