British scientists have used drones to create the most comprehensive radiation maps ever of the fallout zone from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The Red Forest, just 500 metres from the site of the reactor in the Ukraine, is one of the most radioactive places on the planet. The area is considered too dangerous for humans to spend any more than a few hours. But by using drones fitted with radiation detectors a team from the UK’s National Centre for Nuclear Robotics was able to survey the contaminated area in complete safety. The British team flew 50 sorties over the forest and surrounding villages with a fixed-wing drone fitted with a laser. It built up a 3D map of the ground, revealing mounds and trenches. They then returned with a radiation detector mounted to another drone to look for radioactive hotspots. Professor Tom Scott, of Bristol University, led the research. He told Sky News: “In some of these hotspots you would have received annual permitted dose of radiation in just a few hours. For those relatively few areas you don’t want to hang around. “The survey shows where those areas are and helps evaluate whether you should try clean them up or just avoid them.” The Extreme Robotics Laboratory at Birmingham University is developing smart robots that use artificial intelligence to analyse objects, and work out how best to pick them up and remove them for disposal. They could be used in future to clean up areas that would be lethal for humans.
Sky News 8th May 2019 read more »
Chernobyl is like the 80s nuclear horror-drama Threads crossed with the disaster-movie classic The Towering Inferno – but delivers neither the shocking realism of one nor the schlocky flair of the other. Sky Atlantic’s five-part miniseries (co-produced with HBO) dramatises the 1986 disaster at the nuclear power station in what is now Ukraine. It is – at least so far – a confusing sprawl for anyone not au fait with the details of the catastrophe itself, the workings of nuclear reactors generally, or with a very good eye for faces obscured by dust and smoke, and a knack for remembering complicated names drowned out by the sound of reactor cores exploding.
Guardian 7th May 2019 read more »
Chernobyl: How Soviet Union tried to COVER UP nuclear disaster.
Express 7th May 2019 read more »
Final system-wide trials began yesterday of the new dry interim used fuel storage facility at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. The facility is expected to be handed over to the state-owned enterprise Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) in the coming months.
World Nuclear News 7th May 2019 read more »