Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChnPP)

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChnPP)

The first Ukrainian nuclear power plant is located in the north of Ukraine in the Kiev region near the border with Belarus on the banks of the Pripyat River. Construction of the first stage of the station (first and second power units) was started in 1970, the operation began in 1977. The second stage (the third and fourth power units) was built in 1983. The construction of the third stage (the fifth and sixth power units) was not completed.

Until April 1986, four power units with RBMK-1000 reactors with a total generating capacity of 4000 MW were operated; the station at that time was the most powerful in the USSR.

On April 26, 1986, at 1:23:59, during the device tests at the fourth power unit, an explosion took place, completely destroying the reactor. The building of the power unit partially collapsed, a fire broke out on the roof of the reactor compartment and the engine room, eliminated by 5 o’clock in the morning. As a result of the accident, about 380 million curies of radioactive substances were released into the environment. During the explosion one person died, one more died in the morning from injuries, 28 firemen and station personnel died during the next months from acute radiation sickness.

imageTo eliminate the consequences of the accident in 1986 and in subsequent years, 600 thousand people were involved. The main task of the liquidators was to reduce emissions from the reactor, decontaminate contaminated areas and build a concrete protective structure around the 4th block (the Shelter). Its construction was completed on November 30, 1986. On October 1, 1986, the 1st power unit was put back into operation, on November 5, the 2nd, and on December 4, the 3rd. The construction of the 5th and 6th blocks was stopped.

On May 23, 1986, in the cable tunnels of the MCP and downpipe mines, due to a short circuit, a fire lasted about 7 hours. In extinguishing the fire, 286 firefighters who received significant doses of radiation took part.

On October 11, 1991, with a decrease in the speed of the turbo generator No. 4 of the second power unit for the subsequent shutdown, a fire broke out in the engine room. The fire was eliminated after 6 hours. The reactor remained in a controlled state; there was no significant release of radioactive substances into the atmosphere.

On April 25, 2001, the station was reorganized into the State Special Enterprise “Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant”, the SHG has been under the management of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Ukraine since 2005.

The 2nd power unit was stopped after the 1991 accident, the 1st – November 30, 1996. Finally, the station stopped generating electricity on December 15, 2000, when the third power unit was permanently shut down. From that day the enterprise is working on removing power units from the operation, utilization of radioactive waste and construction of a new safe confinement designed to replace the Shelter object over the 4th power unit.

Антон Юхименко
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