Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant – A Tragic Disaster

written by: Ricky • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 9/10/2008

History is full of tragic events caused by natural disasters, prejudice of human beings or simple carelessness. It really pains the heart to think that the latter ones could have been avoided if appropriate measures would have been taken. But time and tide wait for none, and we are simply left to mourn history and learn from it with the hope that history does not repeat itself. Read here about one such tragic disaster which happened in the former USSR in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

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    Introduction

     

    Accidents do happen in the industrial world. As yet they cannot be avoided in totality no matter how stringently the norms and regulations are followed. While they can never be eradicated completely, they can certainly be minimised in their impact and range if proper measures are followed. It is very important to learn lessons from the history of such accidents such as the Chernobyl nuclear power plant incident. This accident occurred more than two decades ago but still its memory is still fresh in the minds of affected victims and concerned environmentalists.

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    The Prelude to the Incident

     

    Nothing happens by chance anymore, not in this highly technical world, so what were the exact causes that led to the occurrence of such devastation?  We may never know the real reasons since the accident happened way back in 1986 in the Ukrainian region of the former USSR near the city of Prypiat. During those days mass media and networking, including the internet, were literally non-existent, at least in the form that we know them today. Moreover the Soviet Union followed highly secretive policies which made it difficult to dig out the actual truth. Reliable sources revealed later on that the basic cause of the accident was the carrying out of a safety test by inappropriately trained staff.

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    Disaster Strikes

    The plant consisted of four reactors in total and the incident took place in reactor number 4 on the fateful day of April 26, 1986. The reactor core simply blew up due to wrong handling techniques followed during the safety experiment. The construction of the roof of the building with bitumen further complicated matters as that was a flammable material and gave way for the radiation to leak into the atmosphere. The radioactive dust soon covered large geographical areas which spread much beyond the international borders of the region. The experts estimated that the total fallout from the accident was nearly 50 times more than that experienced at Hiroshima and Nagasaki cities of Japan during their nuclear bombardment.

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    The Damage

     It is not easy to quantify the damage done to human beings as well as the environment from this disaster. Mainly because many radioactive defects are carried over up to several generations later in the form of mutated genes which cause deformities and diseases of different types. Chernobyl exclusion zone was created to allow nature to heal itself without further intervention while catering to the safety of human beings at the same time

     

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    Current Scenario

     

    If you think that the power plant was shut down immediately after the incident, you are utterly wrong. Of course due to technical faults and international pressure the final reactor was put to sleep nearly 14 years after the incident in 2000, but much work still needs to be done before the power plant is fully decommissioned which might take several years.

     

    We simply hope and Pray that such a disaster never occurs in the future, and the potentially deadly nuclear power continues to serve mankind in a safe manner.