Editorial Images

The Elephants Foot of the Chernobyl disaster.

The Elephants Foot of the Chernobyl disaster. In the immediate aftermath of the meltdown, a few minutes near this object, would bring certain death. today, it is still radioactive. heat and death, though its power has weakened. The Chernobyl disaster happened at 1:23am on April 26, 1986, when extremely hot nuclear fuel rods were lowered into cooling water, an immense amount of steam was created, which — because of the reactors’ design flaws — created more reactivity in the nuclear core of reactor number 4. The resultant power surge caused an immense explosion that detached the 1,000-ton plate covering the reactor core, releasing radiation into the atmosphere and cutting off the flow of coolant into the reactor. The “Elephant’s Foot” is a solid mass made of melted nuclear fuel mixed with lots and lots of concrete, sand, and core sealing material that the fuel had melted through. It is located in a basement area under the original location of the core. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The Elephants Foot of the Chernobyl disaster.