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Chernobyl NPP visit radiation question

  1. Jul 21, 2017 #1
    Hi, this has been probably asked a few times here but let me do it again,

    Since i'm planning to go to Chernobyl NPP for a "hands on" dosimetry learning experience and also for some adventure, I was wondering how safe or should I rather say necessary it would be to go inside the plant itself? Ofcourse I don't mean the sealed off 4th reactor but into the remaining plant and in any of the other reactors that were shut down in a preplanned way.

    As far as I talked with one retired engineer , with him we came to the conclusion that one should only be careful to avoid any dust that might contain alpha emitters from inhaling otherwise for a short while say a day or two the gamma background wouldn't do any harm even at the levels present both in the zone and the plant itself.
    So because the plant is in a slow decommissioning process I guess we would be wise to wear respirators inside as the dismantling of stuff probably creates some dust that might not be good to breathe in correct?
    As for the zone I assume respirators are not needed anymore in general because over the past 31 years rain and natural processes have probably buried most of the contaminated dust from the reactor inside the soil ?

    Since Chernobyl (both the destroyed reactors and also the working ones) have ended active energy production for quite some years now I assume that most of the powerful short lived isotopes have already decayed to a negligible level and apart from inhaling dust the radioactivity coming from outside is mostly long lived isotope emitted gamma radiation , like that from CS137 (even though first half life is already over )
    What about neutron radiation from decay, I sure don't know all the radioactive isotopes that still emit neutron radiation after a given amount of time but in general?

    Oh just by the way, I realize that this question is very hard to answer due to the many variables involved but is there an approximate level of absorbed dose per given amount of time which a human can feel in terms of being tired or feeling a little weak or any other effects (excluding the placebo scare or other self induced feelings) , or do these effects only happen when life threatening levels of ionizing radiation are absorbed like in the case of the first responders of the 1986 accident?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2017 #2
    It is not clear that it'll be some private touristic adventure, or is it official plant visit?
    As I know the area of the former NPPs is still in daily use, so if it is not official, then forget about visiting.
    If it is official then you can ask for guidance from your contacts there: they should be able to give you adequate answer according to the planned tour.
  4. Jul 21, 2017 #3
    Ofcourse it is official how else? Yes sure there are about 1500 something people working there on the deccomissioning etc daily, Yes im doing the talks with the representatives etc, but i wanted a bit of scientific insight beyond what i already know , make no mistake the folks on site are not dumb but their also not particle or nuclear physicists atleast not most of them so before i meet one there i wanted to prepare
  5. Jul 24, 2017 #4
    No real need to prepare. Such workplaces are usually divided to zones with rules specific to the zones. Everything necessary will be provided, according to the overprotective safety rules relevant to your visit plan.
    On top of that, the usually accessed places are already well cleaned up.

    You will get higher dose during your flight there than during your actual visit. Just keep the rules and ask if something is not clear.
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