The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

Essay by fox_kidHigh School, 10th grade October 2007

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 31 times

The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster The history of the problem or issue.

A large nuclear power plant in Chernobyl Ukraine exploded on April 26th 1986 sending a radioactive cloud across Byelorussia, Poland and Europe contaminating an area of about 100,000 square miles. Two days later a nuclear power plant in Sweden measured a dangerous surge in radio activity and was able to use wind patterns to discover that it was coming from Chernobyl. It was four days after the accident that Moscow radio and television reported the catastrophe that the whole world was already talking about. Over six hundred thousand people helped in the clean up after the accident and it is estimated that ten thousand of these people are now dead. It is believed that future children may have damaged genes and chromosomes.

There are three reasons that nuclear disaster occurred. Experts in the west have agreed that the nuclear reactors of the Chernobyl type were poorly designed and unsafe.

Second military considerations were thought to be more important then the safety issues. Graphite reactors were built because they not only produce electricity but also plutonium that is used to build weapons. Third the people in Moscow responsible for the building of the power plant were irresponsibility by ignoring the substandard materials used and the demoralized construction crew. When building something so dangerous it is important to pay close attention to every detail so that construction meets certain standards.

How has the issue changed over the past 10 to 20 years.

Moscow reacted by first closing down 27 Soviet reactors of this type and making improvements to them. Secondly it is currently building a new containment structure over the old cracking and deteriorating sarcophagus that was originally built to contain the destroyed nuclear reactor. Ukraine has asked for help from...