Essay On Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

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Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
Introduction
On April 26, 1986, Chernobyl Nuclear Plant, located in northern Ukraine (Figure 1), would become one of few nuclear reactors to make world history. Chernobyl’s explosion from nuclear reactor 4 is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history and was the first and only disaster to be classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale until the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster (NEI, 2016a). Due to the explosion in reactor 4, high levels of radioactive contamination was released on to the ground and into the atmosphere spreading over all countries in the northern hemisphere (UNSCEAR, 2012)
Background information Unfortunately, there is no given occurrence of a nuclear
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Nuclear fission is “the process of splitting uranium atoms. This generates heat to produce steam, which is used by a turbine generator to generate electricity” (Duke Energy, 2016). The energy the explosion occurs from is when there is an improper ratio of protons per uranium nuclei. In order to maintain a controlled nuclear reaction, there must only be one neutron allowed to strike another uranium nucleus (World Nuclear Association, 2016b). If this ratio becomes less than one then the reaction will die out but if the ratio is greater than one, it will grow out of control and continue into an explosion (World Nuclear Association, 2016b). This overabundance of neutrons being released and consequently the overabundance of neutrons allowed to strike a uranium nucleus is triggered by either operator error or engineering deficiencies such as the ones stated …show more content…
Many plants and animals living within 30km of the reactor were immediately affected including fish and cows (Greenfacts, 2006). The contamination of crops, meat, and milk had direct health effects on a great population of people eating those (Greenfacts, 2006). The contamination would stay trapped in the soils particularly surrounding contaminated rivers and lakes. Some of the contamination is short lived, called radioactive iodine, and was expected to go away after several months (Greenfacts, 2006). Other contaminates are long lived, called radioactive caesium, and is expected to remain at high levels for decades (Greenfacts, 2006). It seems anything from bees to birds were affected by the radioactive fallout causing a domino effect of environmental

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