Nuclear fuel in the shelter
The stages of multiyear investigations of the fuel-containing materials remaining in the Shelter after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, including the determination of their total amount and the physicochemical properties, are described. Thus far ∼150 tons of fuel from the destroyed reactor have been found inside the Shelter. Another ∼ 30 tons could be located in sites which are still inaccessible to investigators. One section of this paper is devoted to the analysis of the possibility of the decomposition of the lava-like fuel-containing materials during a long storage period (ten years) after the Shelter is converted into an ecologically safe system. Questions concerning the development of a system for monitoring fuel-containing materials are discussed.
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