What is hap­pen­ing in­side Cher­nobyl?

Science Illustrated - - ASK US -

In 2016, a 110-m-high steel cof­fin was pushed to cover the Re­ac­tor 4, which is to be fi­nally sealed against leaks in Novem­ber 2017. At the cen­tre of the re­ac­tor build­ing, tonnes of highly ra­dioac­tive nu­clear fuel, con­trol rods, and molten con­crete still re­main. Ra­dioac­tive iso­topes such as cae­sium-137 and eu­ropium-152 emit high con­cen­tra­tions of gamma ra­di­a­tion, mak­ing it lethal to stay nearby for more than one hour. Over many years, re­mote- con­trolled ro­bots are to re­move the ra­dioac­tive ma­te­rial.

DAM­AGED RE­AC­TOR SEALED IN STEEL COF­FIN

26 April 1986: Re­ac­tor 4 of the Cher­nobyl plant in Ukraine ex­plodes.

Septem­ber 2010: The con­struc­tion of the 36,000 t, 110­m­high, and 162­m­long steel cas­ing be­gins.

Novem­ber 2017: The steel cas­ing is in place, en­sur­ing no new leaks for 100+ years.

The Cher­nobyl power plant’s re­ac­tor 4 will be fi­nally sealed in Novem­ber.

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