Essay on The Disaster at Chernobyl

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The Disaster at Chernobyl

On April 26th, 1986, operators at the Chernobyl Power Plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, ran what they thought to be a routine safety test. But fate was not on the side of these operators. Without warning, reactor #4 became unstable, as it had been operating at a low power for a possible shutdown and the reactor’s design caused it to be unsafe at this level of power. Internal temperatures rose. Attempts to cool the system produced the opposite effect. Instantly, the nuclear core surged with power. At 1:23 p.m., the reactor exploded. The first blast ripped off the reactor's steel roof. The second blast released a large plume of radiation into the sky. Flames engulfed the building. For ten long days,
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While some of the radiation lasted only for a few weeks, radioactive cesium-137 contaminated the ground, plants, animals, and people with particles that produce destructive energy waves for 30 or more years. Over time, both kinds of radiation can cause cancer and other diseases.[2] Patricia Doyle, president of the Chernobyl Children’s Project which aids victims of the Chernobyl accident said, “The Chernobyl accident resulted initially in an epidemic of thyroid cancer in the surrounding region. While that has subsided, physicians have been seeing an increase in tumors of all types caused by exposure to the radiation that remains in the soil.”[3] According to a statistic from the Belarus Ministry of Health quoted during a field visit in January 1999, only 15% of the children between the ages of 5 and 15 are in "good health." [4]

The regions commonly identified as experiencing the greatest contamination include the oblasts (regions) of Homyel’, Mahilyow, and Brest in southern and eastern Belarus; Kyiv, Zhytomyr, and Chernihiv in northern Ukraine; and Bryansk in southwestern Russia.[5] Many of the effects on public health are difficult to determine. While many health concerns are the cause of overexposure to radiation from the accident, poor nutrition, the generally low level of health, and stress and anxiety produced by fear of radiation exposure may all also be factors.

Another effect
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