Project On The Chernobyl Disaster Essay

1899 words - 8 pages

The Chernobyl nuclear accident occurred in the city of Chernobyl. At the time of the accident, Chernobyl was a city in the Soviet Union. Today it is located in Ukraine, north of Kiev.It was the night of 25th -26th, April 1986 when the Chernobyl accident occurred. The reactor of Unit 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was being prepared for shutdown. This was a routine procedure, enabling maintenance and repairs to be carried while a series of tests on the unit's turbines were performed. Anatoli Dyatlov, deputy chief of Unit 4, Gennady Matlenko from the equipment manufacturers and several Chernobyl engineers had gathered in the control room, hoping to learn from the experiment. At the ...view middle of the document...

It would have been best to shut down the reactor and abandon the tests.But Dyatlov had become impatient as tests had already been postponed once. He ordered the control rods to be withdrawn immediately to increase power. Akimov and Toptunov reluctantly obliged and by 1 a.m. power ha risen just high enough for the test on the turbines to start.For a little while, the experiment seemed to go well but deep inside the reactor, strange things were happening. The reactor core was growing hotter and dangerous gases were being produced. Seconds later, things were going badly with an enormous surge of power. Water flow through the reactor core increased, putting pressure of the pumps and causing vibrations in the pipes. At 1:23 a.m, the dial indicated a dangerous surge in power and radiation. The emergency AZ button was activated. The purpose of the button was to lower the control rods into the core. The descending control rods jammed and there was a terrible tremor like an earthquake. Reactor 4 had exploded.The force of the explosion was so great that it blew the 2000 ton steel lid off the top of the core and dislodged the concrete outer shell. The explosion also flung 50 tons of radioactive fuel into the sky. One authority estimated hat the explosion was as powerful as ten bombs the size of the Hiroshima ones. A huge fire followed.As yet, none on duty believed this has happened. In the confusion, two men were sent to try to lower the control rods manually. Others were sent to try to turn the huge valves of the emergency cooling system which was an area knee-deep in radioactive water. 4 men climbed from the 12th to 35th floor and looked at a view similar to the crater of a burning volcano.Firefighter soon arrived to battle the flames. Their bodies were exposed to the intense radioactivity. By morning, many of them had darkened or even blackened skin. Many other people nearby were exposed to the radioactivity. 2 people died that night. Battling the fire, many firefighter climbed the other stairways and directed their hoses at the burning roof of the turbine hull. The bitumen was melting under their feet, ignited by chunks of black burning graphite from the reactor core. Many firefighters began to feel ill. By 4 a.m, fire crews were arriving from Kiev, 100 kilometres away. By 5 a.m, the fire on the roof had been brought under control.After the accident, the other reactors continued to operate. A security cordon was placed around Chernobyl. Soviet Union was a society where people were used to obeying orders from the government. No one felt authorized to evacuate the area or warn the people of Pripyat. In the other 3 reactors, shifts of workers arrived and left as normal. Unit 5 continued to be built.At 10 a.m. on Saturday, a team of experts arrived from Moscow. It was estimated that the temperature in the reactor core was at least 2,500 degrees centigrade. The core could have gone on burning for a long time. It was decided to try to smother the fire with...

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