VAUGHAN MELZER / JVZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VAUGHAN MELZER / JVZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chernobyl's reactor. Model of the ruined RBMK reactor core of the Chernobyl power station in the Ukraine after the accident which occurred on 26 April 1986. The reactor's 1000-tonne circular lid (centre right) is lying tilted at an angle over the reactor. Reactor 4 overheated during a low- power experiment & caused a steam explosion which released over a billion billion becquerels of radioactive nuclides into the atmosphere. RBMK reactors use graphite to promote the nuclear chain reaction, & use water for cooling the vertical fuel channels. The RBMK design is flawed because its reactivity, & hence its power output, rises as coolant is lost from the fuel channels.
Model release not required. Property release not required.