Analysis of the Chernobyl Meltdown

On April 1986, Soviet's Union Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded
letting out a massive amount of radiation that would debate of all
Russian citizens for hundreds of years to come. At exactly 1:21 am. on
April, 1986 inChernobyl, a city near the Pripiat River the No. 4
reactor exploded and released thirty to forty times the radiation of
the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombing. The exact causes of the explosion
are not known , however scientists and researchers, under thorough
investigation, have uncovered possible causes to the explosion.1 The
main reason why the explosion occurred was that, the operators of the
plant were attempting to conduct an experiment with the emergency
cooling system turned off, they made six fatal errors which sealed
everyone's fate. Soviet officials clamed that if the technicians,
would have avoided at least one of those mistakes, then the plant
could have been saved.
The technicians began the test one day before the explosion.
They started reducing the reactor's power level so they could run the
turbine experiment. However in order for the plant to run at lower
power they had to turn off the automatic control system, which powered
all emergency limitations that the plant should make in case it goes
out of control. Turning of the cooling system was an unnecessary
action and though it did not cause the explosion, it made the
consequences more fatal. Just then the operator's receive a call from
the local grid controller in Kiev, who needed the power and asked the
technicians to stop lowering it, at what they obeyed. Once that was
done the reactor was running with out the cooling system , which was a
very serious mistake. At 11:10 p.m. the grid controller said he no
longer needed the power, and the operators returned to reducing the
power. At twenty minutes past midnight the operators forgot to set the
regulator properly, it was the second fatal error. Because of the
incorrect regulator settings the reactor's power crashed to 30 MW from
1,000 MW which is too low for the test. At that point the operators
would have abandoned the experiment, but they attempted to rescue it,
for the next time they would be able to conduct would be in one year
only. The senior authorities who had ordered the test would have been
furious and would have found out the regulator problem. So the
operators decided, to pull out the stops to restore the reactor's
power.2 Their third fatal mistake, was the pulling out of control
rods. The plant's rule was to have thirty in at all times however they
left all but six. By 1:00 Am the power risen to 200 MW, which was
still to low for the experiment, however the operators continued. In a
few minutes they made their fourth fatal error, by turning on two
extra pumps to join the six that wee already cooling the core. This
procedure under such low power caused a massive steam disorder. Their
fifth fatal error was the turning off of the automatic shut off, which
would turn off the reactor. At 1:23 a.m. on Saturday April 26, the
workers began the actual experiment. They made their sixth error, by
turning off the last safety system. It took the shift manager thirty
seconds to realize what was happening and shouted at another operators
to press button AZ-5 which would driven all the control rods back into
the core, but because the rods were melted from serious heat they
didn't fit properly into the core. As the manager gloomy eyed looked
down at the control panel several loud banging noises were heard.
Immediately the one thousand tone roof of the reactor blew off sky
high, and brought down the giant two hundred tone refueling crane onto
the core, destroying more cooling systems and 30 fires spread around
the plant. Finally the over-heating and steam build up caused a second
explosion which destroyed the reactor and part of the building. The
graphite began to burn ferociously once exposed to air, as core
reached temperatures as high as 2,800o F a massive amount of
radioactive dust was let out into the air which was picked by winds
and carried thousands of miles into every direction. As well, previous
to the testing the technicians, drew up plans, but did not discuss
them with physicists or nuclear safety staff at the plant. Though they
send experiment plans