The report is on the Chernobyl Nuclear accident which took place on April 26, 1986 in Ukraine because of a faulty design of a reactor and inadequate trained personnel. The accident resulted in the death of some workers and many of them suffered because of the poison. The reactions of the explosion are still seen even after the 30 years of the explosion. In this report, the accident, the reasons after the occurrence of such accident and the actions after the accident are discussed.
The Chernobyl Accident, 1986
The accident happened in Chernobyl, Ukraine. As per Amadeo (2017), the accident happened when at night the crew wanted to test that the turbines could alone keep the cooling safety system running. They could not turn off the reactor but they powered it down to 25% of the normal speed or intensity. The safety system was switched off for conducting the tests but the things did not go as planned by the crew. The power of the reactor fell to 1% of the normal and a surge occurred in the power. Without the safety system, the reactions got more intense and an explosion occurred. The temperatures rose above 2000 degree celcius. The fuel rods caught fire and it continued for 9 days.
The accident happened because of the ignorance of the crew about the safety system. There were flaws in the design of the reactors. The crew was inadequately trained and hence, the experiment didn’t go well. For Chernobyl Nuclear accident, there were some warning signs which were ignored while conducting the tests. The soviet officials reported that the event leading to the accident begun at 1 am on April 25 when the operators reduced power in reactor No. 4 for starting the test to check the energy produced by the turbines and generators when the reactor is shut down. They shut down the safety systems as well and with this, the problems increased but ignoring these problems the operators continued the process. Soon, the reactor became out of control and exploded. It was very late when the operators realised that this should be stopped. According to Lallanilla (2013), the warning signs were in front of the workers but still they did not stop the test. The Soviet ignored to warn their people and the nations surrounding the place which also made the explosion more critical (WHO, 2016).
Yes, there was a system failure. The reactor systems destroyed as there was a design flaw. There was no backup safety system and the already installed safety system was turned off. No consultation was done with the chief designer or the scientific manager for conducting the tests. The protection systems were switched off and disconnected to conduct the tests (Lallanilla, 2013).
The consequences of the incident were disastrous. Because of the incident, 28 workers died in four months. The radiations of the accident affected the winds from south and east towards Belarus and Sweden. Total of 31 people died because of the radiations and the direct effects of the incident. AS per the reports of UNSCEAR, there were more than 6000 cases of thyroid cancer were seen. The effects of the disaster lead to the advice to the pregnant ladies in affected areas to get an abortion to save their child from the birth disorders (Frankel, 2010). There were some environmental impacts as well. The trees around the plant of Chernobyl were killed due to the radiations. The people were exposed to the radiations and they also suffered through cardiovascular diseases more than the normal population. The incident had a bad effect on the economy of Chernobyl. The costs grew in the next twenty years and the population was required to evacuate the surrounding places which damaged the local businesses and living (Smith, 2013). A huge cost occurred to resettle the population of 330,000 people. Health care was required for those who were exposed to the radiations. This is to be handled and the cost of treatment is to be incurred for the suffered people. The benefits have to be paid to people suffering ins surrounding areas like Russia and Belarus which increases the costs of these countries. There was a loss of power in the Chernobyl Power plant and there was a cancellation of the Belarus nuclear power program which gave a loss of $235 billion (Christodouleas, et al., 2011).
After the incident took place in 1986, six men were accused of the reasons behind the incident of Chernobyl. Six officials were jailed for different time period for violating the safety rules and neglecting their duty in the nuclear plant. The soviet paid $ 1.2 billion in compensation for the Chernobyl disaster to those 1,16,000 people who evacuated from the Chernobyl to 600 miles southwest of Moscow. From this fund, $728 was raised through the voluntary contributions by people. After the incident took place, the International Nuclear law was made (Hogberg, 2013). A list of conventions was made to assure the safety from the nuclear tests and activities. Waste management and fuel management was adopted. The liability and compensation was given to those who suffered from the incident. For the safety point of view, the conventions were made on nuclear safety and on the management of wastes and fuel spent. These conventions define the responsibilities of the government and the regulatory bodies which help the people and their health. These conventions ensure safety of the population in further years (Kinoshita, et al., 2011).
It can be concluded that the incident was horrifying leaving lot of lives in danger. This incident showed that how dangerous nuclear power can be. People living in the affected areas are still facing its after effects. It is affecting their health and the surroundings. They have lower income and high unemployment. The economy has suffered a lot because lot of cost is to be paid for the maintenance of the conditions after the accident. The affected people are addressed through health benefits and compensations. The nuclear law made has ensured the safety from the nuclear power in the coming years.
Amadeo, K (2017). Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Disaster: Economic Impact. The balance.
Christodouleas, J P, Forrest, R D, Ainsley, C G, Tochner, Z, Hahn, S M, & Glatstein, E (2011). Short-term and long-term health risks of nuclear-power-plant accidents. New England journal of medicine, 364(24), 2334-2341.
Frankel, V (2010). Environmental and Human-Health Consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster in Belarus. Master of Environmental Studies Capstone Projects. 35.
Hogberg, L (2013). Root Causes and Impacts of Severe Accidents at Large Nuclear Power Plants. NCBI.
Kinoshita, N, Sueki, K, Sasa, K, Kitagawa, J I, Ikarashi, S, Nishimura, T, ... & Sato, M (2011). Assessment of individual radionuclide distributions from the Fukushima nuclear accident covering central-east Japan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(49), 19526-19529.
Lallanilla, M (2013). Chernobyl: Facts About the Nuclear Disaster. Live Science.
Smith, K (2013). Environmental hazards: assessing risk and reducing disaster. Routledge.
WHO (2016). 1986-2016: CHERNOBYL at 30. Retrieved from https://who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/Chernobyl-update.pdf.