On April 26, 1986 at 1:23 am the core of the fourth reactor at the V.I. Lenin nuclear power station in Chernobyl, Ukraine exploded, ripping off the roof, and spaying radioactive material everywhere. Chernobyl is known as " the worst nuclear disaster in history" .
The graphite core of the reactor had exploded, which then effectively caused an almost simultaneous explosion. The explosion from the core caused the second explosion to violently send the roof and most of the siding of the unit into the atmosphere and area around the plant. Not only did the roof blow off, and the core be exposed, but also the radioactive graphite, which the core was made of, now covered the roof, in an unprotected and uncontained setting. The immediate reaction of the workers was to fix the problem. They did not consider that the deadly radioactivity was now not enclosed within the safety of the unit.
The fire departments of the power station and the town of Pripyat also responded to the accident. Not realizing what had really happened the firefighters went on to the melting roof of the reactor and started to fight the fire. As soon as it was put out in one area, others would start back up because the temperatures were too hot for water to contain the blaze. The firefighters had no protective clothing and, after doing their job for only a short time, they became ill, suffering from radiation poisoning.
Nuclear power works by bombarding uranium or other radioactive elements with neutrons. The atoms break apart, causing nuclear fission to take place. The neutrons that break off of the previous atoms then start the chain again. This creates heat. When water is run through the reactor the heat creates very high-pressure steam. This steam, in turn, spins...