The Tragedy Chernobyl

Chernobyl is a Ukrainian city about 90 kilometers northeast of Kyiv, with a population of around 14000 people before the disaster and subsequent evacuation. At the time this city was ruled by the Soviet Union and the city was the location of the first-ever nuclear power station to be built in Ukraine. On the 26th of April 1986 disaster struck when reactor number 4 exploded. The town is still home to around 700 people although it’s now somewhat of a ghost town. Surprisingly international tourists flock to the area.

As per the report of CNN in 2016, if you visit Chernobyl you will be taken on a strictly guided tour of what was once a busy place. The explosion at the nuclear plant is noted as the worst nuclear disaster in the history of the world. Radioactive dust was transported by the wind as far as Sweden. The number of deaths directly related to the initial explosion is thought to be about 31 but as per WHO, the death is about 50 because of massive radioactive exposure. Later according to WHO 4000 people died because of radiation exposure that further became cancerous. Quoting the exact words by a blogger who visited Chernobyl ‘I felt I was walking through a horror theme park, she said of an abandoned kindle garden dolls were still hanging around and this became the place of many animals and stray dogs.

According to the world nuclear association, workers at Chernobyl reactor 4 were testing whether the turbines could provide enough energy to keep the coolant pumps running in the event of a power outage, and whether they could keep them running until the emergency diesel generator kicked in. They have done this test before, but the test has been unsuccessful. They reduced the reactor’s power to 25% of its maximum capacity, but a problem arose when the power dropped to 1%. They tried to increase the power but what ensued was a massive power surge. The reactor emergency shutdown failed. One engineer wanted to stop the test, but a higher-up told him to keep going. The reactor then becomes even more unstable. This causes considerable pressure, and according to a step-by-step report one engineer witnessed, ‘the 1.5 tonnes (350kg) blocks atop the fuel channel of the upper biological shield begin jumping up and down as you could feel the shock waves through the building structure’ and that guy runs away and slowly everyone started to move outside the reactor. That fuel combined with cool water created a mass of steam that couldn’t escape and create lots of pressure. This lifted a 1000 ton lid as here we have the start of the radiation leak. One man died, and his body was engulfed in the wreckage. Firefighters arrived unaware of the danger they were in due to a radiation leak. One even joked about it saying ‘there must be an incredible amount of radiation here. We’ll be lucky if we are all still alive in the morning’. He was kidding but he wasn’t far off and the rest became the history and Threat Of Science for the entire world.

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