Chernobyl - nuclear power - Western Europe
The Chernobyl is a calamitous disaster that happened in April 1986 at the Ukrainian Chernobyl nuclear power plant. It is recorded as one of the most horrible nuclear power plant accidents in the human history. It is classified as a level 7 which is the maximum classification. A fire in the power plant triggered explosions that lead to the release of radioactive elements in the atmosphere. It resulted to 38 deaths, but its effect is long term (Haynes & Bojcun, 1988). The effect To this day, people still suffer from diseases caused by exposure to the radioactive elements. Many people in the Western Europe suffer from thyroid cancer and leukemia, years after the disaster.
More than 40 different types of radioactive nuclides were released in to the atmosphere after the accident and through ten days later. The iodine (1-131) was the largest content that was released followed by cesium (Cs-137). The two were released in large amounts accounted to 80% of all the radioactive elements released. Strontium (Sr-90) was released in low amounts. The weather conditions of the region created a medium for the spread of radioactive elements. The hot gases from the burning graphite raised the radioactive substances to over 1500m above that lead to easy spread of the particles (Burlakova,1999).
The effects of the accident were many both short term and long term. The degree of the radiation and the location determined the level of destruction. Impacts of the cities close to the site had massive effects compared to those far away. The consequences of the accident can be described on the effects on health, the environment and socio-economic.
[...] Many sources of income for the country were lost, for example, the mineral mines and the agricultural land. The disaster affected the social lives of the residents. Over 300000 were evacuated from their contaminated homes and relocated far away from the affected areas. The relocation lead to a loss of culture; people left their homes and villages that had part of their families for generations. Some of the villages were destroyed. People who live around the areas that were contaminated still live with fear and uncertainty. [...]
[...] Several conventions were held after the Chernobyl disaster. One of the conventions was the Convention on Nuclear safety on 20th September 1994. The outcome was the formulation of the safety fundamentals; a document that serves as a technical manual for all safety consideration considered in building, managing nuclear power plants. There has been the introduction of the generation two reactors. They have reduced the nuclear accidents to one in every eight years, as a result, of the convention on nuclear safety. [...]
[...] The workers at the Chernobyl were exposed to extreme of dosage between to Gy. One of the health effects of such a dose f radiation is acute radiation syndrome (ARS). The signs and symptoms are no exact for radiation injury but collectively for acute radiation syndrome. The signs and symptoms appear in phases during minutes, hours, days and weeks after the exposure (Cruise,1993). People who received high radiation, the plant workers, experienced skin damage, one symptom of acute radiation syndrome. [...]
[...] Wormwood forest: A natural history of Chernobyl. Washington, D.C: Joseph Henry Press. Chernobyl Forum., & International Atomic Energy Agency. (2006). Environmental consequences of the Chernobyl accident and their remediation: Twenty years of experience; report of the Chernobyl Forum Expert Group 'Environment'. Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency. Cruise, R. (1993). The nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. Costa Mesa, CA: Saddleback. [...]
[...] As the trees decayed, radioactive material leaches into ground water. The longer lived radioactive were absorbed into a solid before being transferred to ground water. The aquatic life was affected by the radioactive material from the plant. Water systems close to the reactor and other parts of Europe were contaminated. Aquatic life was affected with fish dying as a result. The disaster destroyed flora and fauna of the Chernobyl area. Other than the Red Forest, many animals in the worst hit areas died or stopped reproducing (Vienna. 2006). [...]
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