Wired: Workers find nuclear fuel when digging around Chernobyl — “During the initial clean-up, radioactive material had simply been buried”

Published: January 3rd, 2013 at 11:47 am ET


Title: Containing Chernobyl: the mission to difuse the world’s worst nuclear disaster site
Source: Wired UK
Author: Andrew Hankinson
Date: Jan. 3, 2013

Containing Chernobyl: the mission to difuse the world’s worst nuclear disaster site

“There are always hurdles, there are always surprises. Whenever we dig here we run into stuff — old cranes, Caterpillars or pieces of (nuclear) fuel. And many of the things we have done have never been done before, and when you do something for the first time…” [said the project’s managing director.]

[…] a Ukrainian firm, UTEM, was hired to decontaminate the site (during the initial clean-up, radioactive material had simply been buried). […]

See also: [intlink id=”nytimes-broken-pieces-nuclear-fuel-rods-found-reactor-2-nuke-executive-covered-bulldozers” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: January 3rd, 2013 at 11:47 am ET


Related Posts

  1. TV: No chance of removing melted nuclear fuel from reactor at Chernobyl — 100s of times above airborne radiation limit while digging nearby (VIDEO) April 28, 2012
  2. Officials trying to stop nuclear material from spreading after collapse at Chernobyl — Will be covered with ‘special resin’ April 23, 2013
  3. Chernobyl workers evacuated from site — Roof collapse was 50 meters from reactor’s sarcophagus — Soundness inspection underway (PHOTOS) February 13, 2013
  4. Seattle TV: Children now sicker than ever from Chernobyl disaster — Contamination to go on for centuries to come — Many with heart and digestive problems (VIDEO) June 26, 2013
  5. Footage of new giant sarcophagus at Chernobyl — Still nowhere near dealing with corium over 25 years later — Storage area for fuel debris not yet built (VIDEO) November 28, 2012

22 comments to Wired: Workers find nuclear fuel when digging around Chernobyl — “During the initial clean-up, radioactive material had simply been buried”

  • norbu norbu

    Wow, after reading that I am even more nervous. I think we have a problem scotty, lock on transformer beam, we are ready to be beamed up. Thank you, Laurin Dodd, Eric Schmieman, Don Kelly, Michael Smith, for going to Russia to help to get the problem under control.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Their land is ruined forever, caused by a single nuclear plant.

  • Bananastan Bananastan

    After reading the article, it's even more abundantly clear that the world can't afford, monetarily and healthwise, another meltdown.

    Just building the sarcophagus is a huge, expensive, dangerous project.

    – size of the new sarcophagus: 108m tall X 150m wide, with an arch span of 257 meters and weight of 29,000 ton
    – "ambitious" date to be finished is 2015
    – the cost is well over a BILLION dollars
    – meanwhile, they're worried about the old sarcophagus collapsing and dispersing radioactive dust
    – the old sarcophagus will take 5 years to dismantle
    – the dismantling must be done by 2023; after that there's a greater risk of collapse
    – the new sarcophagus had to be designed to keep air flow so it won't corrode
    – Chernobyl still hasn't been decommissioned

  • Bananastan Bananastan

    This from the article is interesting:

    If a worker on the sarcophagus has a higher radiation count at the end of the day, they are sent to Kiev for "biophysical control."

    Says the article:

    "Most likely, they swallowed or inhaled a speck of radioactive dust."

    A speck? How many specks or "fuel fleas" of radioactive dust have people inhaled from Fukushima?

    Says the article:

    "Dust doesn't generally stay in the lungs. "Sometimes it works its way out from coughing and could be swallowed and end up in the stomach," says Michael Smith, head of the PMU's biomed programme. If it's soluble it can be digested and enter the bloodstream. Then it can be incorporated into the body. Where it goes in the body depends on what type of radionuclide it is and what chemical it's mimicking."

    Is he referring to Cesium-137 which goes to muscles and the heart? Or Strontium-90 which goes to the bones? Or Plutonium which stays in the body for decades, emitting radiation, causing cancer, and damaging the kidneys?

  • kintaman kintaman

    Better it be buried than flying around and into the ocean like at Fukushima.

  • soern

    "Containing Chernobyl: the mission to difuse the worldโ€™s worst nuclear disaster site"
    Wrong: It is the worlds SECOND worst nuclear desaster site until now and if nobody forces that japanese to fix the SFP Problems at Fukushima 1-6, Fukushima will even dwarf chernobil.

