The from spreading. Inside there remain 200 tons of

The world’s worst civilian
nuclear disaster took place when a reactor exploded at the Chernobyl power
plant in Ukraine then part of the Soviet Union. Present day Byelorussian received
60% of the initial fall out. The radioactive cloud spread further to cover most
of Europe. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was one of soviet unions most
advanced facilities. On April 26th 1986, technicians prepared to
check the backup cooling system in reactor number 4 but the routine safety
drill went horribly wrong. A nuclear reactor is like a giant steam engine. Uranium
fuel rods react to create a massive amount of heat that converts water to turn
into steam which drives huge turbines to generate electricity. Control rods are
inserted in between the uranium to slow the reaction and it’s crucial for
cooling water to be pumped around the core to prevent overheating but as the
test began almost all of the control rods were removed and technicians lost the
control of the flow of coolants, temperatures soared and extreme heat began to
melt the core. At 1:23 A.M. reactor 4 exploded, it spewed 8 tons of radioactive
debris into the atmosphere. A 115, 000 people were evacuated from a 30 km zone
around the plant. The battle to put down the fires inside lasted for 15 days. More
than half a million civilian and military personnel were drafted to deal with
the accident and its aftermath. 31 of the initial firefighter and plant workers
died within days from acute radiation sickness. The toxicity of the radioactive
cloud was equivalent to 400 Hiroshima atomic bomb explosions. Crews hastily
built a concrete Sarcophagus to encase the entire reactor to prevent more
radiation from spreading. Inside there remain 200 tons of radioactive fuel. The
remaining three reactors continued to operate due to energy shortages in
Ukraine. It wasn’t until the year 2000 that the Chernobyl complex was
completely shut down. With the concrete sarcophagus crumbling, the
international community began to build a new confinement structure for reactor 4.
It stands 110 meters tall, higher than the statue of liberty and it is wide
enough to fit a ship the size of a titanic at a projected cost of 3 billion
dollars. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2017. The massive steel
dome will slide over reactor number four. The confinement structure is expected
to last for at least 100 years.