Fission reactions have intensified in nuclear fuel, which is buried together with the destroyed fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. This is reported by Science.
The situation under the sarcophagus that covers the destroyed reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant raises concerns among researchers around the world. The problem was dealt with in particular by the staff of the University of Sheffield in the UK.
Scientists have announced the risk of a repeat of the Chernobyl disaster due to intensifying nuclear reactions in the mothballed nuclear power plant. It is reported that decay processes are resumed in the remains of uranium fuel.
“It’s like embers in a charcoal grill,” said chemist Neil Hayat of Sheffield University. It seems that Ukrainian physicists do not yet know whether the reactions will subside on their own or will have to take measures to protect the population and the environment.
The growing activity of neutrons was detected by special sensors installed at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The scientists add that there are too many uncertainties in the situation. At the same time, it is noted that the likelihood of a new accident cannot be 100% excluded.
We will remind, recently scientists have recorded growing levels of neutrons at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where an accident occurred 35 years ago. It looks like the chain reaction continues. There is no imminent risk of leakage yet. The fact is that the situation is developing very slowly. But if the process cannot be slowed down, then there is a danger of an increase in heat release. In turn, it can gradually melt the surrounding material. In this case, the risk of penetration of radioactive elements into the environment increases. Most of all, scientists are concerned about the state of groundwater and rivers that flow nearby.