Shadow of Chernobyl

Shadow of Chernobyl

On April 26th 1986 at 1:23:45 a.m., reactor number four at the Chernobyl plant, near Pripyat in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, exploded.

The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear energy disaster ever. With the resulting blast, the explosion let off four hundred more times the nuclear fallout that of the bombing of Hiroshima. The nuclear radiation drifted to parts of eastern and western Europe and drifted as far as North America.

Chernobyl at the time of the incident, was a part of the Soviet Union, and is in the northern part of Ukraine. Chernobyl is located 14.5 kilometers from the nuclear power plant. The power plant was named after the city, and located within the Chernobyl Raion district, but the city was not the residence of the power plant workers. Together with the power plant construction, Pripyat, a city, which was larger and closer to the power plant, was built to be home for the power plant workers. Prior to the incident the city of Pripyat was inhabited with 15,000 people. In order to evacuate the city of Pripyat, the following warning message was reported on local radio, "An accident has occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. One of the atomic reactors has been damaged. Aid will be given to those affected and a committee of government inquiry has been set up." This message gave the impression that any damage and radiation was localized, although it was not.

During the daytime of 25 April 1986, reactor 4 was scheduled to be shut down for maintenance as it was near the end of its first fuel cycle. An experiment was proposed to test a safety emergency core-cooling feature during the shut down procedure. There was concern that in case of an external power failure the Chernobyl power station would overload, leading to an automated safety shut down in which case there would be no external power to run the plant's cooling water pumps. Chernobyl's reactors had three backup diesel generators. The generator required 15...

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