Concern in Chernobyl: an increase in nuclear activity was found in the destroyed reactor, this is a cause for concern.
Steph Deschamps / May 17, 2021
Ukrainian scientists have made a disturbing report to the scientific journal Science. They measured an increase in nuclear activity in the destroyed Chernobyl reactor.
Specifically, these researchers realized a consistent spike in the number of neutrons in an underground chamber. Neil Hyatt, professor of nuclear materials science and engineering at the University of Sheffield, explains by way of representation that radioactive waste smolders "like the embers of a barbecue.
According to these Ukrainian scientists, these embers could ignite completely and cause another explosion. There is no cause for alarm, according to Maxim Saveliev, a researcher at the Ukrainian Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Safety Problems, but the risk is there. There are many uncertainties, he admits to the magazine Science. But we can't rule out the possibility of an accident. Neil Hyatt added: From our overview of the fissile material in this space, we can be reasonably sure that there will be no explosion. But we're not sure. We're talking about very low fission rates, so it's not like it's comparable to an active nuclear reactor.
But while this increase in neutrons remains a cause for concern according to Professor Hyatt, the journal explains that a possible explosion would in no way be comparable to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Since 2016, the reactor has been covered with a shield to prevent the release of radioactive contamination and limit the number of neutrons. A plan should be developed by September, by Ukrainian scientists, to avoid a possible new drama.