31 years ago April 26 brought the world the most terrible technogenic catastrophe. Now this date is the anniversary of the explosion at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl. The exact reasons, like the true scale of the tragedy, have not been established so far, but there are facts that everyone should know about.
The Chernobyl power station was built at a rapid pace, so there were some minor violations. According to declassified archives in 2006, from 1983 to 1985, due to poor construction and installation works, violations of technological discipline and radiation safety rules, 5 accidents and 63 equipment failures happened at the station.
The Chernobyl explosion occurred at night during the tests
The fourth power unit of the station, on which the explosion occurred on April 26, 1986, was brought to the projected capacity three months ahead of schedule. On the day of the accident, he was stopped for routine maintenance and testing, which led to the explosion. The reactor of the power unit was completely destroyed. The operator of pumps Valery Hodemchuk died immediately (the body has not been found to the present day). The engineer-adjuster of the automation system Vladimir Shashenok — in 12 hours.
In 1986, the Soviet authorities accused the Chernobyl nuclear power plant workers of the accident. The IAEA commission first came to the same conclusions, but in 1991 its position changed slightly: the perpetrators of the accident were still personnel, but such catastrophic consequences were a consequence of the shortcomings of the reactor design.
Later, in the 1993 report, the IAEA published another report, according to which the most likely cause of the accident was the design and reactor design errors. The human factor also figured.
According to some reports, one of the causes of the accident could be an earthquake: at about the time of the explosion in the region of the Chernobyl nuclear power station, a seismic shock was registered.
The first liquidators and firemen worked without protection
The bell about the fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant came in just a few minutes after the explosion. The firemen led by Lieutenant Vladimir Pravok and the fire brigade from Pripyat led by Victor Kibenka left for the fourth block. By the morning there were 240 people in the accident zone. By 6:35 they completely extinguished the fire on the fourth block of the Chernobyl NPP.
During the liquidation, the actual level of radiation was not yet known. From the means of protection, the firemen had only mittens, helmets, canvas robes and gas masks, which they almost immediately took off because of the high temperature.
Over 600 000 people passed through the «Chernobyl hell». All those who were in dangerous and radioactive areas received large doses that resulted in illness and death.
The shelter «Shelter» -1 was built in November 1986.
Now a new shelter is on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant — the NBK. It was built in 2016. Radiation around the station has significantly decreased: