A new city, called Pripyat, was founded for the employees of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and their family members in 1970. The city grew fast and by November 1985 had a population of 47,500, with an annual population growth of 1,500. Nowadays, about 1000 people live there. The city was declared dangerous for life for the next 24 thousand years. However, this does not mean that this territory cannot be used in any other way. For example, about 70 thousand tourists take trips to Pripyat annually.
Interesting fact: As a result of the explosion at the fourth power unit of the power plant, about 400 radioactive substances were released into the environment, it is more than during the explosion of the ‘Malysh’ atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. But now, trips to Chernobyl do not carry any harm to the health of the tourist, if they adhere to strict rules
Why did the explosion happen?
The fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant that exploded on April 26 (which can still be viewed from afar thanks to organized trips to Pripyat in Ukraine) was undergoing preventive maintenance – it was subjected to a regular procedure. The approved scheme for each such repair for RBMK reactors includes tests of abnormal operating modes – just to prevent accidents. In such tests, automatic protection was always turned off for the simple reason that otherwise many abnormal operating modes could not be achieved. But on that fateful day, something went wrong.
Investigations have established several compelling reasons. Because of them, the atomic reactor went out of control.
- The catastrophe occurred as a consequence of the fact that the personnel brought the reactor to a non-routine state. The test was carried out “at any cost”, which grossly violates all the rules. Technological protections were taken out of work, which could have stopped the inflamed reactor. And the station’s management kept the scale of the disaster in a secret until the very end.
- A pre-faulty reactor and a damaged building structure. The commission came to this opinion in 1991. During the investigation of INSAG-7, this nuclear safety advisory group put forward its factors behind the explosion.
The most popular version of the Chernobyl disaster:
- During the accident, there was a strong overheating of nuclear fuel. The destruction of elements that generate heat in the lower part of the reactor core has occurred. After that, the protective shells began to collapse and the steam came out into the reactive space, having too much dose. Accordingly, the pressure increased sharply and this led to an explosion. Everything was disturbed, and the reactor zones were dehydrated.
Everyone who knows about this event should be very grateful to all the liquidators, the military, doctors, firefighters. They were the ones who saved our future over 30 years ago. We have no right to forget about their heroic deeds. At the time of 2020, Chernobyl trips are held. It is planned to bring the city back to life, but it will not be soon.