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Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

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Brian Le

on 22 January 2014

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Transcript of Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
Immediate Impact
Released the largest amount of uncontrolled radiation into the environment
Many emergency response crews, especially firefighters, suffered from exposure to radiation and died (28)
Killed 2 workers immediately on reactor failure and one other from heart attack (3)
Total of 31 died immediately
Long-term Impact
Casualty count: 50 dead plus countless numbers of radiation and cancer deaths - projected to be 5000
Thyroid cancer, iodine deficiency, and other eccentric deaths due to violent causes reported to increase
Chernobyl area and surrounding areas evacuated - thousands relocated
Reactor and Material Dropped by Helicopter
Employees Head Off in Protective Suits
Ground Level
April 26, 1986
Reactor failed with a power surge and destroyed Unit 4
2 workers died due to the explosion
28 died in the lapse of two weeks due to radiation
106 were diagnosed with high dosage of radiation
Chernobyl incident occurs in Ukraine
Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident
and Special Health Care Programmes, Report of the UN Chernobyl Forum, Expert Group "Health", World Health Organization, 2006 (ISBN: 9789241594172).

Annex J: Exposures and effects of the
Chernobyl accident, UNSCEAR 2000 Report to the General Assembly

Estimated Long Term Health Effects of the
Chernobyl Accident by Elizabeth Cardis et al. is in the conference proceedings as Background Paper 3 of the One Decade after Chernobyl - Summing up the Consequences of the Accident conference, cosponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission, held at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna on 8-12 April 1996
The Chemistry Breakdown
Emergency Response
General Radioactivity
Radioactivity in Chernobyl and Surrounding Areas
Health Issues
Nuclear power station with four nuclear reactors
Chernobyl, Ukraine
Woodland area with a low population density
Pripyat was the nearest city at 3 kilometers away
After the incident, officials closed off a 30 kilometer radius around the reactor
General Radioactivity
In the initial explosion, radioactive material was released into the atmosphere and spread outwards.
A graphite fire also raged on, and it propelled the radiation higher into the atmosphere.
Mostly neutron bombardment occurred with beta and gamma radiation.
Images Cited
Works Cited
An aerial view of the Chernobyl nuclear plant
in Ukraine shows damage from an explosion and fire in one of the reactors that sent large amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere. 1986. Business Insider. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. <http://www.businessinsider.com/chernobyl-pictures-2011-4?op=1>.
Radiation zones are shown after incident.
The Chernobyl Accident and its Consquences.
Global Radiation Patterns. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. <http://users.owt.com/smsrpm/Chernobyl/glbrad.html>.
Ocal. Biohazard Symbol clip art. 2007.
Biohazard Symbol clip art. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. <http://www.clker.com/clipart-2628.html>.
Emergency Response
Emergency response crews dumped sand, lead and boron onto the destroyed reactor
Sand was to stop the fire and release of more radiation and materials
Boron and lead was to stop nuclear reactions and smother it
Afterwards, they poured and covered the entire reactor with a concrete shell called a "sarcophagus" to prevent further radiation spread
The pine trees surrounding in a square mile were cut down and buried to reduce more radiation spread
Helicopters dropped sand, clay, lead, and
neutron absorbing boron. 1986. The Chernobyl Gallery. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. <http://chernobylgallery.com/chernobyl-disaster/timeline/>.
Boron (specifically boron carbide B4C) was dropped in order to absorb neutrons. This would prevent neutron bombardment and further reactions.
What Happened
It started as a routine maintenance check that was punctuated by sloppiness and lax safety routines. The emergency core cooling system was shut off, and as the check went on, the reactor was still on at half-power. So the reactor started unstabilizing, and the reactor overheated. The heat production caused a steam explosion followed by another reaction destroying the core.
Side Fact
None of the absorbing substances actually reached the core, thus acting as an insulator and spiked the temperature even more.
OECD NEA. Reactor diagram. 2001. Chernobyl
Accident. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. <http://chernobylgallery.com/chernobyl-disaster/timeline/>.
Igor, Koston, and Sygma Corbis. A month
after the explosion, Chernobyl employees head off by bus to work in a highly contaminated environment. 1986. 'Voices of Chernobyl': Survivors' Stories. Web. 19 Jan. 2014. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5355810>.
Radioactivity of Surrounding Areas
Health Issues
Health Issues
Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine were the most affected due to the proximity and diffusion of the radioactive material in the atmosphere.
The radiation caused cells in human bodies to become deformed and behave differently, so cancer (where the cell division regulation spirals out of control) and other skin irritations with internal issues occurred. Since the beta and gamma particles just pass through, the outer body would be unscathed while the internal organs suffered.
With the radiation, many chain reactions occurred. Ecologically, socially, and economically, the people suffered due to the health risks and destruction of the land. However, scientists have been studying radiation closer, and if Chernobyl ever occurred again, we'd be better prepared.
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