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Old 06-24-2019, 02:06 PM
Frankenstein Monster is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 706
I think all sources agree that the RBMK reactor in the particular circumstances of the accident had a positive void coefficient (because of the graphite moderator).

That is, increase in the water temperature increases the rate of the nuclear reaction, increasing the water temperature even more etc. Meaning the power increase becomes very rapid.

I often read that the thermal power increased to one hundred times the nominal power for a few seconds before the reactor structure failed.

With a negative void coefficient the power would have gone to zero and the temperature increase would have stopped.

Here is a calculation of how quickly a positive void coefficient causes the power to increase: Neutron Kinetics of the Chernobyl Accident

There is a new research that provides indications there actually was a nuclear explosion during the Chernobyl accident:


A Nuclear Jet at Chernobyl Around 21:23:45 UTC on April 25, 1986

Don't know if that's proven beyond doubt but the description of evidence in that article (especially the Xenon-133m measurements and calculations) is certainly interesting to read.