In the early hours of 26 April 1986, one of four nuclear reactors at the Chernobyl power stations exploded. It resulted in the worlds worst nuclear meltdown.
Engineers at the plant were doing a mandatory check to see that reactor 4 could operate under low power if the electricity supply was to fail. Reactors contain 'control rods' which absorb reacting neutrons thus slowing the reaction. However, too many rods were lowered into the reactor which almost caused it to shut down, engineers had to make a quick decision to take some out. These fluctuations caused the sudden overheating of the reactor as the energy level unsuspectedly rose. Rapid cooling was required as at the current temperature the water cooling tower had began to turn to steam; all but six rods were removed eventhough the minimum safe operating number was thirty. With power roughly 100 times more than usual, fuel chanels began to rupture causing two explosions. The first blast blew off the reactors roof causing the contents to erupt upwards, once exposed to the air the reactor caught fire due to the carbon monoxide. The fire burned for nine days and firemen which tried to stop it died within weeks due radiation poisoning. Sand and water were used to put out the fire but this actually aggravated it more which later caused another issue as the radioactive material seeped under the reactor.
Large amounts of radioactive debris escpaed into the atmosphere affecting countries across Europe and Asia. All of the inhabitants of Pripyat were forced to emmediatelly evacuate the area.
EFFECTS OF RADIATION:
Radiation attacks all living cells and causes loss white blood cells, nervous and digestive systems. Cancers are very common.The initial explosion would have caused radiation sickness, such as nausea and vomiting. Later sufferers may begin to lose hair and be very susceptible to infection as their immune system is weakened.
Children currently are still being born with immune system defieciencies and heart rhythm problems. Birth defects are still a problem with many children being born severely handicapped under conditions like muscle dysfunction, brain damage and epilepsy. For more please use link below:
The UN-lead Chernobyl Forum states that currently the biggest problems are the "economical and psychological factors, not health or environmental". Our charity helps kids affected by the incident by helping with both the psychological and health factors.