Section V birth of ghost town – Introduction to

of Chernobyl Big Bang

Chernobyl is a small town in Ukraine. It is ordinary and lovely. It is submerged in dense grass and surrounded by apple and cherry trees. It is a pleasant sight everywhere. In summer, many Kiev people and Muscovites like to come here for vacation and rest. They rent wooden bungalows here, pick mushrooms in the forest, bask in the sun on the bright and shining beach on the coast of Kiev, and fish in the surrounding rivers.

“Chernobyl nuclear power station

not far north of Chernobyl, the four generator sets of a nuclear power station are hidden in thick concrete. At this time, they seem to coexist in harmony with the natural and beautiful scenery here. However, a loud noise on April 26, 1986 completely destroyed all this.

disaster history

explosion attack

Chernobyl nuclear power plant is the first nuclear power plant built by the former Soviet Union in Ukraine. It is located in the north of Ukraine and only 140 kilometers away from the capital Kiev. Since the nuclear power plant was put into use, Chernobyl has become the most important power industry base in Ukraine. The power generation accounted for about 50% of the power generation of the Republic of Ukraine at that time, with an annual output of 4 billion kilowatts. Chernobyl is the pride of the people of the former Soviet Union and is considered to be the safest and most reliable nuclear power plant in the world.

there are four units in the nuclear power plant. In April 1986, unit 4 was shut down for inspection as planned. The personnel of the power plant violated the operating procedures for many times, resulting in a sudden increase in reactor energy. In the early morning of April 26, the reactor melted and burned, the heat carrier in the reactor process pipe boiled, and the water was immediately decomposed into hydrogen and oxygen under strong radiation. With the concentration getting higher and higher, the explosion occurred.

with a sudden earth shaking noise, flames were everywhere. A huge fire dragon opened the shell of the nuclear reactor and rushed into the sky, with a pillar of fire as high as more than 30 meters. After a few seconds, a second explosion occurred, which was more violent than the previous one. The blazing flame up to 2000 ℃ quickly burned down the plant and the thick steel frame was melted. The rising thick smoke with a large amount of radioactive debris and gas diffused in the sky, making the radiation dose in the surrounding environment instantly exceed 20000 times the allowable index.

at this time, the people living in the villages around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant were still sleeping. None of them expected the disaster. Everything was so sudden. A huge sound came, and people started from their sleep. They saw that the fire was burning in the sky not far away. Fire engines rushed to the scene one by one. People were surprised to discuss what had happened, but no one felt the increasing radioactive material around them. The radiation dust leaked from the nuclear power plant has gradually spread to residential areas, and its dose exceeded hundreds of times the safe value in an instant.

after the explosion, the abandoned apartment

rushed to the scene. The firefighters were stunned by everything in front of them. There were fires and explosions everywhere. Sometimes the roof of the factory house was blown away, and sometimes the walls there collapsed. The graphite leaked from the unit became the fuel of the fire, The flame jumped several meters high, and the temperature at the scene reached more than 2000 ℃.

at that time, firefighters did not know in detail the harm of radiation energy to human body. In the face of the huge fire in front of them, they did not hesitate or shrink back, and resolutely insisted on fire fighting. In the whole process, some firefighters were burned by the fire. What’s more, they were seriously injured by radioactive substances. Some firefighters began to stumble and vomit. The skin on their hands and arms began to blister, and a lot of unknown mucus flowed out of their nose and ears.

by dawn, the fire on the site of reactor 4 had been basically extinguished, but black smoke was still everywhere. The inside of the reactor is still burning, and smoke is still spraying out intermittently, which seems likely to explode again at any time. By the 27th, the former Soviet air force dispatched a large number of helicopters to throw more than 5000 tons of boron, dolomite and other sandbags into the nuclear reactor to seal the reactor and isolate the air. It was not until May 11 that the leakage of radioactive materials was finally controlled.

endless nightmare

after the accident, although the source of nuclear pollution of abandoned schools

has been blocked, the pollution caused by nuclear radiation cannot be completely removed. Because the authorities blocked the news, on the day of the explosion, the residents still didn’t know what happened. They lived as usual, and the atmosphere seemed calm. It was not until 11 p.m. that the first batch of wounded were transferred to the safe area. The next day, the government began to organize the evacuation of local residents; On April 28, a 10km evacuation zone was established; On May 2, a 30 kilometer restricted area was determined; It was not until May 6 that all 130000 surrounding residents were evacuated. However, three days before the residents were evacuated, radioactive dust had fallen on them.

