The first explosion at Chernobyl was a nuclear, scientists believe
The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which took place April 26, 1986, was one of the worst man-made disasters in the history of mankind. Previously it was believed that an explosion occurred in the fourth power unit, because during the experiment uncontrolled heating severed tube cooling system, and the heated steam in contact with the zirconium cladding of fuel elements led to the formation of active hydrogen and its fire during the reaction with oxygen. However, new studies have questioned the old version. Scientists believe that the first explosion was a nuclear reactor inside.
The Swedish researchers conducted an independent investigation and came to the conclusion that in fact occurred at Chernobyl nuclear explosion capacity of about 75 tons of TNT. To do this, they had to analyze the concentration of 133Xe and 133mXe isotopes in samples Cherepovets factory air liquefaction, and then simulate the weather conditions after the disaster, using historical data in 1986.
In favor of its version of the Swedish researchers present two fairly compelling argument. Firstly, after just a few days after the accident at the Chernobyl NPP employees from radium name Khlopina Institute (St. Petersburg) registered activity 133Xe and 133mXe isotopes in liquid xenon, resulting in the Cherepovets factory air liquefaction. After 83 hours after the accident activity ratio of these isotopes in the air was 44 ± 5 5, 5. Scientists simulated processes occurring in the reactor by means of a program created by them, and have concluded that a similar activity was unattainable as a result of the experiment conducted by the staff Chernobyl. With this level of activity it could be only and exclusively nuclear explosion, albeit small capacity. Today, because of this explosion can only be calculated approximately. Scientists believe that it lies in the range 25 to 160 tons of TNT with a probability of 68%. The second argument of the Swedish research was the study of meteorological conditions over the European part of the USSR immediately after the accident. The analysis used advanced algorithms for calculating the movement of air fronts. The simulation was carried out for seventeen different heights ranging from zero to eight thousand meters. Scientists have concluded that the isotope activity in Cherepovets factory area was observed at a height of up to three kilometers. Whether they are at a different height, we would fall into the liquid xenon in a completely different time. A three-kilometer altitude emissions could provide it nuclear explosion capacity of 75 tons.
There are other arguments in favor of a new version of a nuclear explosion. For example, the reactor core plate serpentine disappeared in the iron shell about 4 centimeters thick. Studies have shown that it was melted high-temperature plasma flows that could have formed in a nuclear explosion. Seismologists recorded during the disaster two signals corresponding to two explosions capacity of about 200 kilotons with a two second interval. The rest of the arguments you can read in the original material, which scientists from Sweden, published in the Journal of Nuclear Technology.