Everyone has already heard about the terrible Chernobyl accident. This nuclear disaster, which took place in the Lenin power plant located at the time in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in the USSR, had disastrous consequences both on the environmental and human level. Although this event has been extremely well documented, there is still much to know about Chernobyl. The proof: here are 8 things that most people don’t know about Chernobyl.
1The reactor’s emergency safety systems had been shut down
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant consists of four 1,000 megawatt reactors, plus two additional reactors under construction. On the night of April 25-26, 1986, Soviet technicians began a turbine test on Unit 4 just before a routine maintenance shutdown. To conduct the test, they deactivated the emergency core cooling system and other essential safety equipment, which was reckless. This resulted in a series of operating errors that resulted in an accumulation of steam that caused the reactor to overheat. At 1:23 a.m., two or three rapid-fire explosions blew its steel and concrete cover and threw a fireball high into the sky. This initial release of radioactive material was then aggravated by several fires that broke out, including one inside the reactor core that raged for 10 days. In total, the Chernobyl accident released at least 100 times more radiation than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.