The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Essay

1807 Words Mar 24th, 2016 8 Pages
The Location of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant During the early morning of April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear disaster occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is located in the Ukraine, and is about 20 km south of the border of Belarus. Surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant are the cities of Pripyat and Chornobyl. Pripyat is about 3 km away and had a population of about 49,000, while Chornobyl is 15 km southeast of the complex with a population of 12,500. Figure 1 shows where the Chernobyl power plant is located in the Ukraine.
Description of the Meltdown at Chernobyl The four reactors at Chernobyl were pressurized water reactors of RBMK design; they produced both plutonium and electric power, and employed a combination of a graphite moderator and water coolant (Nuclear Energy Institute, 2015). The unit 4 reactor at Chernobyl was shut down for routine maintenance on April 25, 1986. During this time, workers also tested to determine if the slowing turbines could provide enough power to operate the main core cooling water circulating pumps until emergency power supply could be used. (World Nuclear Association 2009). While this had been tested before, the power from the turbine ran down too fast, therefore a new voltage regulator was designed and needed to be tested. The workers at the time were also ill informed the test could bring the rector to an explosive state. The reactors were already unstable at low power due to a…

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