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Encyclopedia > Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station, viewed from the roof of a building in Pripyat, Ukraine.
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station, viewed from the roof of a building in Pripyat, Ukraine.

The V.I. Lenin Memorial Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station (Russian: Чернобыльская АЭС им. В.И.Ленина, Ukrainian: Державне спецiалiзоване пiдприємство "Чорнобильська АЕС") (51°23′21″N, 30°05′58″E) is in the city of Prypiat, Ukraine, 18 km northwest of the city of Chernobyl, 16 km from the border of Ukraine and Belarus, and about 110 km north of Kiev. It was the site of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, but due to high power demand, continued to operate until December 2000. Workers still monitor the remaining three reactors at the Chernobyl plant because these reactors still contain nuclear fuel which needs to be monitored around the clock. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (817x413, 248 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (817x413, 248 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner... Pripyat Abandoned village near Pripyat View of Chernobyl from Pripyat The Ukrainian city of Prypyat (При́пять) (in Russian, Pripyat (При́пять), located (51°22′60″ N 30°6′0″ E) in the north of Ukraine near the Belarus border, is an abandoned city. ... Prypiat Abandoned village near Prypiat View of the Chernobyl power plant from Prypiat Prypiat is an abandoned city in northern Ukraine, near the border of Belarus. ... A kilometer (Commonwealth spelling: kilometre), symbol: km is a unit of length in the metric system equal to 1,000 metres (from the Greek words χίλια (khilia) = thousand and μέτρο (metro) = count/measure). ... Chernobyl area. ... Location Map of Ukraine with Kiev highlighted. ... Chernobyl reactor 4 after the disaster, showing the extensive damage to the main reactor hall (image center) and turbine building (image lower left) The early stages of construction of the sarcophagus. ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2000 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December This is a timeline for events in December, 2000. ...

Contents

Construction

The station consisted of four reactors of type RBMK-1000, each capable of producing 1000 megawatt of electric power (3.2 GW of thermal power), and the four together produced about 10% of Ukraine's electricity at the time of the accident. Core of a small nuclear reactor used for research. ... RBMK is an acronym for the Russian reaktor bolshoy moshchnosti kanalniy (Russian: Реактор Большой Мощности Канальный) which means reactor (of) high power (of the) channel (type), and describes a now obsolete class of graphite-moderated nuclear power reactor which was built only in the Soviet Union. ... The megawatt (symbol: MW) is a unit for measuring power corresponding to one million (106) watts. ... For delivered electrical power, see Electrical power industry. ... Lightning strikes during a night-time thunderstorm. ...


Construction of the plant and the city of Pripyat to house workers and their families began in 1970, with reactor no. 1 commissioned in 1977. It was the third nuclear power station in the USSR of RBMK type (after Leningrad and Kursk), and the first ever nuclear power plant on Ukrainian soil. The construction of the first reactor followed by reactor no. 2 (1978), no. 3 (1981), and no. 4 (1983). Two more reactors, nos. 5 and 6, capable of producing 1000 MW each, were under construction at the time of the accident. Reactor no. 5 was almost complete at the time of the accident and was scheduled to start operating in the fall of 1986. However, it has since been abandoned but construction cranes still stand next to it to this day. The name Pripyat, also spelled Prypyat, Prypyat, Prypyat, Prypiat, Pripiat, Prypyat, Prypyat, Prypyat, Pripet, etc. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... RBMK is an acronym for the Russian reaktor bolshoy moshchnosti kanalniy (Russian: Реактор Большой Мощности Канальный) which means reactor (of) high power (of the) channel (type), and describes a now obsolete class of graphite-moderated nuclear power reactor which was built only in the Soviet Union. ... Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (Russian: ) is a nuclear power plant located in the town of Sosnovy Bor in Russias Leningrad oblast. ... Chernobyl reactor 4 after the disaster, showing the extensive damage to the main reactor hall (image center) and turbine building (image lower left) The early stages of construction of the sarcophagus. ... A tower crane with a pivoted main boom Cranes on the Sheksna River, Cherepovets, Russia A worker telecommanding a crane from the ground A crane is a machine equipped with hoists, wire ropes and sheaves that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally. ...


Accidents

1982

In 1982, a partial core meltdown occurred in the reactor no. 1 at the Chernobyl plant. Due to the secret policy of the Soviet Union, the extent of the accident was not made public until years later. The reactor was repaired and put back into operation within months. A nuclear meltdown occurs when the core of a nuclear reactor melts. ...


1986

Sarcophagus covering reactor no. 4.
Sarcophagus covering reactor no. 4.
Main article: Chernobyl disaster

