1. Introduction

This memo is a failure analysis study on the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant located near the metropolis of Pripyat, Ukraine. On April 26, 1986, a reactor at the power works exploded, let go ofing a powerful watercourse of radioactive vapor. Immediately, the detonation killed 54 people. Subsequently on, effects due to radiation claimed the lives of at least an extra 2500 people ( International Atomic Energy Agency, 2006 ) . This study will explicate the events taking up to the failure, the failure itself, the grounds for the failure, and the lessons to be learned from this failure.

2. Description of reactor and failure

I ) In this subdivision, I will explicate the mechanism of the reactor. I will besides placethe reactor ‘s constituents in bold.

The Chernobyl Power Plant was fuelled utilizing U mined from the Earth ; the U was kept in fuel packages. The chief aim of the power works was to change over heat produced by the slightly-enriched U into electricity ( World Nuclear Association, 2009 ) . In order to make this, control rods foremost slowed down the rates of reactions by absorbing isolated neutrons from the fission reactions ( World Nuclear Association, 2009 ) . After the fission reactions began bring forthing heat, this heat was so transferred to hive away H2O which finally converted to steam at a temperature of 580AA°C ( The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, 2008 ) . The force per unit area of the steam moved a turbine which so powered a generator. The concluding procedure was the condensation of the steam back into liquid utilizing a chilling lake, therefore reiterating the rhythm ( World Nuclear Association, 2009 ) . This type of atomic reactor is known as a high-octane channel reactor or a RBMK reactor, as referred to it by the Soviets ( World Nuclear Association, 2009 ) . The Chernobyl Power Plant had four such reactors each with a power evaluation of 1000 megawatts ( World Nuclear Association, 2009 ) . The diagram at the terminal of this study illustrates this reactor along with all the bolded constituents.

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two ) In this subdivision, I will explicate the procedure taking up to the failure and the failure itself.

Hourss before the detonation, applied scientists within the works were be aftering trials to see how the reactor would run on low power ( International Atomic Energy Agency, 2006 ) . The applied scientists added control rods to decelerate the reaction. They so disabled the chilling system, which was a major safety misdemeanor. The reactor was so incrementally slowed to make the lowest operating power ( The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, 2008 ) . Soon after, the applied scientists noticed that the reactor was traveling towards shutdown, so they rapidly lifted the control rods to increase the rate of reaction. Suddenly, the power degrees of the reactors increased, uncontrollably, and caused fuel elements to tear along with an addition in steam coevals ( World Nuclear Association, 2009 ) . This led to the withdrawal of the reactor support home base which caused the control rods to throng. The channel pipes so explosion, and the detonation occurred, let go ofing 50 dozenss of radioactive atoms into the ambiance ( World Nuclear Association, 2009 ) .

3. Reasons for the failure

Chernobyl was most decidedly a preventable catastrophe ( Frot, 2004 ) . Even though the RBMK design was possibly non the safest reactor design, it still would non hold exploded had the people involved taken the appropriate safeguards necessary ( Medvedev, 1990, p. 73 ) . The proficient failure of Chernobyl was due to utmost force per unit area additions along with design malfunctions. However, that was non the lone cause. The applied scientists in charge of Chernobyl were besides suppressed by the Soviet bureaucratism who did non let for clip to be “ wasted ” on such things as safety, concentrating much more clip on promotion and film editing costs ( Frot, 2004 ) . Hence, the applied scientists and workers at the power works were non strictly trained in safety nor did they see safety as paramount ( Medvedev, 1990, p. 70 ) .

4. Lessons to be learned

The Chernobyl Disaster left a annihilating impact on the people and the surrounding environment. Improper technique, untrained forces, and deficiency of inadvertence all contributed to this catastrophe. As applied scientists or draw a bead oning applied scientists, it is our responsibility to understand the possible impacts of our design determinations. Not the least of which is the attending to safety. If a civilization of safety is non cultivated so catastrophes such as Chernobyl will go possible worlds. On the other manus, if a civilization of safety is cultivated so catastrophes such as Chernobyl will go easy preventable.


Frot, Jacques. The Causes of the Chernobyl Event. ( 2004 ) . Retrieved 16 February, 2010, from

hypertext transfer protocol: // q=cache: ddH2v8pgJukJ: www.ecolo.org/documents/documents_in_english/Causes.ChernobyJF.doc+causes+of+chernobyl & A ; cd=2 & A ; hl=en & A ; ct=clnk & A ; gl=ca & A ; client=firefox-a.

International Atomic Energy Agency. Frequently Asked Questions about Chernobyl. ( 2006 ) .

Retrieved 16 February, 2010, from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Features/Chernobyl-15/cherno-faq.shtml.

Medvedev, Zhores. ( 1992 ) . The Legacy of Chernobyl. New York: W. W. Norton & A ; Company.

The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster. ( 2008 ) . Retrieved 16 February, 2010, from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.bentan.me/chernobyl/ ? page.

World Nuclear Association. Chernobyl Accident. ( 2009 ) . Retrieved 16 February, 2010, from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.world-nuclear.org/info/chernobyl/inf07.html.

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