Sociological Analysis of the Chernobyl Disaster

Essay by ocaronUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

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Introduction and Background:

On April 24th, 1986, in Ukraine, former USSR, it was a cool night with high humidity levels. The employees of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant were going about their regular duties on their ordinary shifts. Little did they know, that within hours, their lives would be changed, if they were spared, for the rest of their lives and generations much beyond them. Soon their lives and anyone who was within hundreds of kilometers from the power plant would be changed dramatically, mostly by problems, which were invisible, silent, and deadly in the worse possible ways. At 1:23 AM on the 25th, an explosion in unit 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant occurred. 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 to 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 reactions of the workers were to fix the problem, not consider that the deadly radioactivity was now not enclosed within the safety of the unit. Higher officials were called and told of this disaster, while the fire department also responded to the calls. Not realizing what they were dealing with, the fire, as soon as it was put out in areas, would start back up because the temperatures were too hot for just water to contain the blazes. This continued for a long time; while men would become violently sick, feel weak after short periods of time working. Firefighters used to fighting many...