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That's all we would need: heat exchange.

Nope. Both in the reactors and the spent fuel pools, the problem was loss of water level which uncovered the fuel rods, so that they were 'cooled' by steam only. Heat exchange won't increase the water level.

There must be ways to "take a way the heat" however indirectly.

If taking the coolant to the reactors resp. the spent fuel pools was difficult, taking the pool water out and back in a closed circuit is even more difficult.

A reasonable way (as it looks to me now) was to bring a tanker (or other big ship) with refrigerating capacity close to the plant, serve helicopters from there, and provide supplies by sea

Refrigerating capacity? I don't follow you there, unless this is still the ice idea. At any rate, my idea of a reasonable way thought up too late is the US offer of barges with freshwater. Then again, that's in hindsight, because pressing time made seawater injection the only fast option when the steam pumps failed, and it wasn't obvious at the time that other systems won't be restored for weeks.

Regarding Chernobyl and liquid nitrogen, I have trouble trusting those sources. The first is speaking about application of nitrogen after the helicopters put out the fire, via pipes – what pipes? The second source is Wikipedia and unsourced. The third source is again unsourced student material. Meanwhile, the best I can find in any of the technical descriptions of the accident in authoritative sources is:

Chernobyl Appendix 1: Sequence of Events

A system was installed by 5 May to feed cold nitrogen to the reactor space, to provide cooling and to blanket against oxygen.

This is different from ground freezing, and the apparent origin of the unsourced claims. However, it is not about nitrogen in liquid form, and depleting the fire of oxygen is among the objectives (nitrogen is used for the same by reactor core safety systems). Also, it's unclear whether the system was actually used. I note the same info is in this contemporary New Scientist article, but it erroneously claims that the heat exchanger was taken into use.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 05:28:15 AM EST
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