At 1:23 in the midnight of Saturday people woke up with two blast noises. Some came out from their houses while other saw from the window what had happened. People thought that it was a common fire and then went to sleep. The next day was a common day for people. They like usual woke up took a breakfast and went to their jobs. But after 2 or 3 hours later people started reporting problems like headache, metal tastes in their mouth and sensation of needles and pins all over their faces. Now I want to tell you what had actually happened.
The government of Soviet Union wanted to perform an experiment in the reactor 4 of Chernobyl plant which was to be shut down because of maintenance. The Soviets RBMKs reactor had a problem in them. The problem was that in the state of emergency Shutdown they lacked cooling water for 75 seconds which risked an explosion in the nuclear core. The experiment was to supply electricity to the cooling pumps even in the shutdown state. The government wanted to minimize the risk and for this purpose they had chosen the reactor 4.
Alexsandr Akimov the night shift in charge was responsible for this test. He was not so competent and hadn’t been trained for this kind of experiment. He was always in a hurry from his childhood. So, he was not the right man for this experiment. The experiment was to start in the day shift of workers when electrical engineers and other nuclear experts would be present but for a certain reason it was delayed until 12’o clock at night. This was the time when evening shift was going and night shift was coming.
Alexsandr should’ve waited for the next shift but he didn’t bother about it and started this experiment. The reactors normal capacity was 3200 MW. In the experiment it was to be lowered to 700 MW. They started to decrease its power for this experiment but because of his Akimov’s nature he did it in a hurry and by a mistake power dropped to 30 MW. It was too low and risked the shutdown of reactor. Anatoly Dyatlov, the deputy chief engineer, supervised the test. At the moment reactor power slipped to 30 MW thermal, he insisted the operators continue the test.
He overrode Akimov’s and Toptunov’s (senior engineer) objections, threatening to hand the shift to Tregub (the previous shift operator who had remained on-site), intimidating them into attempting to increase the reactor power. At 1. 00 clocks in the midnight of Saturday the power stabilized at 200 MW. They wanted to increase the power to 700 MW but failed so they continued with the experiment which was to be performed with 700 MW of power. Because of the low power the conditions of the reactor totally changed and didn’t match the conditions of the experiment any longer.
All of the sudden the safety alarms turned on but they were ignored and many of them were disconnected so the main computer SKALA had no control any longer. All control was shifted to the operators. After 10 minutes the operators also lost the control over the experiment and the power increased to 33,000 MW which was 10 times higher than the capacity of the reactor. Now the first steam formed inside exploded and approx. 1000 ton metal plate on which the reactor assembly was fastened exploded. This was the first explosion that many heard.
The explosion flipped this 1000 ton plate. After 3 seconds another heavy blast from the nuclear core itself happened and this was more devastating than the first one. The World’s worst nuclear disaster had happened. This second explosion released massive amount of radiation into air and threw radioactive material all over the place which started radioactive fire. The Chernobyl site consisted of 4 reactors. 1, 2 and 3, 4. This radioactive fire also started a fire at reactor 3. This radioactive fire could result in another blast in reactor 3 and therefore it had to be controlled.
Firefighters controlled this fir at 2. 10 and thus the blast was avoided but many firefighters were affected by radiations. At 6:10 in the morning almost all fires were extinguished but 237 people got radiations and died in a short period. However the fire inside the reactor nuclear core kept burning until 10 May even after throwing sand and Boron on it. I want to tell you every little detail of the disaster since I have lack of time so Now I will come to my actual point that is What happened after this disaster and what effects did it have and is having on our society.
People were going to their work but some people like I said felt pain and reported to hospital just before they died. It was Valery legasov a nuclear expert who understood the gravity of the situation of radioactive rays and commenced immediate evacuation. This immediate evacuation took place on 27th April at 2:00 clock in the noon from pripyat and Chernobyl. Approx. 150,000 people immediately evacuated and left their precious belongings in their homes. The people were said to bring only very precious things as they were to return to their homes after max 3 days.
