Table of Contents
The accident occurred in 1986, being the worst nuclear power one in the history. Chernobyl is eighty miles north of Kiev in the country of Ukraine. The UN described the accident as the greatest catastrophe that had ever affected humans and environment. There was a meltdown of the core of the fourth reactor. It was followed by a chemical explosion. Together with the fireball, it blew the concrete lid and thousand tons of steel off. Approximately 190 tons of graphite and radioactive uranium were emitted into the atmosphere as a result of the explosion (International Chernobyl Portal of the ICRIN Project, 2011). Experts estimated that the amount of radioactive chemical substances was 200 times more than the one during the use of nuclear weapons in the Second World War. Chemicals spread to other areas of Ukraine, reaching the Soviet Union and Europe, and even the far parts of Asia (Black, 2011). The initial direction of the radioactive plume was northwest. Then, it spread to Finland, Sweden, and some parts of Europe. The public was exposed to radiation that exceeded the norm 100 times (Gray, 2009). As a result, the effects of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident turned out to be long-lasting and immense.
Effects of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident
The high levels of public exposure and radiation killed thirty persons on the spot. People were evacuated at the distance of 20 miles from the place of accident occurrence. They amounted around 135, 000 persons. It was quite a big number of those experiencing such an expected incident (International Chernobyl Portal of the ICRIN Project, 2011). The release of chemical substances into the air was detrimental to the human health. It caused biological and other side effects, putting the lives of human beings in danger as a result of such an explosion. The accident is a very serious catastrophe in the human history all over the world.
The incident was characterized by poor reporting, because of the attempts to cover and hide the catastrophe. It took at least several days to report the accident to the people of Ukraine (Johnson, 1996). The result of it appeared to be detrimental, as sufficient reporting would have saved some people from the exposure and radiation through escaping. Radioactive explosions similar to the one in Chernobyl cause thyroid cancer, being a deadly disease. It results into high expenditures, when an individual suffers from it. Cancer is a killer all over the world. The disease was the rationale for early reporting in order to take preventative measures (Gray, 2009). The compound effect of cancer worsened the case. Curing it is very expensive for an ordinary citizen. The life of an ill person is full of depression and stress. Cancer is caused by radioactive chemicals, including the ones released during the catastrophe. Some of the chemical explosive substances included iodine 131, having some side effects for the human health. The nuclear accident spread around the deadly place to the vast area, namely the entire northern hemisphere. Current statistics and information reveal severe restrictions of many farms in Wales due to the fact that sheep eat radioactive grass. It is still common in the modern United Kingdom.
The official United Nations report reveals the approximate number of nine million people in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, who are either directly or indirectly affected by the fallout of radiation. Many people have been still exposed to high nuclear substance levels in the today world. The nuclear age had lasted for a period of at least fifty years in the world history. There are actually statistic figures indicating resultant deaths from the catastrophe. However, the nuclear accident was the cause of deaths of around 100, 000 people. There is around 10 times rise in the rate of thyroid cancer all over the world as a result of the nuclear explosion and the accident. Health statistics reveals that the youth are the main victims of it. Thyroid cancer is very common among people aged fifteen years and below (Gray, 2009).
The area of approximately 155,000 square kilometers in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine face contamination as a result of the nuclear explosion of 1948. The stated zone is almost a half of the land size of Italy. The worst scenario was in the country of Denmark marked with wide contamination of agricultural land. A very productive area of about 52, 000 square kilometers became wasted as a result of the nuclear effects of chemical substances Strontium-90 and Celsium-137. Approximate half-lives of chemicals are 29 and 30 years respectively (Gray, 2009).
Around 404, 000 persons were displaced. Despite the initial efforts to settle people, the settlement area was still under exposure to radiation. The environment was with adverse effects and imminent danger. The decision of settling persons appeared to be poor, as the effects spread to other areas, where people stayed (Johnson, 1996).
Considering the nuclear power accident, it turned out to have a toxic legacy. Radioactive products will remain in the area for at least 48 years. It is very dangerous for the health of the people living in the surrounding places. There was the need to establish an official exclusion zone in the explosion place. The clear facet of the nuclear accident was overshadowed. Radiation is not only dangerous to human lives, but also causes property devastation. The nuclear power reaction is a myth in technological development (Black, 2011).
There is the evidence that the release of deadly chemicals into the environment was dangerous. As result, the challenge facing the nuclear industry is enormous. The largest is the explosion of nuclear plants. It is an attribute of imperfect technology. Besides, the latter works on the production of nuclear bombs all over the world. The grading of nuclear weapons is very diverse in different places. The results of such production may be also detrimental.
Moreover, imperfect technology and human error are the major causes of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. The fateful combination is a sign of poor skills and negligence on the part of people operating machines in the nuclear power sector. There is the need to be keen, while working with the explosive power. It will minimize the reoccurrence rate of the accident.
The next cause was a flaw in the nuclear reactor, which caused the accident. Its design was quite poor technologically. Besides, the operating personnel in the plant was trained poorly. It is a critical mistake for any big plant operating in the world. There is the need to ensure safety and regulations in the operation of machines.
The Chernobyl accident is the largest catastrophe and civil disaster. It is erroneous to assume that it is the last in the history of humankind. The current number of nuclear reactors in more than 31 countries is around 441. It is very large. There is no need to take further chances in regard with safety (Johnson, 1996).
There was a misconception that the accident was a result of natural occurrence. It is not true. There was sufficient evidence of negligence and incompetence on the part of the technical team in the nuclear plant (International Atomic Energy Agency, 2009). Machines need sufficient technical expertise to operate. Nuclear plant operations lacked this critical part. The senior management should have developed skills to do technical aspects of the work.
The nuclear explosions in Chernobyl contained dangerous chemical substances with very long half-lives. They were very erosive and dangerous to the human health. Therefore, the government ought to appreciate the value of human health (Gray, 2009). There is a huge investment in the nuclear industry all over the world, causing increased insecurity (Neman, 2010). The awareness of this ought to be accompanied with safety regulations. It is due to the destructive nature of nuclear plants (Black, 2011).
Summary and Conclusion
To sum up, as a solution to the problem, there is the need to invest in alternative energy. It will include geothermal and solar one. The rationale for this initiative is to curb the explosion rate in the world. There is a growing investment in the nuclear energy sector (Black, 2011), being alarming in regard to the health and safety of human beings. Adequate training is crucial to minimize human errors and flaws in the operations of machines. The release of radioactive chemicals is a huge health risk. It is good to safeguard people from it in the world.
There is a prudent need to invest in adequate communication in regard to the destructive nature of nuclear reactors. This information will enable people to take careful measures to protect their health. Health experts report that explosions are a source of thyroid cancer, being a deadly disease affecting the world. Therefore, the spread of radiation should be minimized. However, the Chernobyl nuclear accident will remain to be the worst catastrophe in the world history.