The Elephant’s Foot of the Chernobyl disaster, 1986
A monster was born in the Chernobyl disaster - one of the most dangerous things in the world.
The “Elephant’s Foot” is a solid mass made of melted nuclear fuel mixed with lots and lots of concrete, sand, and core sealing material that the fuel had melted through. It is located in a basement area under the original location of the core. In 1986 the radiation level on the Elephant’s Foot was measured at 10,000 roentgens per hour, and anyone who approached would have received a fatal dose in under a minute. After just 30 seconds of exposure, dizziness and fatigue will find you a week later. Two minutes of exposure and your cells will soon begin to hemorrhage; four minutes: vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. At 300 seconds you have two days to live.
When the above photo was taken, 10 years after the disaster, the Elephant’s Foot was only emitting one-tenth of the radiation it once had. Still, merely 500 seconds of exposure would prove fatal.