The Disaster Preparedness Cycle Of Chernobyl

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Chernobyl, in northern Ukraine and bordering Belarus, was one of the worst industrial disasters in the world’s history (Smith and Beresford, 2005). Even though the immediate effects were catastrophic, the long-term effects have reached far, and continue to affect the area even today. The history of the disaster, preparedness, and will be discussed, as well as the disaster preparedness cycle. The disaster at Unit 4 at Chernobyl occurred at 0124 on April 26, 1986 (Smith and Beresford, 2005). At this time, there were four functional units for generating electricity, with two more being built (Smith and Beresford, 2005). On April 25, these RBMK-1000 reactors were having supply failure testing performed at the time of the disaster…show more content…
This happened due to a flaw in the RBMK design (Smith and Beresford, 2005). In most reactors, a pending disaster would lead to the machine reducing its power, and avoiding this type of disaster (Smith and Beresford, 2005). However, in this design of reactor, when water or steam is lost, power levels rise, steam is created, and toxins can be released (Smith and Beresford, 2005). Thus, the radiation from this explosion was spread in the air. After the explosion, first responders rushed in with no comprehension of what they were exposing themselves to (Smith and Beresford, 2005). During the immediate aftermath, the levels of radiation were not able to be measured, as no equipment could measure that high (Smith and Beresford, 2005). Days after Chernobyl Unit 4 had its explosion, the core was still burning (Smith and Beresford, 2005). Emergency employees attempted to cool the core with sand, clay, and other materials, but it did not stop until ten days later (Smith and Beresford, 2005). 134 of these workers had acute radiation illness, and 28 of these died months later, with 20 cases having severe radiation illness (Smith and Beresford, 2005). Symptoms included burns, sterility, and nausea; these were deterministic effects (Smith and Beresford, 2005). This was a result of both gamma and beta

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