Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant runs out of space for radioactive waste storage

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Insufficient infrastructure at the Nuclear Power Plant

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant does not have enough space for disposing of radioactive waste waters.  Actually, approximately 20 thousand cubic meters of liquid radioactive waste water are stored in storage tanks at two storage facilities. It will take 29 years to process them at a liquid radioactive waste processing facility.

Nuclear Power Plant Chernobyl with memorial.

After processing, the radioactive waste will be filled into waste containers, which will be buried in an existing specially equipped storage facility. At the end, there will be 300'000 waste containers, which have to be buried safely. However, the existing storage facility has only a capacity of 70'000, the ministry informed. 


Container for liquid radioactive waste.

Searching for an economic solution for the nuclear waste

Specialists of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant are still looking for an economic method of handling the radioactive contaminated waters. Every year, the volume to be stored and processed continues to grow.

The catastrophe at the Chernobyl station occurred on April 26, 1986. The No.4 light water graphite moderated reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat exploded. In Ukraine, 45 thousand square kilometers were contaminated. In  Russia a territory of almost 48,000 square kilometers was  affected by the radiation and in Belarus 46,500 square kilometers. The subsequent release of radioactive materials resulted in the contamination of large swathes of Europe with particularly disastrous consequences for humans and the environment in today’s Ukraine and Belarus. 



A sad sight: a former amusement park in Pripyat.

The accident happened during a safety test

"The event occurred during a late-night safety test which simulated a station blackout power-failure and in which safety systems were deliberately turned off. A combination of inherent reactor design flaws and the reactor operators arranging the core in a manner contrary to the checklist for the test, eventually resulted in uncontrolled reaction conditions. Water flashed into steam generating a destructive steam explosion and a subsequent open-air graphite fire." - Wikipedia  


Symbolic

Comparison of the events at Fukushima Dai-ichi and Chernobyl


The International Nuclear Event Scale is used to classify safety-related events in nuclear power plants on a scale from 1 to 7.

For a long time, the accident at Chernobyl on 26 April 1986 was the only one to have been assigned the highest level of 7. At that time, it has been stressed that a catastrophe such as the one at Chernobyl is impossible in the case of reactors with a western design.

And then, the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant happened on March 11, 2011. And that reactor had a western design. The accident at Fukushima Dai-ichi was classified at level 7.

In both places, the authorities don't be in control of the situation and don't want to invest into a sufficient safety infrastructure. 

"More than 1,000 tanks brimming with irradiated water stand inland from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Each day 300 tonnes of water are pumped through Fukushima’s ruined reactors to keep them cool. As the water washes through the plant it collects a slew of radioactive particles.

Now, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has launched a campaign to convince a skeptical world that dumping up to 800,000 tonnes of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean is a safe and responsible thing to do." - The Guardian


WARNING! Nuclear power and radiation.

RESOURCES:

Donbass News Agency
https://dninews.com/article/chernobyl-npp-runs-out-space-radioactive-waste-storage

Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate ENSI
https://www.ensi.ch/en/topic/chernobyl/

Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster

The Guardian




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