# Did the Chernobyl power station's water cistern really hold $7000\:\rm m^3$? [closed]

In he HBO TV miniseries Chernobyl, they talk about a cistern holding 7000 cubic meters of water. That is the content of Loch Ness, the deepest lake in the UK. Would the Chernobyl reactor really hold that much water?

• According to wikipedia, Lochness has volume $7.5 \text{km}^3$, not 7500 $\text{m}^3$. One $\text{km}^3$ is cube $1000~\text{m}~\times1000~\text{m}~\times1000~\text{m}$, that is $1~000~000~000\text{m}^3$. Jun 8 '19 at 17:50
• @JánLalinský Perhaps convert comment to an answer so we don't have another question hanging without answers. Jun 8 '19 at 17:53
• A simple google search - is this the purpose of this stack?
– user207455
Jun 8 '19 at 18:11
• Jun 8 '19 at 18:21
• I'm voting to close this question as off topic because it doesn't appear to be about physics. Jun 9 '19 at 3:20

Wikipedia puts the Loch Ness total volume at a total of 7.4 cubic kilometers, not kilo(cubic meters). When expressed in cubic meters, the 'kilo' also gets exponentiated: $$1\:\mathrm{km}^3 = 1 \,(1000\:\mathrm m)^3 = 10^9\:\mathrm m^3.$$ This error in your calculation means that you are off by a factor of a million, i.e. Loch Ness is 1,000,000 times larger than (the stated size of) the Chernobyl cistern.
Generally, a volume of $$V=7,000\:\rm m^3$$ isn't all that big. As a rough estimate, take the cubic root, and you'll be left with $$L = V^{1/3} \approx 20\:\rm m,$$ i.e. it's the volume of a cube with twenty meters to each side. That size is reasonable for a large building, not a large lake.