The ghost city

Chernobyl Ucraina, August 2013

The Chernobyl disaster was the most serious accident ever in a nuclear plant. It is one of two accidents classified as catastrophic, together with the incident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in March 2011.

The disaster occurred on April 26, 1986 at about 1.23 am, at the V.I. Lenin nuclear plant, located in northern Ukraine, at the time part of the USSR, 3 km from the city of Prypiat and 18 km from that of Cerbonyl, 16 km south of the border with Belarus. The causes were variously indicated in serious failings by the personnel, both technical and managerial, in problems related to the structure and design of the plant itself and in its incorrect economic and administrative management. During a defined safety test, the personnel was responsible for the violation of various safety and common sense rules, leading to a sudden and uncontrolled increase in power and therefore in reactor temperature n. 4 of the power plant, the refrigeration water was split into hydrogen and oxygen at such high pressures as to cause the reactor cooling system pipes to break. The contact of the hydrogen and the incandescent graphite of the control bars with the air, in turn, triggered a very strong explosion, which caused the reactor to uncover and consequently caused a huge fire.