Here's How You Decontaminate A Radioactive Chernobyl Truck

Illustration for article titled Heres How You Decontaminate A Radioactive Chernobyl Truck

Despite Reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl Power Plant undergoing a complete nuclear meltdown and explosion 32 years ago, work continues on cleaning it up. That work means a lot of trucks are involved, which become highly radioactive in the process. That means they need to be cleaned up, and this is not your average car wash.


Bionerd23 is a Ukrainian scientist with insane levels of access to the Chernobyl site, and when she’s not going on tours actually inside the Sarcophagus that was originally built to contain the destroyed reactor (they call it a “sarcophagus” for pete’s sake, you probably shouldn’t go in there), she’s helping to decontaminate the trucks helping to finish building the New Safe Confinement, which will eventually replace the Sarcophagus:

Most of the radiation on the trucks can be washed off, as the contaminants from the exploded reactor (like radioactive strontium and cesium) cling to the mud and dirt around the site. The whole truck needs to be powerwashed, entirely, and it helps to sweep it once more with a Geiger counter once you’re done just to make sure you’ve gotten everything.


And those are just the vehicles used in the cleanup today, decades after the incident, when much of the radiation already diminished. A lot of the vehicles used by the first responders back in 1986 are still too hot for human use:

I’m not sure there’s anything scarier on this Earth than a pegged Geiger counter, screaming and screeching away.

Deputy Editor, Jalopnik. 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross.

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CarsofFortLangley - Oppo Forever

I just saw the lede photo and thought that David Tracy had bought yet another project.