Rise in neutron flux density in destroyed nuclear reactor in Ukraine

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KyIV, May 12 - Scientists have recorded a rise in nuclear activity in the destroyed nuclear reactor of the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine since it was completely levelled in 2017, but this increase did not exceed safety standards, said staff on Wednesday.

After their mathematical models, the staff at the plant said the rise in neutron flux density which if substantial could indicate an uncontrolled nuclear reaction, did not pose a threat to such an event.

High levels of radiation and damage mean it is not possible to precisely determine the situation under the destroyed block.

After the establishment of a new safe confinement which has been in the controlled position for more than four years, an increase in the neutron flux density is actually observed, scientists said in a statement at the Institute For Safety Problems Of Nuclear Power Plants in Ukraine.

At present, the readings of the sensors in all rooms have upward values without stable trend.The current levels does not pose a threat of a self-sustaining chain reaction, the Chernobyl plant said in a separate statement.

The fourth Rector in Kyiv, 108 km north of the capital Chernobyl, exploded in April 1986 during a botched safety test in the world's worst nuclear accident.Clouds of radiation were forced out across Europe, and tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate.

Scientists say the increase in neutron flux was recorded in a unit that nuclear fuel got from the newly demolished reactor, possibly during the installation of a nuclear shelter over the reactor.

Scientists from the Institute For Safety Problems Of Nuclear Power Plants said that until work on the installation of the new shelter began in late 2016, the fuel was cooled by rainwater which had since disappeared.

Based on predictive estimates, it is estimated that there will be an increase in the neutron flux density in the future, which will be determined by the process of moisture loss, they said in a statement.

Current experimental data have confirmed this scientific hypothesis, they said, adding that they had been carefully studying and monitoring the damaged unit.I am trying to get into a car in Virginia!

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