The Aching Echoes: PRIPYAT & CHERNOBYL

 

Mae Jacolo Aguilar”apple”, B.S. Nursing from West Negros University (2010)

 

 

What was the main cause of the Chernobyl disaster?

Pripyat is a ghost town in northern Ukraine, near the Ukraine-Belarus border. Named after the nearby Pripyat River, Pripyat was founded on 4 February, 1970, as the ninth nuclear city (a type of closed city) in the Soviet Union, to serve the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It was officially proclaimed a city in 1979, and had grown to a population of 49,360 by the time it was evacuated, on the afternoon of 27 April 1986, the day after the Chernobyl disaster.

 

Access to Pripyat, unlike cities of military importance, was not restricted before the disaster as nuclear power stations were seen by the Soviet Union as safer than other types of power plants. Nuclear power stations were presented as being an achievement of Soviet engineering, where nuclear power was harnessed for peaceful projects. The slogan “peaceful atom” (Russian: мирный атом, translit. mirnyy atom) was popular during those times. The original plan had been to build the plant only 25 km (16 mi) from Kiev, but the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, among other bodies, expressed concern about it being too close to the city.

As a result, the power station and Pripyat were built at their current locations, about 100 km (62 mi) from Kiev. After the disaster the city of Pripyat was evacuated in two days. Pripyat – Wikipedia

 

 

 

  • THE CHERNOBYL ACCIDENT

 

The Chernobyl accident is considered the most disastrous nuclear power plant accident in history, both in terms of cost and casualties. It is one of only two nuclear energy accidents classified as a level 7 event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.

The struggle to safeguard against scenarios which were perceived as having the potential for greater catastrophe, together with later decontamination efforts of the surroundings, ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles.

It occurred on 25–26 April 1986 in the No. 4 light water graphite moderated reactorat the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near the now-abandoned town of Pripyat, in northern Ukrainian Soviet Socialist RepublicSoviet Union, approximately 104 km (65 mi) north of Kiev.

The event occurred during a late-night safety test which simulated a station blackout power-failure, in the course of which safety systems were intentionally turned off. A combination ofinherent reactor design flaws and the reactor operators arranging the core in a manner contrary to the checklist for the test, eventually resulted in uncontrolled reaction conditions. Water flashed into steam generating a destructive steam explosion and a subsequent open-air graphite fire.

This fire produced considerable updrafts for about nine days. These lofted plumes of fission products into the atmosphere. The estimated radioactive inventory that was released during this very hot fire phase approximately equaled in magnitude the airborne fission products released in the initial destructive explosion.

This radioactive material precipitated onto parts of the western USSR and Europe.

 

  • RADIATION EFFECT

 

  • Analysis of reports

    While INSAG-1 and INSAG-7 reports both identified operator error as an issue of concern, the INSAG-7 identified that there were numerous other issues that were contributing factors that led to the incident. These contributing factors include:

    • The plant was not designed to safety standards in effect and incorporated unsafe features
    • “Inadequate safety analysis” was performed
    • There was “insufficient attention to independent safety review”
    • “Operating procedures not founded satisfactorily in safety analysis”
    • Safety information not adequately and effectively communicated between operators, and between operators and designers
    • The operators did not adequately understand safety aspects of the plant
    • Operators did not sufficiently respect formal requirements of operational and test procedures
    • The regulatory regime was insufficient to effectively counter pressures for production
    • There was a “general lack of safety culture in nuclear matters at the national level as well as locally

 

Both views were heavily lobbied by different groups, including the reactor’s designers, power plant personnel, and the Soviet and Ukrainian governments. According to the IAEA’s 1986 analysis, the main cause of the accident was the operators’ actions. But according to the IAEA’s 1993 revised analysis the main cause was the reactor’s design.

One reason there were such contradictory viewpoints and so much debate about the causes of the Chernobyl accident was that the primary data covering the disaster, as registered by the instruments and sensors, were not completely published in the official sources.

Once again, the human factor had to be considered as a major element in causing the accident. INSAG notes that both the operating regulations and staff handled the disabling of the reactor protection easily enough: witness the length of time for which the ECCS was out of service while the reactor was operated at half power. INSAG’s view is that it was the operating crew’s deviation from the test programme that was mostly to blame. “Most reprehensibly, unapproved changes in the test procedure were deliberately made on the spot, although the plant was known to be in a very different condition from that intended for the test.”

As in the previously released report INSAG-1, close attention is paid in report INSAG-7 to the inadequate (at the moment of the accident) “culture of safety” at all levels. Deficiency in the safety culture was inherent not only at the operational stage but also, and to no lesser extent, during activities at other stages in the lifetime of nuclear power plants (including design, engineering, construction, manufacture, and regulation). The poor quality of operating procedures and instructions, and their conflicting character, put a heavy burden on the operating crew, including the chief engineer. “The accident can be said to have flowed from a deficient safety culture, not only at the Chernobyl plant, but throughout the Soviet design, operating and regulatory organizations for nuclear power that existed at that time.”

 

Timeline

  • 1:26:03 – fire alarm activated
  • 1:28 – arrival of local firefighters, Pravik’s guard
  • 1:35 – arrival of firefighters from Pripyat, Kibenok’s guard
  • 1:40 – arrival of Telyatnikov
  • 2:10 – turbine hall roof fire extinguished
  • 2:30 – main reactor hall roof fires suppressed
  • 3:30 – arrival of Kiev firefighters
  • 4:50 – fires mostly localized
  • 6:35 – all fires extinguished

With the exception of the fire contained inside Reactor 4, which continued to burn for many days. Chernobyl disaster – Wikipedia

 

  • Soviet photos in the aftermath of Chernobyl

 

————————

PRIPYAT GHOST TOWN

 

Pripyat before it was abandoned

 

References:

  1. Ruined Chernobyl nuclear plant will remain a threat for 3,000 years
  2. Terrifying and Uplifting Facts about Chernobyl
  3. https://sputniknews.com/science/…

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Mae Jacolo Aguilar”apple”THE MULTI- TOPIC BLOG- writes about personal interests& passion.specializing on HUMAN BEHAVIOR. elicits toxic reaction by annoyance.certified weirdo& a nurse.


Originally published at www.quora.com.

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