Does any NATO country assumes being under an “armed attack” if it suffers casualties due to a radiation leak?

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The Politicus
Aug 23, 2022 02:33 AM 0 Answers
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As the title says, does any NATO country's defense doctrine identifies radiation leaks occurred elsewhere, but presumably causing casualties in such country, as an equivalent of armed attack against it?


Here's a bit lengthy background/motivation/big picture. Not sure how could I make it more succinct.

Recently, I stumbled across these posts in a social network:

Let’s make it clear now:
ANY deliberate damage causing potential radiation leak to a Ukrainian nuclear reactor would be a breach of NATO’s Article 5.

Aug 19Tobias Ellwood MP, Conservative MP for Bournemouth East, Chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee.

This really isn’t even up for debate. Any leak will kill people in NATO countries, that’s an automatic article 5
Aug 20Adam Kinzinger, Congressman, R-IL.

I was wondering if that could be a valid assumption, so I did some (rather straightforward) research on the matter:

  • The Article 5 of NATO Treaty says (highlight mine):

    The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them […] will assist the Party or Parties so attacked […]

  • In order to trigger the Article 5, a country should declare itself being under an armed attack.
  • As far as I understand, such status should be declared by the executive branch of power, according to some the country's defense doctrine (military doctrine).
  • I checked the British defense doctrine and the U.S. National Strategy for Homeland Security and found nothing about the radiation leaks causing damage or casualties in these countries.

However, I think, some other NATO countries could have provisions about that. Are there any?

It is also worth noting that Chornobyl disaster caused deaths and other health problems claimed in European countries. None seem to have triggered Article 5.

Also, the scale of possible disaster on Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant could be "10 times larger than Chronobyl", does that make any significance to trigger the Article 5?

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  • August 23, 2022