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AELISH BROWN PERIOD 7

Mr. Moore

Chemistry PMT: The Chernobyl Disaster Many different towns in Europe were known as atom towns because of their relativity to and reliability on power plants. The notable city was Pripyat, Ukraine, established in1970. A majority of the residents of the town were employees of nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The town was a comfortable and nice for its inhabitants. The commute to Chernobyl was short and timely. Without the plant, Pripyat would have no job opportunities, and, without the town, Chernobyl would have no employees. The plant and the town fed off of each other for success. On April 26, 1986, a short while after finally getting up and running, disaster struck the fourth reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. At the time, the four reactors were responsible for ten percent of electricity used throughout Ukraine. During a routine test of the fourth reactors emergency diesel generator, an unexpected power surged caused sparks and an explosion. Although, the explosion could have been contained, the use of flammable materials within the reactor ignited its graphite covering, causing the reactor to implode, thus releasing a clod of radiation into the atmosphere. Most people were evacuated out of the disaster zone; yet, several were and are still affected today. They need checkups Radiation leaked into the environment began to take effect in generations of animal species to come. Many had birth deformities, as did new plant growth. While the radiation did have many negative impacts, it has had an astounding surplus of positivity. Radiation has helped provide an accelerated example of evolution and natural selection. Plant life and animals, including bears and wolves, that were not in the effected area prior to the 1986 disaster are there now. Plant and animal

AELISH BROWN PERIOD 7

Mr. Moore

species that could withstand the high levels of radiation have actually been able to survive. Today, Pripyat and Chernobyl are ghostly. Residents have been forbidden to return to their homes, due to the risk of exposure to radiation. In 2003, NBC journalist Robert Windrem interviewed displaced victims of the 1986 disaster. One of the people recalls watching the clean-up crew cart away school desks from the school her son would have attended. In order to contain the fourth reactor, a sarcophagus encasing it was hastily built around. Now, the structure is beginning to crumble, causing speculation of the sarcophagus collapsing. At the moment, a new system for encasing the reactor is in motion. The design of the new structure would allow scientists to observe and begin to deal with the reactor itself, which is still in its original place. Ukraines Verkhovna Rada has approved an approximate calendar in order to finally get the whole situation in Chernobyl underway. Between 2010-2013, there are hopes that the nuclear fuel will be removed from each reactor and moved to permanent storage, then, 2013-2022, scientists will preserve the plant. In the years 2022-2045, experts hope to be able to reduce overall radioactivity contained in the reactors. Finally, by the year 2065, Ukrainian scientists and politicians hope to be able to fully dismantle the facility. Although this may seem like a long time span, experts feel that the schedule of terminating any future risks due to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, patience will be required.

SOURCES:

AELISH BROWN PERIOD 7 http://chernobylproject.blogspot.com/2011/08/brief-story-about-pripyat.html http://www.brighthub.com/engineering/mechanical/articles/2324.aspx http://environment.about.com/od/chernobyl/p/chernobyl.htm

Mr. Moore

http://uppermoreland.patch.com/articles/chernobyl-aftermath-life-always-finds-a-way http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3340711/t/visit-hell-chernobyls-aftermath/#.Tyi9yJj-vzI http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/guides/456900/456957/html/nn5page1.stm