The Chernobyl Explosion

1403 WordsApr 21, 20176 Pages
Many Russian political heads have claimed, “RBMK plants…will never be built again,” largely due to safety concerns of the past and current reactors [10]. As discussed previously the RBMK’s had several reactor features that made it difficult to justify their operation. Most importantly, the reactors generated excess neutrons during operation which upon further study led to the super criticality that caused the Chernobyl explosion. While Russia suggests that the explanation of the plants failure was ultimately only due to the failure to follow safe operations of shutdown procedures, other studies performed post incident suggest that the reactors were inherently technologically unsafe [11]. The most significant issue with the RBMK design was…show more content…
Despite these modifications, the RBMK reactors continue to have problems. One site in particular, the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, has had multiple issues in the last few years. In 2013, the graphite moderator was operating improperly due to deformities and cracks in its graphite moderator core. These types of moderator failures have the potential to lead to larger problems, such as the ones identified after the Chernobyl incident. Therefore, the reactor was shut down for an 18-month period in order to repair the deformed moderator [12]. The 18-month project included research and experimentation with reactor operating and monitoring procedures, and will lead to the discovered solutions implementation on all existing RBMK reactors in the future. Despite this solution, the Leningrad RBMKs shut down again for multiple days in October 2015 due to a minor storm that blew seaweed into the reactor’s water supply intake [13]. The reactor faced no issues except for minor production delays and its automatic SCRAM procedures went off without issue; however, the fact that a minor natural occurrence caused a shutdown of the reactor raised eyebrows to the reactors’ true safety. It should be noted that water intake caused shutdowns have occurred internationally, yet they face specific scrutinization when involved with the RBMK reactors [13]. Extension Opposition Due to fears of safety, there are many who oppose the maintenance of RBMK reactors, especially at the Leningrad
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