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Chernobyl nuclear power plant: 32 years later

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The Chernobyl nuclear disaster began in the early hours of Saturday 26 April 1986 in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. An explosion released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, which spread over much of Western USSR and Europe, until the Norway. It is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history and is one of only two classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale (the other is the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan, and I hope to write something about this in October). The disaster began during a systems test at reactor number four of the Chernobyl plant. There was a sudden surge of power output, and when was attempted an emergency shutdown, a more extreme spike in power output occurred, which led to crash a reactor vessel and a series of explosions. These events exposed the graphite moderator of the reactor to air, causing it to start. The resulting fire sent a plume of highly radioactive smoke into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical area. This plume went on to drift over large parts of the western Soviet Union and Europe. According to official post-Soviet data about 60% of the radioactive fallout landed in Belarus. The battle against the contamination and limitated a greater catastrophe involved over 500,000 workers, the “liquidators”, that cost an estimated 18 billion Rubles. Only after the level of radiation set off alarms at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden, over one thousand kilometers from the Chernobyl Plant, the Soviet Union did publicly admit that had occurred a nuclear accident. After evacuating the nearby city of Pripyat, the following warning message was read on state’s TV:
“There has been an accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. One of the nuclear reactors was damaged. The effects of the accident are being remedied. Assistance has been provided to any affected people. An investigative commission has been set up.” {28 April 1986, 21:00}
Deaths directly attributed to the accident were thirty one, all of the reactor staff and emergency workers, and from 1986 to 2000 over 350,000 people were evacuated and resettled from the most severely contaminated areas of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.The Russian publication says that were 985,000 premature cancer deaths worldwide between 1986 and 2004 and it’s probably the result of radioactive contamination from Chernobyl. Then was quickly constructed a massive metal structure, a sarcophagus (in Russian “Obyekt Ukrytiye”, shelter or covering) to encase Unit 4 like an emergency measure for stop the release of radiation into the atmosphere following the 1986 disaster. It is estimated that inside there is 200 tons of radioactive corium, 30 tons of contaminated dust and 16 tons of uranium and plutonium.

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