With tons of nuclear fuel entering the basement of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor plant in Ukraine in a state of active reaction, scientists have not yet been able to detect any indications that it may return to idle again.
As indicated by a Live Science report, numerous news reports have reported that the fires caused by nuclear reactions were re-ignited in an inaccessible basement at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
A steady rise in the number of neutrons in an underground chamber called 305/2 in the Chernobyl reactor (Getty Images)
New fission reactions
Researchers monitoring the reactor - which exploded catastrophically in 1986 - discovered a steady rise in the number of neutrons in an underground chamber called 305/2.
It is a room full of heavy rubble, hiding a radioactive mixture of uranium, zirconium, graphite and sand that seeps into the basement of the station as lava before it solidifies in other formations.
These high levels of neutrons indicate that these inert compounds are undergoing new fission reactions.
Neil Hiatt, a nuclear material chemist at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, told Science magazine that these wastes are constantly burning, but that this rate of combustion could lead to another explosion.
Maxim Saveliev, a senior researcher at the Institute of Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants (ISPNPP) in Kiev, Ukraine, believes that this potential explosion would not be as devastating as the one in 1986 that killed thousands and unleashed a radioactive cloud. Over Europe.
If the nuclear material ignites again, the explosion will be largely contained within a cage of reinforced concrete that was built one year after the accident around the destroyed Unit IV reactor.
Saveliev believes that the potential explosion will fill the area with heavy debris and radioactive dust, and it will be very difficult to remove it in a short period of time.
A potential explosion wouldn't be as devastating as the one in 1986 (Getty Images)
Robots can help
Saveliev also stated that neutron levels have been rising steadily in room 305/2 for 4 years, and could continue to rise for several more years without incident.
It may fade on its own at that time.
But it will be a matter of concern if neutron levels continue to rise at this rate, and then scientists must intervene to find urgent and safe solutions.
He added that nuclear reactor plant managers must know how to access tons of radioactive material buried under the room's thick layers of concrete debris.
Radiation-resistant robots may be able to install neutron absorbent rods in the basement room (Getty Images)
Of course, humans cannot handle very high radiation levels, but anti-radiation robots may be able to dig into the rubble and install neutron-absorbing control rods in the basement room.
And according to what was reported by Science magazine, Ukraine hopes to present a detailed plan to remove the nuclear fuel tanks that are still burning in Chernobyl by next September.