We're going to take a look back at our article on the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster. This was one of the biggest nuclear disasters in history, and resulted in thousands of people becoming ill and multiple countries effected.
This post was originally posted July 17, 2015, but has been updated with new information.
Here is a snippet:
On April 26, 1986, Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was conducting an experiment for the fourth time. The plant had serious safety issues with cooling the core. Cooling pumps require electricity to cool a reactor after a SCRAM in the event of a power grid failure. Chernobyl had two diesel generators that were supposed to support the backup for the cooling pumps. The requirement was that generators should get to 5.5MW in 15 seconds; however, this plant's generators took 60-75 seconds. It was a serious safety violation.
To solve this 1 minute gap, they attempted to use rotational energy from the steam turbine to generate enough electrical power to make up the time. Pre-experiment analysis showed that it should work. Unfortunately, plant personnel tested the theory three times. Three times they failed. They made some alterations and planned on a fourth attempt.
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