Footage of the Chernobyl Elephant's Foot

Hardening like lava underneath the remains of Reactor Number 4, the large mass of corium known as Chernobyl's Elephant's foot can be found in the steam distribution corridor. This footage shows the highly radioactive mass, which is comprised of control rods, fission products, nuclear fuel, structural material from the reactor, and other matter. The Elephant's Foot was created when the reactor melted. It was discovered eight months after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. At the time, its radioactivity was approximately 10,000 roentgens (a lethal dose is 400 roentgens). Since then, the radioactivity of the Elephant's Foot has decreased, and it is thought to be little warmer than its surrounding environment as a result of heat produced by the continuing nuclear decay.



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