4 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2019
    1. The Elephant’s Foot is the nickname given to a large mass of corium formed during the Chernobyl disaster in April 1986 and presently located in a steam distribution corridor underneath the remains of the reactor. It is currently an extremely deadly radioactive compound, yet its danger has decreased with the decay of its radioactive components.
    1. The largest known amounts of corium were formed during the Chernobyl disaster.[15] The molten mass of reactor core dripped under the reactor vessel and now is solidified in forms of stalactites, stalagmites, and lava flows; the best known formation is the "Elephant's Foot," located under the bottom of the reactor in a Steam Distribution Corridor
    1. In the Chernobyl disaster, the moderator was not responsible for the primary event. Instead, a massive power excursion during a mishandled test caused the catastrophic failure of the reactor vessel and a near-total loss of coolant supply. The result was that the fuel rods rapidly melted and flowed together while in an extremely-high-power state, causing a small portion of the core to reach a state of runaway prompt criticality and leading to a massive energy release,[22] resulting in the explosion of the reactor core and the destruction of the reactor building. The massive energy release during the primary event superheated the graphite moderator, and the disruption of the reactor vessel and building allowed the superheated graphite to come into contact with atmospheric oxygen. As a result, the graphite moderator caught fire, sending a plume of highly radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over a very widespread area.[
  2. Apr 2019
    1. The ‘uncanny’ might serve us better. One of the most chilling traces of the Anthropocene is the global dispersal of radioactive isotopes since mass thermonuclear weapons testing began in the middle of the 20th century, which means that everyone born after 1963 has radioactive matter in their teeth. The half-life of depleted uranium (U-238) is around 4.5 billion years, roughly the same as the age of the Earth, while that of the plutonium in Chernobyl’s nuclear reactor is 240,000 years. Such timescales resist the imagination, but exist as a haunting presence in our daily lives.