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On April 26, 1986 disaster struck the world. It was not a disaster like any other before. A new type of death was now shown to the world. Although during World War II people encountered radiation sickness and death, that was sadly intended. The explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear powerstation was undoubtedly the worlds largest nuclear accident. That was the difference. It was accidental, and although innocent people were killed or made sick in the past from radiation, this would prove to be the most disastrous of any incident (other that war) involving radiation.

First of all, I should tell you exactly where Chernobyl is. Chernobyl is a rather small town in the Ukraine right near Belarus. It is north of Kiev, the Capital of Ukraine. Kiev is only One hundred and ten kilometers away from Chernobyl and has a population of 2.4 million. Chernobyl’s population is 12,500.

In 1986, 10 percent of all the worlds nuclear energy was generated by the USSR. By the year of the accident (also 1986) 4 reactors at Chernobyl’s power station were the most modern reactors to date. These are known as the RBMK type.

RBMK is a Russian acronym and when translated roughly means “reactor cooled by water and moderated by graphite.” This is one of two types of reactors that Soviets have built for the production of nuclear power. The reactor is made up of Three main important parts. The reactor vessel- this houses all other reactor parts. The Core- this consitsts of a huge container filled with the graphite blocks and the Control Rods which are long metal rods. In the Chernobyl reactors, these rods contain boron. They help to control chain reactions by absorbing f...

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...incident, put an end to the development of nuclear power plants. Since 1979 no new nuclear power plants have been built“...

The fact that no more nuclear power plants have been created has created a big issue. Eventually we may be forced to build a new one. In fact plans are already being discussed about how to go about building these or finding alternative energy sources. Storage is also a problem because of the nuclear waste, that no one wants to claim responsibility for, and no one wants to deal with the risks of it. (nimby) So in a few years, changes are going to occur, and I heard it here in class first. That when we hear about the National Guard escorting trucks to Alaska through Canada or trucks containing nuclear waste being escorted through highways, the change has begun.

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