Environment

Radiation – Chernobyl

Fission reactions appear to be occurring in an inaccessible chamber of Ukraine’s crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which exploded 35 years ago.

Scientists say they don’t know if the slow rise in neutron emissions will fizzle out or increase, forcing them to find ways to prevent another catastrophe. “It’s like the embers in a barbecue pit,” said nuclear chemist Neil Hyatt of the University of Sheffield. He says the new rates of fission are very low and believes they probably will not lead to an explosion. But scientists on the scene say they are not sure since there is no direct way to monitor what is happening inside the sealed and intensely radioactive chamber.

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