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Health And The Chernobyl Disaster Essay

2580 words - 10 pages

“In the previous year, 202 major disasters were experienced by the Philippines alone. These recorded disasters, comprised of man-made disasters, such as fires and armed conflict, as well as natural ones, such as typhoons and flooding, have disrupted as much as 7 million lives in the last year (Philippine Disaster Report: Disaster Statistics 2010).“
Statistics like these and events in world history have proven that disasters are inevitable; that even the most cataclysmic and devastating events are an inalienable part of life. However, there are also certain events that remind us of how the possibility of recovery is ever-present. Two such events would be the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986 and the Fukushima nuclear tragedy of 2011; which are believed to be the two biggest nuclear disasters of all time.
Despite this, the two nations primarily affected by these disasters, the USSR and Japan, did not stay in peril for good. They have recovered from the situations they were in and have proven that any disaster can be overcome, despite all odds. Truly, such events should serve as an example to any nation struggling to rise above their own troubles. The recovery of Chernobyl from the nuclear disaster of 1986 and of Japan from the Fukushima nuclear tragedy of 2011 should serve as an example to countries that are recovering from their own calamities.
The first of the two events, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, is the world’s largest nuclear disaster to date. The disaster occurred in Pripyat; a quiet town, comprised mostly of high-rise apartments designed for the families of workers of the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant to reside in. Residents felt very safe within the city, despite the presence of the power plant (IAEA, “One Decade After Chernobyl: Summing Up The Consequences of The Accident.” 80).
In the wee hours of the morning of April 26, 1986, the town was still and operation of the power plant was going smoothly. However, at 1:24 AM, 2 explosions suddenly tore through the fourth unit, sending both debris and radioactive material flying through the air (IAEA, “One Decade After Chernobyl: Summing Up The Consequences of The Accident.” 67).
The explosions that occurred that night were not at all planned. They were the results of human error; an experiment conducted in the fourth unit that had gone horribly wrong. During the conduction of the experiment, the power was shut too rapidly and pressure began to build, rendering the unit unstable (Chernobyl Accident 1986).
However, there were several other factors that also played a role in the explosions; specifically, the different defects and flaws in the design of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The plant in Chernobyl was an RBMK model, a military-based type of reactor. However, this model suffered 3 major flaws in its design. Firstly, its cooling systems were made in such a way that instead of reducing power when water or fuel...

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