Monday, 25 March 2019

The story of Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster

The world's most horrible Nuclear disaster happened at Chernobyl on 26 April 1986 in the Soviet Union. The Chernobyl nuclear power station was located about 65 miles north of Kiev in Ukraine at the settlement of Pripyat. Total 32 people are died in this accident and dozens of people suffered from the radiation burns in the opening days of this crisis. Chernobyl nuclear power plant was built on the banks of the priyapt river in the late 1940s. This power plant had four nuclear reactors, each was capable for generating 1,000 megawatts of electric power. In the evening of 25 April 1986, engineers started an electrical experiment on the Number 4 reactor. The engineers whose working on that experiment had little knowledge of reactor physics, they wanted to see that, the reactor’s turbine could start emergency water pumps on inertial power.

Image credit - Pixabay
Because of their poor knowledge of experiment, the engineers disconnected the emergency safety systems of the reactors and also power regulating system. Next, they did lots of mistakes in the experiment, They ran reactor at a very low power level and because of this mistake the reaction became unstable, and then they removed too many control rods of the reactor to power it up again. But it was increasingly difficult to control. On 26 April at 1:23 a.m. again the engineers continued their experiment and shut down the turbine engine to examine its inertial spinning would power the reactor’s water supply system. In fact, they did not provide alternative cooling source for the water pumps, and without cooling water the power level in the reactor increased.

Image credit - Wikimedia
The operators reinserted all the control rods into the reactor again to prevent meltdown. The control rods is used to reduce the reaction but had a design fault. So, before the control rod’s start to work, over 200 graphite tips entered in the reactor and causing an explosion that explode the heavy steel metal and concrete lid of the reactor. This was not a nuclear explosion, as the nuclear power stations are not capable for producing such type of reaction, but it was a chemical explosion, which created from the ignition of gases and steam. In this explosion more than 50 tons of radioactive material was released in the atmosphere, which was carried by the air currents to the long distance.

Image credit - Pixabay
On 28 April, Swedish radiation monitoring system, which located more than 800 miles from the northwest of Chernobyl, reported the radiation levels are 40 percent higher than actual. After that day, the Soviet agency accepted that it was a major nuclear accident occurred at Chernobyl.

Over 32 people died at Chernobyl and dozens of suffered from radiation burns. The radiation spread into the atmosphere and due to this radiation, it was estimated that over 5,000 Soviet citizens are died from cancer and some other are suffered from illnesses caused by the Chernobyl radiation, and millions of peoples are health adversely affected. In 2000, the last working reactors at Chernobyl was officially closed by the Soviet Union.

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