Notes and Reflections on Books and Media
by Hannah Leitheiser
Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster
"The giant vault of reactor number 4, which had once contained 190 tons of Uranium fuel, 1700 tons of graphite blocks, and was since suppose to be filled with sand, lead, and dolomite was almost completely empty...[The expedition] discovered only the smallest trace of the 17,000 tons of material had found its mark inside the reactor vault...It seems almost all the graphite had been consumed by fire. A river of radioactive lava had flowed slowly downward into the basement of the building, a hot metal soup of [the fuel rods and cladding] and parts of the reactor vessel that began eating its way through the lower biological shield, down one floor after another toward the foundation of unit 4. When the lava dropped into dregs of water in suppression pool, it cooled harmlessly, ending its journey just centimeters from the earth below. - Adam Higginbotham, Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster (2019)
At least half of what they did had no effect.