On 26 April 1986, a disaster occurred at reactor no. 4, which has been widely regarded as the worst accident in the history of nuclear power. As a result, reactor no. 4 was completely destroyed and has since been enclosed in the sarcophagus to prevent further escape of radiation. Population of nearby areas was evacuated. Large areas within Europe became contaminated with radiation and different kinds of cancer have been on the rise in the Ukraine and neighboring Belarus, which received the greatest amount of fallout. The construction of new reactor no. 4 sarcophagus is underway. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (800x601, 105 KB) The nuclear power plant of Chernobyl (Ukraine). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (800x601, 105 KB) The nuclear power plant of Chernobyl (Ukraine). ... Chernobyl reactor 4 after the disaster, showing the extensive damage to the main reactor hall (image center) and turbine building (image lower left) The early stages of construction of the sarcophagus. ... April 26 is the 116th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (117th in leap years). ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Pathways from airborne radioactive contamination to man // This article covers notable accidents involving nuclear devices and radioactive materials. ... A nuclear power station. ... Stone sarcophagus of Pharaoh Merenptah Detail of a stone sarcophagus in the Istanbul Archeological Museum showing a hunting scene Anthropoid sarcophagus discovered at Cádiz A sarcophagus is a stone container for a coffin or body. ... The Zone of Alienation, which is often referred to as The Chernobyl Zone, The 30 Kilometre Zone, The Zone of Exclusion or The Fourth Zone (Ukrainian official designation: Зона відчуження Чорнобильської АЕС, zona vidchuzhennya Chornobylskoyi AES, colloquially: Чорнобильська зона, Chornobylska zona оr Четверта зона, Chetverta zona) is the 30-km exclusion zone around the... Radiation in physics is the process of emitting energy in the form of waves or particles. ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these cells to invade other tissues, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis. ... Map of hypothetical fallout dispersal after a large-scale nuclear attack against the United States. ... The Concept Rendering of the NSC The New Safe Confinement (NSC or New Shelter) is the containment structure developed as part of the Shelter Implementation Plan funded by the Chernobyl Shelter Fund, intended to contain the radioactive remains of Chernobyl Unit 4 for the next 100 years. ...


1991

In 1991, during a scheduled shutdown, a fire broke out in one of the turbines belonging to reactor no. 2 which had caused severe damage to the reactor building. It was then decided that reactor no. 2 would not be returned to operation because of the severity of the damage. WWII era ship propulsion turbine A turbine is a rotary engine that extracts energy from a fluid flow. ...


Aftermath

Following the 1986 accident, the remaining three reactors at the plant were shut down, because the plant was highly contaminated with radiation and it was unsafe for employees to keep working in such conditions. However, after a massive cleanup inside the plant and due to the huge demand for electricity, reactor units 1 and 2 were restarted by the fall of 1986. After a more thorough cleanup process, reactor unit 3, which was contained in the same building as destroyed unit 4, was restarted in the fall of 1987. The town Slavutych was built to house power plant workers because Pripyat was uninhabitable due to radioactive contamination. Radiation in physics is the process of emitting energy in the form of waves or particles. ... Lightning strikes during a night-time thunderstorm. ... Slavutych (Ukrainian: ) is a city in northern Ukraine, named after the Old Slavic name of the near-by Dnieper River. ... Prypiat Abandoned village near Prypiat View of the Chernobyl power plant from Prypiat Prypiat is an abandoned city in northern Ukraine, near the border of Belarus. ... Map of hypothetical fallout dispersal after a large-scale nuclear attack against the United States. ...


Decommissioning

Since 1991, western nations have been pushing Ukraine to shut down the Chernobyl plant. After the fire at reactor no. 2, it was decided that the Chernobyl plant would be taken out of service in two stages, with one of the two remaining reactors being shut down by the year 1996 and another by the year 2000. It was decided that reactor no. 1 would be shut down first for two reasons; one being that it is the oldest of the two and because too much health and money was invested into making reactor no. 3 operational just 4 years earlier that it would not make much sense to take it out of service that soon.


Unit 3 was the last reactor to be operated at the Chernobyl plant. It was functioning normally but was shut down in December of 2000. The closure of unit 3 resulted primarily from Western political pressure. Under an agreement with western nations, Ukraine agreed to close the Chernobyl plant by the year 2000. Western pressure was largely motivated by memories of the accident that occurred in 1986. Chernobyl reactor 4 after the disaster, showing the extensive damage to the main reactor hall (image center) and turbine building (image lower left) The early stages of construction of the sarcophagus. ...


People continue to work at the Chernobyl plant until the reactor units 1, 2, and 3 are totally decommissioned, which is expected to take years. The remains of the reactor unit 4 will remain radioactive for some time. The isotope responsible for the majority of the external gamma radiation dose at the site is 137Cs which has a half life of about 30 years. It is likely that even with no further decontamination work, that in 300 years that the gamma dose rate at the site will be close to the background level. However some of the alpha emitters are longer lived, the soil and many surfaces in and around the plant are likely to be contaminated with transuranium metals such as plutonium and americium, which have much longer half lives. It is planned that the reactor buildings will be disassembled as soon as it will be radiologically safe to do so. This article is about electromagnetic radiation. ... Caesium-137 is a radioactive isotope which is formed mianly by nuclear fission (half life is about 27 years). ... Background radiation is the ionizing radiation emitted from a variety of natural and artificial radiation sources: sources in the Earth and from those sources that are incorporated in our food and water, which are incorporated in our body, and in building materials and other products that incorporate those radioactive sources... An alpha particle is deflected by a magnetic field Alpha particles (named after the first letter in the Greek alphabet, α) are a highly ionizing form of particle radiation which have low penetration. ... General Name, Symbol, Number plutonium, Pu, 94 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery white Atomic mass (244) g·mol−1 Electron configuration [Rn] 5f6 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 24, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase solid Density (near r. ... General Name, Symbol, Number americium, Am, 95 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery white Atomic mass (243) g/mol Electron configuration [Rn] 5f7 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 25, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase solid Density (near r. ...


External links

  • Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant - official website (English)
  • Construction of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant - video (Russian)
  • Shut down of reactor no. 3 in December of 2000 - video (Russian)

 
 

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