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08:53 13 May 2021

Scientists record an increase in nuclear activity at Chornobyl nuclear power plant

Scientists have recorded an increase in nuclear activity in the destroyed reactor at the Chornobyl power plant in Ukraine since its covering. However, growth doesn't exceed safety standards.

Ukrainska Pravda reports referring to Reuters and the Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Safety of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

"After the installation of the new safe confinement (NSC) 'Arka' in the design position, for more than four years, there has been indeed an increase in neutron flux density on the periphery of the accumulation of fuel-containing materials (PCM), which is located in one of the reactor rooms of the Shelter (room 305/2). However, as of today, this growth doesn't exceed the established safety margins, controlled by the regular nuclear safety control system (IASC)," the scientists note.

"Realizing the complexity of the problem facing the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant during the transformation of the Shelter into an environmentally safe system that involves the handling of nuclear hazardous materials, in 2016, the Institute developed a special program for monitoring the Shelter's PCM.

However, at present, ChNPP is not provided with adequate resources to implement this program."

According to the researchers, based on the forecast estimates, it is expected that there'll be an increase in the neutron flux density, which will be determined by the process of moisture loss in the layer of the humid environment of lava-like PCM.

That is why the scientists of the institute emphasize the need for in-depth study of the PCM state and the factors influencing the nuclear safety state of the Shelter facility and developed the PCM Monitoring Program of the Shelter facility.

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