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EXPLAINER: What's behind latest scare at Chernobyl plant?

Chernobyl nuclear plant
Posted at 3:57 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 15:57:41-05

When fighting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine resulted in power cuts to the critical cooling system at the closed Chernobyl nuclear power plant, fears arose that spent nuclear fuel would overheat.

But nuclear experts say there’s no imminent danger because time and physics are on safety’s side.

That's because the fuel rods have been cooling for more than 20 years already. and are submerged in deep water.

Experts say there are weeks — and maybe months — for officials to get the power back on and restart the cooling process.

The U.N.'s atomic watchdog agency said it “sees no critical impact on safety” at the plant, which was the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident in April 1986.