    The biggest joke at all is, that if you want the A-Bomb, you neesd nuclear plants within your territory to get enriched uranium and plutonium right? And here comes the joke:
    Your enemy does NOT need an A-Bomb to destroy your whole country as big Airplanes or conventiomal Missiles targeted on your nuclear plants will do everything much cheeper!
    Or the cheepest way: Cyber attack via Stuxnet (made in Israel)
    Wether Stuxnet was the trigger for Fukushima accident is not proven or examined yet but it is possible or at least some dream of secret military services (all without exeption) for future. They want "Overkill" without beeing blamed for it ๐Ÿ™‚
    Our chances to survive another 100 years after having built up this high-tech Civilisation are deminishing. What a mess!
    Keep smiling ๐Ÿ™‚

  • notactive

    in 25 years, somone will write "Workers find nuclear fuel while removing the concrete from the seabed"

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    They bulldozed (buried) – something – in the first few days of the Fukushima crisis.


  • mark_eric

    Or the cheepest way: Cyber attack via Stuxnet (made in Israel)

    I think the cheapest way is to just wait. Just wait.

    Eventually your enemy will get a boomer. Of course, that might not work out so well for you either.

    • Fall out man!

      Great point Mark. In fact it can be taken further. Even if the plants don't blow up the emissions produced by plants operating correctly cause genetic damage in a wide radius around the plant. (as reported on Enenews before (apologies for not digging out the link which reported recent studies from Germany and one in the UK which was done by Chris Busby).
      The genetic damage done is permanent, its passed on down the generations, weakening an entire nation. In Japans case, nuclear power may have not only destroyed them economically, but the effect on Japans already low birth rate may even be the end of the Japanese as a race. Self inflicted nuclear genocide. Even when the plants don't blow up, the genetic damage they do is serious. Anyone living within 10km of a nuke plant has a higher risk of all kinds of diseases and birth defects. Even if the plants don't physically blow up, all a nations enemies just have to wait a bit longer for the genetic damage to depress birth rates and weaken a nation.

  • PattieB PattieB

    For The Record! Tritium is being spewed out of EVERY reactor, even if it has no "So-Called" Leaks! The ONLY THING that can contain H3 is GOLD!
    H3 passes through the lung-blood barriers, and accumulates in the body.

    NO reactor that is in existance, is coated in gold!

    Now, does this make the issue clear?

    • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

      yes ๐Ÿ™‚ Been sifting through the plutonium stuff you posted over at CAN.. GEEZUS.. Thanks for the info..

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      PattieB, my sense is that the media use the innocent-sounding phrase "heavy water" to refer interchangeably to deuterium or tritium. Is that the case, and if so would you elaborate on the implications along the lines of what you've been doing?

      Thanks! More details – keep 'em coming, please.

  • PattieB PattieB

    yes, it's a common "INNOCENT" term applied! I posted a internal document, it listed the amount of plutonium breeder rods installed in reactor #3 at Fuku. Then add the 40 of the missing 41 reported at years end 2010 of that type that vid survey show are burning away in #4 pool? The one missing is presumed to be in basment of #4. They wiped the feb 2012 vid off their servers entirely that showed this, replacing it with footage of #2's pool. Problem is?… THAT pool ALSO has breeder type EMPTY rods in it as shown in the vid! (Note: They have just 4 large round holes in the tops, not the grid that looks like a close-up of a bug screen!) The estimated total of plutonium dispersed exceeds E.L.E. levels for the human species.

  • PattieB PattieB


    watch this and you may understand the problem from a medical standpoint.

  • PattieB PattieB

    this is her best presentation to date, it explains in detail what we now face.


  • PattieB PattieB

    after listening to her… read this please.


  • PattieB PattieB

    Can't make a bomb from power reactor? LIE!


    The smart solution is to build a new sarcophagus over the old one. Build it so that it will last and contain everything for the next 300 years! By doing that the old one will remain there instead of having its rubble scattered in hundreds of new sites that will then become contaminated. Just bury the thing once and for al time!

    • richard richard

      No such thing as once and for all time.

      There is only denial; ignoring responsibility; selfish indulgence; death for the future.

      Whoever started this shyte should be in there pulling it apart, now. I don't care if they die, it's their fault.

      Leaving it for future generations is selfish gutlessness.

    • richard richard

      Nothing smart about that idea at all.