So much has been written about the Chernobyl accident. It is not easy to immediately understand its causes and consequences. There is a video interview on the Internet with the General Secretary of the CPSU Mikhail Gorbachev, where he, in particular, admitted that he does not fully understand all the circumstances of the accident. And then what to say about the rest? It is important that there is no general understanding of the course of the accident. Dozens of other versions are under discussion, besides those that certainly have a high probability of implementation.
First, the tragic experiment that led to the accident was postponed several times. There is an assumption. They expected a favorable and stable movement of air masses in the westerly direction. As it turned out later, the radioactive fallout after the accident even reached the east coast of the United States.
Secondly, the Chernobyl NPP received a call from Kyivenergo and asked not to shut down the reactor for several more hours on the day of the reactor shutdown, when its power gradually reduced to half of the working one. As it turned out later, nine hours. There is an assumption. This was necessary to poison the reactor with xenon and samarium. These elements are a product of the radioactive decay of uranium. Moreover, their concentration increases significantly with a sharp decrease in the reactor power.
As a result of poisoning, the reactor goes into an unstable state with a tendency to stop. In addition, there are not enough neutrons to maintain a stable chain reaction. And so it happened. It fell sharply to almost zero after several hours of operation at minimum power.
Thirdly, contrary to the instructions, which required a complete shutdown of the reactor in such a course of events, its power again began to increase to half of the nominal. For this, they removed all safety rods from the reactor, including those that protected the reactor from explosion.
At the same time, the automatic control system of the rods was turned off under the conditions of a dubious experiment. There is an assumption. This was necessary to transfer the reactor to an unstable state that you cannot correct automatically.
A dubious experiment with excess steam and power surge
In fact, they left the reactor without safety rods. However, it did not explode, since water played the role of the neutron absorber, which was intended to cool the reactor and transfer thermal energy to the steam turbine. The fate of the reactor began to depend only on the normative supply of water to it. It had a protection system.
The spare pumps were automatically turned on. They restored the level in the event of a decrease in the water level. However, the corresponding automatic safety system was also disabled, allegedly under the same conditions of a dubious experiment. As a result, the reactor began to be in an extremely critical state with a high probability of runaway.
Fourth, there was a voltage surge in the electrical network, which ensured the operation of the water pumps, just a few seconds before the accident. There is an assumption. You need a push to get the reactor from an unstable state to a runaway state. The failure of the pumps caused a decrease in the volume of the cooled liquid in the reactor.
And water played the role of an absorber of excess neutrons in this situation. Consequently, their number has increased. Accordingly, the intensity of nuclear reactions in the reactor has increased. This resulted in an increase in heat generation from the reactor and the generation of more steam from the water that remained in the reactor.
Steam began to squeeze water out of the reactor. This led to an even greater increase in the number of neutrons and the release of even more heat. The acceleration of the reactor ended in a catastrophic explosion. All the actions of the personnel to manually control the operation of the reactor with the automation turned off at the time of this almost lightning-fast process did not play any role.
A power surge could result in the connection or disconnection of a powerful consumer of energy to the power plant. For example, if someone turned on an electric welding machine in a neighboring house, and your refrigerator or TV set was out of order from a voltage drop. Was there such a consumer near the Chernobyl station? Yes, it was. This is an over-the-horizon radar station “Duga-1”.
The object had truly cosmic dimensions and was used to detect intercontinental missile launches from the United States. It consumed a colossal amount of electricity. Its construction next to a nuclear power plant was absolutely justified. The stated version of events seems to some experts quite probable, although not the only possible one.
Who was officially responsible for the accident?
The first investigation ended with the conclusion that the personnel were irresponsible and the trial of several officials led by the plant director. Later, an additional investigation was carried out. In this case, the designers of the reactor became responsible for the accident. In particular, to the scientific leader of the project for the creation of this type of reactor, the President of the USSR Academy of Sciences Anatoly Alexandrov.
He was a legendary man, originally from Ukraine, a member of the white movement and a cadet in Wrangel’s army. Captivity by the Reds in Crimea, death sentence, escape from captivity, hid for several years were after it. Education, rapid ascent of a scientific career, unique scientific achievements, appreciated by the state, started after his legalization. It is important that he considered the explosion of the reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant a sabotage. He tried to draw attention to the dubious experiment, the idea of which outwardly looked quite innocent. However, the reactor exploded as a result of its implementation.
“When I read the reactor test schedule, I was numb with horror. It was a monstrous experiment. Nevertheless, the refusal of mankind from the development of nuclear energy would be disastrous for him. Such a decision is no less terrible than the experiment at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which directly led to the accident”. This is how the Academician Aleksandrov spoke about the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the future of nuclear energy in Ukraine.
The memoirs of the president of the All-Ukrainian organization “Union of Chernobyl”, the former shift supervisor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Yuri Andreev, are valuable. He testified that the cause of the accident lies in the test program.
He said: “… I saw that if you complete the test program in detail, from the first to the last point, then you cannot avoid an accident.” I am sure that it is behind the curtains of this ill-fated experiment that the real culprits of the Chernobyl accident should be found. “
However, humanity did not hear these words. No one has drawn the appropriate conclusions regarding the modernization of nuclear power plants and ensuring their maximum reliability. Nuclear power has been completely discredited in the world.
By inertia, the fate of nuclear energy in the energy balance of mankind has grown due to the completion of power plants for several more years. The construction of power plants began before the Chernobyl accident. The nuclear industry remained at the achieved level for some time. Over time, it began to decline.
Humanity has gradually cut off access to cheap nuclear energy. The rapid development of wind and solar energy began. On the one hand, this is a safe, ecologically flawless, very promising, but extremely costly model of power generation.
Its prime cost is an order of magnitude higher than the prime cost of nuclear energy. So, only countries with the most stable economies and a high level of development can afford its production and operation. There is no doubt that “green energy” is the energy of the future. However, this future is not available to everyone so far.
The Chernobyl tragedy weighs heavily on our Ukrainian economy
There are 15 operating reactors today in Ukraine. Although there could be 19, there are 4 nuclear power plants. One of them is the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. It has 6 VVER power units with a total installed capacity of 6000 MW. It is the largest in Europe. By the number of power reactors, all types of VVER, Ukraine ranks 10th in the world and 5th in Europe.
High prices for oil and gas have become weights on the legs of the Ukrainian economy. Unfortunately, Chernobyl launched a mechanism for the biological extinction of the Ukrainian nation. More than 2 million people have the status of victims of the Chernobyl disaster. The first wave of liquidators, young men who suffered a severe blow to their health, is gradually dying out.
The sharply increased number of abortions immediately after the Chernobyl accident led to a huge demographic crisis. The biological extinction of Ukrainians has become rampant due to ill-conceived, and, rather, malicious propaganda of abortion among the population in order to avoid the birth of children with physical disabilities. This fact has become the main negative result of the accident.
The greatest tragedy lies in the fact that if wars exterminated, first of all, adults, Holodomor – adults and children in about the same way, then the post-Chernobyl extinction killed mainly the unborn, the future of the nation. The total losses of the population of Ukraine after the Chernobyl accident are equal to about ten million people. The countdown of these losses began with the explosion of the fourth reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986, and continues at the present time.