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Chernobyl disaster The worst manmade disaster in human history. Czech Technical University In Prague 23 May 200 7. Where is Chernobyl?. Built in 1978-1979 Chornobyl. Chernobyl. Background. Reaktor Bolshoy Moshehnosty Kipyashiy

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chernobyl disaster the worst manmade disaster in human history

Chernobyl disasterThe worst manmade disaster in human history

Czech Technical University In Prague

23May 2007

where is chernobyl
Where is Chernobyl?

Czech Technical University in Prague

chernobyl
Built in 1978-1979

Chornobyl

Chernobyl

Czech Technical University in Prague

background
Background
  • Reaktor Bolshoy Moshehnosty Kipyashiy
  • RBMK, a Russian acronym translated roughly means “reactor (of) high power (of the) channel (type)”
  • reactor cooled by water and moderated by graphite

Czech Technical University in Prague

rbmk reactor
RBMK Reactor

Czech Technical University in Prague

fuel assemblies
Fuel assemblies

Czech Technical University in Prague

reactor plant scenario
Reactor Plant Scenario
  • As the reaction occurs, the uranium fuel becomes hot
  • The water pumped through the core in pressure tubes removes the heat from the fuel
  • The water is then boiled into steam
  • The steam turns the turbines
  • The water is then cooled
  • Then the process repeats

Czech Technical University in Prague

day of disaster
Day of disaster

25 April 1986

  • 01:00 The preparation for the test
  • 13:47 Lowering of the reactor power halted at 1,600 MWt
  • 14:00 The ECCS was isolated
  • 23:10 The power reduction resumed

Czech Technical University in Prague

26 april 1986
26 April1986
  • 24:00 Operation shift change
  • 24:28 Power level is now 500 MWt and kept decreasing to 30 MWt
  • 24:40 The operator withdrew some control rods
  • 01:00 Power had risen to 200MWt
  • 01:03 Connecting the fourth main cooling pump to the left loop of the system 200MWt
  • 01:07 Connecting the fourth main cooling pump to the right of the loop system - this was a violation of NOP

Czech Technical University in Prague

26 april 1986 cont
26 April 1986 (cont.)
  • 01:19 Increased feed water flow to the steam drums and removed more control rods -violation of NOP
  • 01:23 The test was started
  • 01:23:10 Automatic rods withdrawn from the core
  • 01:23:21 Two groups of automated control rods were back to the core

Czech Technical University in Prague

26 april 1986 cont1
26 April 1986 (cont.)
  • 01:23:30 Power kept increasing
  • 01:23:40 Emergency button pushed
  • 01:23:44 Power is at 300000 MWth
  • 01:23:48 1st thermal explosion
  • 01:23:55 2nd explosion

Czech Technical University in Prague

human errors
Isolation of the emergency core cooling system

Unsafe amount of control rods withdrawn

Connection of the four main cooling pumps to the right and left of the system

Human Errors

Czech Technical University in Prague

human errors cont
Human Errors (cont.)
  • Mental model
    • The operator did not have a good mental model of the system itself
  • Overconfidence
    • By having an electrical engineer on site for an electrical test
    • No confirmation of cues obtained from the system
  • Beta too high
    • Many missed signals before the accident

Czech Technical University in Prague

accident prevention
Accident Prevention

Czech Technical University in Prague

system analysis
System Analysis
  • Use of graphite as a moderator
  • Lack of a well-built containment structure
  • Inadequate instrumentation and alarms for an emergency situation
  • There were no physical controls that prevented the operators from operating the reactor in its unstable state

Czech Technical University in Prague

summary of facts
April 26, 1986:

Chernobyl nuclear power plant

Operator errors cause a reactor explosion

Explosion releases 190 tons of radioactive gasses into the atmosphere

Fire starts that lasts 10 days

People:

7 million lived in contaminated areas; 3 million were children

Wind:

Carries radiation far distances

Summary of Facts

Czech Technical University in Prague

far reaching radiation
Far Reaching Radiation

Czech Technical University in Prague

radioactive fallout
Radioactive fallout

Czech Technical University in Prague

direct casualties
5.5 million people still live in contaminated areas

31 people died in 3 months of radiation poisoning

134 emergency workers suffered from acute radiation sickness

25,000 rescue workers died since then of diseases caused by radiation

Cancer afflicts many others

Increased birth defects, miscarriages, and stillbirths

Direct Casualties

Czech Technical University in Prague

indirect casualties
By the year 2000 there were 1800 case of thyroid cancer in children and adolescent

High number of suicide and violent death among Firemen, policemen, and other recovery workers

Indirect Casualties

Czech Technical University in Prague

environment impact
Areas still impacted today:

Soil

Ground Water

Air

Food

Crops

Livestock

Environment Impact

Czech Technical University in Prague

problems today
The Sarcophagus

After the disaster, a huge cement box was built around the radioactive material

It is falling apart!

According to a 2003 report by the Russian Atomic Energy Minister, Alexander Rumyantsev, "the concrete shell surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear reactor is in real danger of collapsing at any time."

A new Sarcophagus is scheduled to be completed in 2009

Problems Today

Czech Technical University in Prague

recommendations
Recommendations
  • Have proper Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for both normal and emergency situations
  • Have scheduled trainings and practices for normal and emergency situations

Czech Technical University in Prague

recommendations cont
Recommendations (cont.)
  • Always have a reactor expert on site
  • Have operators confirm any cues from the system before making hypothesis or take action
  • Have a team work kind of environment such that every body is involved

Czech Technical University in Prague

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