Chernobyl Disaster: Causes and Outcomes example

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Chernobyl Disaster: Causes and Outcomes

Chernobyl tragedy, which occurred in Ukraine on 26 April 1986, is the worst nuclear accident in history and a sad lesson for humanity. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the causes of the catastrophe, identify the persons involved with it and define the aftermath of the nuclear fallout. Considering the great social and political significance of the tragedy, it is difficult to analyze this issue, as the facts and researches are quite controversial. The approach to the interpretation of the facts and circumstances of the accident has changed over time, thus there is no clear consensus about the problem. The power station is situated in 110 km from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, which was a part of Soviet Union at that time. Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant produced a tenth of power in the Soviet Union.

The station had four functioning nuclear power plant units and two units that were under construction. On April 25, the fourth reactor was stopped for a scheduled outage and a number of equipment tests. Among the numerous approaches to explaining the causes of the accident, two are considered to be official. The first version, which was adduced in 1986, comes down to the fault of the stuff. During the test, six regulations were grossly violated. “The test required two important conditions to be satisfied: the power being produced by the nuclear reactor had to be reduced to about 25 percent of its full capacity, and the primary safety system that was designed to protect the plant during an emergency had to be turned off – during the entire period of the test (Vicente, 2004, p. 10).” Although the test was safe, the requirements did not conform to the safety rules. Leonid Toptunov, the senior reactor control engineer, did not manage to stop power level at 25 percent and bottomed out at a level of 7 percent, but Toptunov and the rest of the stuff did not realize the hazard, as the situation was not quite obvious. It was too late when Toptunov finally realized the danger; the disaster was inevitable and immediate. Toptunov and his comrades were directly involved with the case. Nevertheless, there is the other version that brings up new arguments concerning the case. In 1991 the second government commission, which consisted mainly of operators, weighted in with another explanation. According to their report, the fourth reactor had some design flaws, which caused the explosion. The major flaw is the presence of long graphite water displacers at the ends of the control rods. As the rods absorb neutrons worse than water, their input in an active zone caused additional reactance by superseding water. The chain reaction caused a thermal explosion in the reactor. According to it, the engineers, who had been involved in the construction of the displacers, are the ones to be blamed for the accident. Regardless of that, Viktor Bryukhanov, …

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