Chernobyl nuclear power plant

What happened on the night of April 24 to 25, 1986? what went wrong at this nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union?


Chernobyl was once a village with a wooded area and a lot of agriculture. This village once had 12,500 inhabitants. The village is located on the Pripyat River.
In the 1960s, a nuclear power plant was built about 15 kilometers outside Chernobyl, right on the river. This nuclear power plant had to consist of six parts, each with its own nuclear reactor to supply electricity to many cities and industry. They had chosen this place for this nuclear power plant because the river could provide the nuclear power plant with cooling water. A large number of Chernobyl residents worked in this factory at the time.
It happened on the night of Friday 25 to Saturday 26 April 1986. It probably went wrong when they were doing a safety experiment with unit 4 of the nuclear power plant. The reactor went into tilt and exploded. This released radioactive substances into the air.
This was first suppressed by the Soviet Union until they saw a cloud with radioactive particles (clouds) in the sky, first in Ukraine and later also in Eastern Europe. These radioactive particles were blown everywhere by the wind. The first discovery of this disaster was found in Sweden. Early in the morning, a worker at a nuclear power plant in Sweden discovered that his shoes were radioactive. He reported this to the company management and everyone was subsequently investigated. They found more radiation on the clothes than they normally had on their clothes. This made them think that a nuclear disaster must have happened somewhere. They contacted the Soviet Union Nuclear Power Plant (they ended up here via email) and they still didn’t want to say anything about it.

What actually really happened?

It all started on the night of April 24 to 25. They were going to shut down one or two turbine/generator units. A day later, the reactor’s power suddenly increased to 30 MW. The intention was for it to remain at 700-1,000 during the test. To restore the power, the operators removed more control rods from the reactor core, even though this was not permitted. Due to the poor design of the control rods, the power simply increased too quickly. This created steam under very high pressure and the whole thing exploded. There was also a second explosion. This explosion was caused by hydrogen, which had already formed. The explosion caused a hole in the reactor building. This allowed the radioactive dust particles to escape into the open air.
In the first hours after the two explosions, only the fire brigade could try to get the fires under control. At the time the accident happened, 176 people were working in the nuclear power plant and another 286 construction workers and technical people were working outside the nuclear power plant. All fire stations that saw the opportunity to help extinguish the fire came to make their contribution. Some corps even came from far away to help. Under difficult conditions, it ultimately took them 3 hours to get all the fires under control. This did not completely extinguish the fire. Now there was less risk that the fire would spread to the other parts of the plant.
After fire-fighting planes were also deployed, they threw sandbags on the burning nuclear power plant with 180 flights a day until May 2. They threw everything on the burning nuclear power plant. This also applies to lead, boron and dolomite. These three things had to protect the environment a little against the radioactive radiation that had been released. Clay and sand were used to ensure that no more oxygen reached the fire. This prevented the fire from starting again.


The people were not evacuated until 36 hours later. They had deployed 1200 buses for this purpose. Towns and villages that were more than 5 kilometers but less than 15 kilometers from the central were not evacuated until six days later.

Animal species

After this accident, fewer numbers of certain animal species occurred. The number of mice in particular had declined dramatically because they had simply received too high a dose of radiation. Research has been done on these mice and abnormalities of the genitals and other organs have been found. The composition of the blood was also very different.


People cannot grow food because the soil has become unsuitable due to radioactive particles. The food then absorbs too many radioactive substances. This could make you sick. This may take a long time before everything is good again.

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