nuclear disasters

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chernobyl disaster

from nuclear disasters posted in history by pete_nice

In northern Ukraine, near the border with Belarus, and adjacent to the former city of Pripyat, are the radioactive remnants of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

On April 26, 1986, the #4 reactor had a catastrophic power increase that led to a series of explosions in its core. This dispersed large quantities of radioactive fuel and core materials into the atmosphere, and led to the worst nuclear disaster in history. Chernobyl is one of only two Level 7 events (the maximum rating) on the International Nuclear Event Scale- the other is Fukushima.

While managing the crisis of the Chernobyl meltdown, the #4 reactor was quickly coated with layers of concrete to form "the sarcophagus," a physical barrier to help protect workers against radiation. Even today, radiation levels are so high that the workers responsible for rebuilding the sarcophagus are only allowed to work five hours a day for one month before taking 15 days of rest.

Today, the area 19 miles in all directions is considered the "Chernobyl Exclusion Zone" and will not be habitable for 20,000 years.

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fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant

from nuclear disasters posted in history by pete_nice

Commissioned in 1971, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was the combined effort of General Electric (GE) and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The six boiling water reactors drove electrical generators with a combined power of 4.7 GWe, making Fukushima Daiichi one of the 15 largest nuclear power stations in the world.

On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami damaged the reactor cooling systems that led to a release of radioactivity. The plant was decommissioned after the accident.

Since April 2011, the 20-km radius around the former plant can only be approached with government supervision.

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