# 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?

## closed as off-topic by David Z♦Jun 9 at 3:20

• This question does not appear to be about physics within the scope defined in the help center.
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• 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 $1~000~000~000\text{m}^3$. – Ján Lalinský Jun 8 at 17:50
• @JánLalinský Perhaps convert comment to an answer so we don't have another question hanging without answers. – StephenG Jun 8 at 17:53
• A simple google search - is this the purpose of this stack? – user207455 Jun 8 at 18:11
• – Emilio Pisanty Jun 8 at 18:21
• I'm voting to close this question as off topic because it doesn't appear to be about physics. – David Z Jun 9 at 3:20

## 1 Answer

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.

• I don't really think this answers the question that the OP was asking (even though it does address why they probably thought to ask the question in the first place) – David Z Jun 9 at 3:22
• @DavidZ IMO the last sentence answers OP's question – user1476176 Jul 5 at 6:46