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Chernobyl Disaster

By | November 2012
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Chernobyl Disaster

The Chernobyl power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine was nuclear – fission – powered and was capable of producing four times the power output of the Huntly power station. However at 1:23am on 26th April 1986 a failed reactor test resulted in the world’s worst nuclear disaster, subsequently displacing over 200, 000 people, and instantly killing a further 54 residents and emergency workers. [1] The No. 4 nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant near the city of Pripyat suffered from a catastrophic nuclear accident during a systems test. This power plant is located to the north of Russia. Moreover, it suffered a massive failure which caused it spread radioactive waste across large parts of Europe. The accident began with a steam explosion that caused a fire, more explosions, and a subsequent nuclear meltdown; this resulted in clouds of radioactive debris to be released. [2] On April 25, 1986, operators at the Chernobyl plant began conducting unauthorized experiments. They deliberately bypassed safety systems in order to learn more about the plant's operation. Then, at 1:24 a.m. on April 26, one of the four reactors rapidly overheated and its water coolant "flashed" into steam. In other words, there was a sudden, temporary, radical increase in radioactivity within a substance. The hydrogen formed from the steam reacted with the graphite moderator, causing two major explosions and a fire. The core underwent a partial meltdown (Reactor no. 4). [4] The lack of information led to exaggerated claims of the number killed by the blast in the immediate area. [3]  It is estimated that 50 tons of the reactor's fuel and 10 percent of the graphite reactor itself were emitted into the atmosphere. The radioactive material released into the atmosphere was equal to that of ten atomic bombs like the one that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in August 1945. [4] More than 240 victims were in severe radiation sickness; some have since died and the rest suffer from...

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