children suffering from leukemia affected by nuclear radiation

the accident caused a total of 30 deaths at that time, including 28 deaths from excessive radiation exposure and 2 deaths from explosion. However, the impact of this nuclear leak is far from so. Nuclear dust is very small. They are almost everywhere. Reservoirs, fields and air are polluted by these dust everywhere. It is an impossible task to completely eliminate these dust. Although chemists tried all kinds of methods, they all ended in failure.

in the next few years, more than 1500 square kilometers of fertile land in Ukraine was deserted due to nuclear radiation pollutionAbandoned, more than half of the land is polluted by radioactive substances to varying degrees. Pine trees and spruces within 7 kilometers of the nuclear power plant withered, and nearly 1000 hectares of forest gradually died. At the same time, more than 2.5 million people, including 473000 children, suffered from various diseases as a result of the accident. It is reported that among the 300000 staff who participated in extinguishing the fire and eliminating the consequences of the accident, more than 30000 were disabled, and about 7000 died or committed suicide because they could not bear physical pain. In addition, experts estimate that it will take at least 800 years to completely eliminate the impact of the catastrophe on the natural environment, and the continuous threat of nuclear radiation will last 100000 years.

endless nuclear threat

Chernobyl nuclear accident brought heavy disasters and endless nightmares to the former Soviet Union and surrounding countries, but all this did not make the former Soviet Union give up its nuclear power plant plan. More than one year after the nuclear leakage accident, No. 5 and No. 6 nuclear reactors have appeared in Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and all previous reactors have resumed operation one after another. Although rescue workers built a concrete cover outside the reactor after the accident, it is said that an earthquake with a magnitude of 5 on the Richter scale is strong enough to destroy it.

Ukrainians mourn the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.

the harm caused by the Chernobyl accident has caused endless fear, but it is hardly worth mentioning compared with the environmental pollution caused by a large number of nuclear weapons tested during the US Soviet nuclear race. In the 32 years from 1945 to 1977 alone, the United States carried out 600 explosions of atomic and nuclear devices. According to Pentagon estimates, 250000 to 500000 military and civilian experts were affected by radiation in the nuclear weapon tests carried out in the atmosphere alone. However, its disastrous impact is the destruction of the earth’s environment. After experiencing so many effects of nuclear radiation, the ecological balance in many places has been devastated, and they can no longer be restored in the foreseeable future.

more than ten years after the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, an investigation was conducted into its continued impact. The results showed that the rivers near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant brought radioactive waste to the downstream areas and polluted the lakes. Among them, the lake with the most serious radiation pollution is located 250 kilometers away from the nuclear power plant, and the radiation content of fish in the lake is 60 times higher than the safety standard of the European Union. However, the reservoir located downstream of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is the main source of drinking water for 9 million Ukrainians and freshwater fish for another 23 million people. According to this statistics, the number of people affected by radiation may be as high as 30 million.

nowadays, nuclear energy has become an important energy for human survival. However, how to use nuclear energy has always been a problem in front of all countries in the world. Although now, countries all over the world have greatly improved the level of nuclear reactor operators, and today’s reactors will not explode like atomic bombs – because the concentration of uranium-235 is too low, it can not fully ensure the safety of nuclear reactors, because the threat of damage caused by nuclear materials has always been a problem faced by the nuclear industry. In order to protect the nuclear power plant, the safety awareness should not be relaxed for a moment.

when the Encyclopedia of

is in progress, radioactive pollution refers to the emission of radioactive pollutants by human activities or the diffusion of radioactive substances in the environment, or the release of radioactive substances to the environment in natural processes, resulting in materials, human bodies, places The radioactive level on the surface or inside of the environmental medium is higher than the natural background or exceeds the national standard. Radioactive substances entering the environment can cause pollution to the atmosphere, water and soil. Radionuclides can be bioaccumulated, so that the concentration of radionuclides in some animals, plants, especially some aquatic organisms is many times higher than that in the environment. Human and animal body contact or inhale radioactive gas or particles, or enter the body through the food chain, so that they can be subjected to internal and external ionizing radiation injury, resulting in radioactive diseases and serious death. The sources of radioactive pollution include the fallout ash caused by nuclear explosion in the atmosphere, the dispersion of radionuclides, the discharge of nuclear waste during the production and processing of nuclear fuel, the emission of radioactive substances caused by nuclear facility accidents, the release of natural radiation sources (such as radon escaping from the ground), etc.