Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Chernobyl Reactor Confined
Thirty years ago Chernobyl #4 burnt to the ground during an ill-planned stress test during which power to the reactor was shut down. The graphite fire produced updrafts that lasted nine days and heaved tons of radioactive material into the atmosphere that spread over Europe. The disaster was classified a level 7 event, and that has only been equaled by the Fukushima disaster in March 2011. It is the costliest nuclear accident in history in terms of money and casualties. Hundreds of "liquidators" died fighting the flames and removing intensely radioactive debris. The Director General of Chernobyl Nuclear Power said the arch was constructed not only to protect the present generation, but "for our children, our grandchildren and for our great grandchildren. This is our contribution to the future, in line with our responsibility to those who will come after us."