HISTORY OF NUCLEAR DISASTER: – CHERNOBYL

Introduction: –

• One of the dangerous thoughts about nuclear power is when an accident occurs, radiation is released into the environment and people get affected.

• Two of the most nuclear tragic accidents occurred at the Three Mile Island reactor 2 in the United States of America (1979) and the Chernobyl reactor 4 in the former Soviet Union (1986). 

Chernobyl: –

• Scariest accident ever in the history of Nuclear power

• Released over multiple times the radiation delivered by the nuclear bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

• Around 340,000 people affected, evacuated, and resettled elsewhere

Chernobyl in 2019

Power plant: –

• 4 reactors of type are RBMK-1.

• Reactor capacity is 1Gigawatt where total plant capacity is 4 GW.

• At the time of tragedy, the plant was able to provide 10% of Ukraine’s electricity.

• 2 additional reactors were under construction.

What happened at Chernobyl?

Serious of events in that Reactor 4 caused in:

• Catastrophic where Steam went as Explosion

• Nuclear plant meltdown.

• Pressurized Graphite fired 

Series of the event – April 25th, 1986

•      At 11 pm, Control rods were lowered to reduce reactor output as planned to do turbine test. BUT too quickly it went almost complete shutdown.

•      At 1 am, control rods raised to reach a proper amount of output for the test around (12%).

•      At 1:23 am, Reactor overheated extremally and water coolant turned to steam.

•      control rods left; however, the minimum safe number was 30 control rods.

• The emergency shut down button was pressed instantly.

• Control rods were tried to re-inserted But, the fault caused power surge at a certain level in the reactor; the Output was 100 times normal.

• Due to extreme pressure and temperature fuel pellets exploded; the roof was blown off; air trapped in and causing a fire.

Clean-up

• To open sluice gates to vent reactor water, liquidators were sent.

• Radioactive debris collected.

• Covered with bags of sand, lead and boric acid after the explosion.

• For preventing, concrete sarcophagus structured to seal off the reactor and its contents.

Ecological Effects

• A radioactive cloud floated in an easterly direction.

• Radiation traveled as far as Sweden, it’s around 1100km.

• Initial Soviet Union reports conclude 60% contamination in Belarus.

• River Pripyat and Dnieper river and other reservoirs contaminated.

• Pine forest, area within 4km radius turned like, ginger Brown and died as Red Forest.

• “exclusion zone” became a wildlife haven.

Human Effects

• 336,000 people evacuated and resettled.

• 237 suffered from acute radiation sickness.

• 31 deaths within 3 months.

• The cancer death ratio expected probably high as a direct result of radiation exposure.

• Thyroid cancer cases were found among children.

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