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Fate of Chernobyl's vehicle graveyard

  1. May 16, 2016 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2016 #2
  4. May 16, 2016 #3
    2013-07: everything "disappeared"

    Yes, you see it right. Our former president's gang stole and sold even *radioactive* steel.
  5. May 16, 2016 #4


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    The steel itself is not radioactive even if fission isotopes have been dispersed on it, and those isotopes can be seperated, mostly with detergents if someone takes the trouble. Also, what source indicates the vehicles have been sold into the steel market as opposed to being sequestered somewhere?
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  6. May 17, 2016 #5
    Common sense. The only plausible reason the vehicles aren't there anymore is that someone found a way to make money selling them.
  7. May 17, 2016 #6

    jim hardy

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  8. May 17, 2016 #7
    I think it's just sand. The entire area has sandy soils (this also explains why local forests are predominantly pines, pines grow well on such soils). Here is another photo from that area.

  9. May 17, 2016 #8


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    Not at all. Much of the fuel-containing materials (FCM) were eventually removed from reactor 4, and the reactor site enclosed. This wasn't all done because a way was found to make money selling off contaminated material. Maybe somebody has indeed spirited those vehicles into the scrap metal market, and maybe they've been buried/cleaned by the same kind of people that responsibly sealed the reactor cite.
  10. May 17, 2016 #9

    jim hardy

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    Okay, It's possible i'm seeing where a bulldozer has covered up the junk with white sand
    but you have to admit it sure looks like brush strokes retouching the painting, turning the junkpiles white and featureless.

    Where'd you find the pictures ?
  11. May 17, 2016 #10
    By searching the web, I find numerous testimonies that the place really is empty now. It's not a doctored map.

    I made them myself: screenshots of Google Earth. GE has an option to see older maps (View->Historical Imagery).
  12. May 17, 2016 #11
    :D :D :D

    Open Google Maps and find Chernobyl Zone. See those numerous rectangular-looking gaping holes all over the forest? Must be someone "responsibly cut down and sealed hundreds of square kilometers of contaminated wood" :D :D :D

  13. May 17, 2016 #12


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    As to the pipe fitting, it seems more likely to me something was mixed into the casting process. I was on a radioactive decontamination team in the US military, and we were also told hot high pressure water, detergents and elbow grease were effective for removing the contaminants from surfaces; but if the Chernobyl zone steel wasn't decontaminated, and was simply carted off for scrap it could have borne anything into the smelter.

    Incidentally, the Chernobyl accident happened when I was stationed in Alaska, where we were always prepared for nuclear attack since bio and chem weapons don't work as well in freezing boreal and arctic environments; but after the Exxon Valdez oil spill all of our Mil-spec hot water pressure washers were carted away to the beaches of Prince William Sound to help with the cleanup effort.
  14. May 17, 2016 #13
    I can confirm OP's observation. Just go to Google Earth and search "Chernobyl vehicle graveyard", it takes you right there. Looks like they are either removing, or backfilling a lot of dirt. A lot more white patches are visible now compared to OP's 2013 image. This may indicate some sort of remediation vs. something more nefarious.
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  15. May 18, 2016 #14
    I guess/hope they sandblasted or at least washed the vehicles before removing them. This washing operation might have created sandy areas cleared of vegetation.
  16. May 18, 2016 #15

    jim hardy

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    Yes, if i recall correctly it was one of those sources highway engineers use to measure the density of asphalt by gamma backscatter.
    Per the article some of the steel made its way into rebar, too.
    Co60 halflife is only 5.3 years so it's a lot less active now, 2016 - 1983 = 33 years so it's been 6.2 half-lives
    ## \frac{1}{2}##6.2 = 0.013 , 98.7% of it is gone.
  17. May 19, 2016 #16
    Well nikkkom , knowing how things happen in East and somewhat also in eastern Europe , I wouldn't be surprised if someone really took those metals and wood without properly cleaning or inspecting contamination.Although to say "former presidents gang" seems a bit troll like to me.first of all individuals and all kinds of homeless folks have been dismantling and stealing Chernobyl site metal for years , the scrapyard radioactive cars started missing engines and body parts well before anyone was able to use google maps to see what happens there.Also I know for a fact that corruption in Ukraine like in other former USSR countries is on so many levels that the president doesn't probably even know anything about what goes on in Chernobyl.
    Also I don't think corruption has decreased much just because Poroshenko is in charge now , he himself has some cloudy finances.

    Maybe this is an oversimplification on my part I'm not sure but quite frankly i'm not so scared because someone cut down some trees that were in the exclusion zone ,remember that not all the trees there are contaminated or highly radioactive, also not even for the contaminated cars because along all the way into the furnace there is a long way and along the way someone would notice and even if not most of the contamination would be gone because most of it comes from the dirt and dust that was attached to those cars.
  18. May 19, 2016 #17
    Trees growing on a territory with thousands of times higher concentration of Cs-137 above Earth average are not contaminated?

  19. May 19, 2016 #18
    Most of Earth surface has less than 0.2 Ci/km^2 of Cs-137 (often much less).
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  20. May 19, 2016 #19
    I'm not saying radioactive contamination is something good and that we should take up as much as possible i'm just not buying the "be scared" monsters out there ideology either.

    as for the graveyard , bionerd23 has a video from 2012 which is probably as close as most will ever get.

    I wonder how does she get there so often and travel so freely , probably a bit of good talking and some money , much like I got to visit the Ignalina RBMK reactors , which was official and the security was very tight although the visit isn't offered to anyone who simply wants it.

    for those who want to explore the depths of Chernobyl via video I suggest bionerd23 channel.

  21. May 19, 2016 #20
    She found 3 mSv/h scrap. 25 years after the incident. Nice...
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