Nuclear plants are becoming day by day more popular source of energy (Murray and Holbert, 2014). It is estimated that 13% of electricity used in the world and approximately 5.7% of energy are often derived from Nuclear Power Plants. However, despite their enormous contribution to the energy sector they also pose serious threats to human wellbeing as some nuclear plants have sometimes resulted into disasters that have lead to loss of lives and property worth millions of dollars (Murray and Holbert, 2014). Some nuclear accidents can occur in small event that can be easily corrected. However, some accidents can be large enough to an extent that the resultant impacts can be classified as catastrophic. This is because its effects can last for thousands of years after the nuclear disaster. An example of such a nuclear disaster is the Chernobyl Accident of 1986 in Ukraine.
In history, Chernobyl disaster is known to be one of the most terrible nuclear power plant catastrophes. The cause of the accident is known to have been due to faulty design of the reactor together with severe blunders that were made by the poorly trained plant personnel (World Nuclear Association, 2015). As a result, Chernobyl4 reactor was damaged which in turn lead to the wild release of radioactive substances into the environment. On the International Nuclear Event Scale, Chernobyl accident is classified at the highest level of 7. It had significant social and economic impacts for many citizens of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The first causalities of the accident were the plant operators and firefighters who were 30 in number. Another 237 people were later diagnosed with acute radiation syndrome (ARS), of which 28 succumbed and died due to ARS few days after the Chernobyl accident. Other 19 people have died due to effects of the accident as of the year 2004. Furthermore, many childhood thyroid cancers have been directly linked to the accident (World Nuclear Association, 2015).
The accident could have been prevented if the plant operators had been trained adequately before undertaking the experiment to test how the turbines would have been used to supply the power which was needed by the pumps, this was due to the fact that electrical power supply which was the main source of power used in the nuclear reaction plant had been lost (Petryna, 2013). Furthermore, if the reactor had been designed in a better way, the accident could not have occurred. In conclusion, the Ukrainian government should have undertaken nuclear reactor safety measures before implementing its project of Chernobyl plant to produce energy.
Murray, R., & Holbert, K. E. (2014). Nuclear energy: an introduction to the concepts, systems, and applications of nuclear processes. Elsevier.
Petryna, A. (2013). Life exposed: biological citizens after Chernobyl. Princeton University Press.
World Nuclear Association. (2015). Chernobyl | Chernobyl Accident | Chernobyl Disaster. Retrieved from http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Safety-and-Security/Safety-of-Plants/Chernobyl-Accident/#.UZn2DKL2axo