AW: AW: [ RadSafe ] National Geographic - Chernobyl

Franz Schönhofer franz.schoenhofer at
Thu Apr 13 17:07:06 CDT 2006

Thank you, Don, for providing the the internet links! I belong to an older
generation and I sometimes forget, that a reference has to be accompanied
nowadays by the respective links......

Regarding Rainers question about the "one serious error": On p 47 of the
print edition, "At a gate ....." third paragraph, "an unearthly radioactive
"lava" - fuel rods, concret and metal ...." is mentioned, then it reads
"There's enough enriched uranium and plutonium in the hulk for dozens of
atomic bombs." I cannot share this opinion, because the uranium is only
slightly enriched (I do not know the exact number) and the plutonium is
without doubt not weapons grade, not to talk about how to retrieve this lava
and how to extract the non weapons-grade material. It is known, that this
type of reactor was originally designed to be able to change the fuel
elements after a short irradiation time without stopping electricity
production ("dual purpose"!) and extract plutonium suitable for nuclear
bombs. (There were also other, technical reasons.) This practice seems not
to have been used since long in the former Sovjetunion and the Chernobyl
reactor was never used for this purpose. 

I wonder whether fellow RADSAFErs are aware of the fact, that there exists a
film made by BBC (?) many years ago, which shows the interior of the reactor
and even the "lava" stream, which has solidified into what is called
"elephant foot" in the cellars. 

Best regards,


Franz Schoenhofer
PhD, MR iR
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Vienna
phone -43-0699-1168-1319

> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: dckosloff at [mailto:dckosloff at]
> Gesendet: Donnerstag, 13. April 2006 23:02
> An: Rainer.Facius at
> Cc: franz.schoenhofer at; radsafe at; radsafe-
> bounces at
> Betreff: Re: AW: [ RadSafe ] National Geographic - Chernobyl
> To all,
> Here is the website address for the article.  By using the website link
> below, you can also access an online poll on the use of nuclear power.
> The
> link to the poll and a forum is in the upper left corner under "FEATURE
> MAIN PAGE" (in yellow lettering).
> You can also access the article via the normal National Geographic
> website,
> but I don't know if you can get to the poll that way.  It seems to take
> you
> only to the poll on Judas in the current issue.
> Enjoy,
> Don Kosloff
> Bedford OH and Shippingport PA
>              <Rainer.Facius at dl
>    >
>              Sent by:                                                   To
>              radsafe-bounces at r         <franz.schoenhofer at>,
>                      <radsafe at>
>                                                                         cc
>              04/13/2006 03:37                                      Subject
>              PM                        AW: [ RadSafe ] National Geographic
>                                        - Chernobyl
> Franz:
> Using a National Geographic article as a tool for educating interested
> laymen on Chernobyl and its sequelae and on nuclear power is indeed a good
> idea - in particular in the US. Since however I myself and probably
> several
> others do not subscribe to NG, would you mind to point out the one serious
> error you found? Could you also provide the full reference to the two
> articles you mentioned?
> Thank you, Rainer
> -----------------------------------------
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