The Chernobyl Plant Accident
An accident occurred on 26/04/1986, at the reactor number 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear
power plant in Ukraine (former part of the Soviet Union), about 130 km north of
Kiev. It is reported to be one of the worst nuclear disaster in history. A huge plume of
radioactive debris moved over former Soviet Union, Europe and eastern USA, with
serious impacts on public health and on environment. This nuclear disaster raised
serious issues about the safety of work of nuclear power industry and has led to major
changes in safety culture of the nuclear plants.
The Chernobyl Power Complex was constructed at the settlement of Pripyat in
Ukraine, 18 km northeast of Chernobyl city. The nuclear power plant was constructed
in order to produce electric power. Specifically, each of the reactors was capable to
produce 1 GW of electric power (3,2 GW of thermal power) and producing about
10% of Ukraine’s total electricity until the time of the accident (World Nuclear
Association 2014, IAEA 1986).
On 26/04/1986 and at 1:24 am local time, the reactor number 4 of the Chernobyl
power plant exploded, causing a big fire with a series of additional explosions and a
nuclear meltdown. The consequences of the accident were huge in public health, in
environment and in ecology (IAEA 1986).
The aim of this report is to present the management and the operation of the nuclear
power station, the causes of the disaster in reactor number 4 of the Chernobyl power
plant, the impacts of the accident and the measurements that have been taken since the
accident in order to improve power plants and prevent any similar disaster.
2. Management and operation
The construction of the Chernobyl power station started in the 1970s with reactor
number 1. The rest reactors were constructed later. Reactor number 2 constructed in
1978, reactor number 3 in 1981 and reactor number 4 in 1983. Two more reactors
(reactor number 5 and reactor...