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Control rods of the Chernobyl RBMK reactor

Control rods of the Chernobyl RBMK reactor

T170/0465

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Credit

VAUGHAN MELZER / JVZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VAUGHAN MELZER / JVZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Reactor control rods. Control rods of the RBMK reactor at the Chernobyl nulear power station, Ukraine. The rods are inserted into the reactor to absorb neutron particles, and so slow down or stop the nuclear chain reaction that generates power. Four RBMK reactors were completed at Chernobyl during 1978-84; these rods will be used in Reactor 3. The RBMK design is flawed because its reactivity, and hence its power output, increases as coolant is lost from the fuel channels. This positive void coefficient was partly responsible for the major accident involving Chernobyl's Reactor 4 in 1986.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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