Electricity is needed to cool 20,000 spent fuel rods.
Ukrainian officials have warned that this increases the likelihood of dangerous doses of radioactive radiation being released to nuclear power plant workers. However, nuclear energy experts say that since the spent fuel rods are over 20 years old and much colder than they used to be, this scenario is unlikely. For example, Mark Nelson, managing director of the Radiant Energy Foundation, who advises companies on nuclear energy, tweeted:
“The spent fuel rods are at least 22 years old. They have very little heat to dissipate. It will take weeks or even months for the water to warm up and the pool to dry out. And even in this case, the natural circulation of air should be sufficient for decontamination".
Meanwhile, officials from the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have expressed growing concern over the condition of Chernobyl nuclear power plant personnel, who have been unable to leave the plants for two weeks. In addition, since March 8, data from a system created to monitor nuclear materials has ceased to be submitted to the UN, and the IAEA cannot track the location of nuclear material.