Chernobyl Nuclear Accident Essay, Research Paper
Early the morning of April 26, 1986, the nuclear reactor at the fourth unit of the U.I.Lenin power station at Chernobyl exploded. This blast made history. The nuclear accident in Chernobyl was the worst in the world. Knowing how the accident happened, why people were not aware of it, and the results of the accident, can help to prove the thesis. The chain of events leading to disaster began on the morning of April 25, 1986. Unit Number 4 was scheduled to be taken out of service for routine maintenance. The plant=s electrical engineers wanted to conduct a test to figure out how long the turbine-generators would continue to produce electricity to run the water pumps necessary to cool the reactor after the normal electrical supply had been interrupted. At one A.M., the reactor=s power level was lowered to prepare for the test. Then, over the next twenty-four hours, technicians systematically disconnected power regulation and emergency cooling systems that would have automatically shut the reactor down and interfered with the test. Finally, at 1:23 on the morning of April 26, 1986, they halted the flow of steam to the turbine. Almost immediately, the cooling pumps slowed, diminishing the flow of cooling water to the reactor core, triggering an uncontrolled chain reaction. Reactor Number 4 exploded. There were two blasts, three seconds apart. A deadly plume of radioactive material shot into the air (Nardo 58).It seems that this happened very quickly. There was almost no time to react. One thing occurred after another within the same minute. Imagining what was going through the minds of people who were there is hard. They were probably really afraid and wanted to get out of there as fast as possible. It is probably hard to think during a disaster like this. A person does not know what to do. Should they panic and run, or should they stay calm and try to deal with the problem. A person could go insane just thinking of what to do. Soviet leaders had known enough about the disaster when it happened. They could have treated it as a major crisis and established a high-level commission to direct recovery operations. It was not until the evening of April 28, sixty-seven hours after the accident, that a fourteen-second announcement broadcast on radio declared that there was a nuclear accident. People did not find out about the dangers of the accident and how people have died because of it until about a week after the explosion (Medvedev 154).
This was very wrong. People should have the right to know what is going on in the world around them. The government should warn them about any dangers that are upon them. If the Soviet leaders were to warn the people of the dangers, then many people could have moved far away from the power plant to prevent themselves from all the chemicals. Many lives could have been saved. Because the Soviet government did not warn its people soon enough, many people suffered. In the first month after the explosion at reactor Number 4, more than 100,000 people were evacuated from an 18-mile radius around the plant. The health statistics showed an increase in blood disease. Farmers report an increased incident of freak animals and deformed plants. Three hundred people had died in the accident. There is an estimate of 5,000 to 150,000 cases of cancer worldwide because of the accident. The incident of leukemia has doubled. Foods, water, and air have been poisoned. Two hundred ninety million people are using these resources and are dying (Stanglin 40).This has to be stopped somehow. The Soviet government cannot just sit around watching its people die by the thousands every day. The mess has to be cleaned up somehow because it=s not only affecting the people in Chernobyl, but also some around the world. The nuclear accident in Chernobyl was the worst in the world. It has affected the lives of many in many ways, some more serious than others, but all unnecessary. People should learn a lesson so that this would not happen again. The world cannot afford another accident like this one. Work CitedMedvedev, Zhores A. The Legacy Of Chernobyl. New York: Bantam Books, 1988.Nardo, Don World Disasters. California: lucent Books, Inc. 1990.Stanglin, D. AToxic Wasteland.@ U.S. News And World Report Apr. 1992: 40. Work ConsultedEdwards, Mike AChernobyl- One Year After.@ National Geographics May 1987: 632.Bogert, C. AChernobyl=s Legacy.@ Newswe