People didn’t take their all belongings and these were left behind permanently because of the dangerous amount of radiation. This was because of the wrong estimation of experts. They thought that by building a sarcophagus (a containment structure outside Chernobyl) they could prevent the further release of radioactivity and thus people could come back home safely. But they were wrong. Even after building sarcophagus the radioactive rays were enough to kill people and therefore it was not allowed to come back.
However the Sarcophagus blocked most of radiation from coming out and prevent the escape of radioactive lava into ground. If it had escaped then there would be highly contaminated water and soil in that area. So, now it’s just inside the sarcophagus and isn’t a threat any longer. The people there were heavily affected and beard a severe financial loss. They asked the government to compensate the loss. Soviet Union partially compensated their loss but not completely. Because of the radiation an area of 30 km around Chernobyl is now in a lockdown state.
The area is called as RED FOREST. Because in 1986 this forest completely died out because of the accident. Now it is a densely populated forest with mutated animals. This area will not be suitable for living up to 20,000 coming years. The World didn’t know that an accident had happened before Swedish nuclear reactor in Forsmark started beeping on the excess amount of radiation. The Swedish nuclear experts checked their nuclear plant but found no leek. The Soviet Union tried to hide this accident from the World but it didn’t worked.
The Swedish experts eventually found out about the leak in the Chernobyl. It was okay if the radioactive rays would’ve stayed that way but the air made it worse and worst radioactive air blew towards North West and polluted RUSSIA, BELARUS, UKRAINE and SWEDEN with heavy amount of radiation. As you can see air even blew towards Europe and the direct country that it affected was Sweden because in Sweden the air became rain and fell. 60% of the radiation however fell on Belarus and according to Green Peace their death toll have reached 40,000 to 60,000 including cancer until now.
The people who are affected for example, thyroid cancer, other cancers, brain cancer and mentally retirement are 985,000 in whole world but people who have died in whole world are 140,000 according to the GREEN PEACE and it suspects an excessive 100,000 cancer deaths in the future because of Chernobyl. There are however many different opinions on it like the CHERNOBYL FORM says death toll is 20,000 while World nuclear energy says its 200,000. The reason is when people die of cancer we can’t determine if they died of radiations or not.
If Soviet Union had explained the gravity of the situation then many countries could’ve adapted safety measures like taking iodine tablets that save against low radiations and would’ve evacuated people from highly contaminated areas. So, the total blame of this accident lies on Soviet Union who didn’t accept it at once and didn’t tell the world about this. Soviet Union lost 38 billion dollars because of this and this was the first economic disaster which led to its destruction later. It was greatness of Sweden that their experts checked it and fully investigated the problem.
It was they who announced about the nuclear disaster on Chernobyl site. After Sweden’s warning whole world adapted safety measures and world should admire the Swedish experts and government for their efforts. The disaster even affected the aquatic life like fish became dangerous for eating and ground water could not be drunk because of radiation. Bird meat became harmful and a big amount of livestock died in Sweden, Norway and Germany. The mushrooms in Sweden are still harmful to eat in some areas. The nimals in the area were badly affected and many died and those who lived were heavily mutated and this mutation is still going on from generation to generation. In my opinion, all these losses could be avoided by a little bit of carefulness. There was some problem because of which they couldn’t perform it in the day shift then they should’ve waited for the next day. It’s a medically accepted fact that human brain works better in the morning and it’s more active in the morning than night. The nature has made day for working and night for sleep.
One thing more that they performed this experiment in the absence of experts and proper staff. They should’ve waited for them. If they had performed it on the next day then probably this worst nuclear disaster could’ve been avoided. This disaster released 400 times more radiation than Hiroshima Bombing in 1945. This was the first economic disaster that cost Soviet Union 34 Billion Dollars which later led its economical destruction and stopping to exist as a super power. I hope that this would be warning for us and we would be doing our best to prevent such accidents from ever happening in the world’s history.