According to scientists at the Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Safety Problems (ISPNPP) in Kiev, Ukraine, the increase in neutron activity readings is revealing and, although the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is surrounded by a megastructure massive called Chernobyl New Safe Confinement (NSC) in which there are hundreds of sensors working around the clock to monitor factors such as air quality, It has been in the fallen reactor room that scientists have noticed the increase in neutrons (neutrons are a fission signal and the splitting of an atomic nucleus results in the release of large amounts of energy).
At the moment, there is great uncertainty among the scientific community. Scientists may be required to intervene in the chamber to potentially prevent another explosion. The ‘positive side’ of this situation is that the sensors mark a gradual but slow increase in the number of neutrons in the chamber, which would suggest that we would have a few years left to figure out how to quell the threat. (levels have increased by around 40% since 2016).
What has caused this nuclear ‘awakening’?
The cause of the reaction is unknown., but it does raise some pretty worrying possibilities for security. The possibility of an accident cannot be ruled out, many experts claim.
Most importantly, how should this problem be addressed?
One of the plans is to use a robot to drill holes in the hardened radioactive slope and insert boron rods, which act like a control rod in a reactor and reduce the amount of neutrons that are released, making the neutrons less likely to hit and split any uranium nuclei.
With emissions increasing so slowly, the risk of hazards in the near future appears low. Worst-case scenarios would also fall far short of the 1986 disaster, but given the complex’s delicate situation and that room 305/2 is believed to contain about half of the original reactor fuel, even a small explosion could spew radioactive waste far enough to make its containment a real concern.