26 of April. Today marks 28 years since that terrible accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Since 2004, member countries of the CIS hold this day as the international day commemorating victims of radiation accidents and accidents. Since 2012 in Russia to this day is the Day of participants of liquidation of consequences of radiation accidents and catastrophes and to the memory of the victims of these disasters and accidents.
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was put into operation on 27 of September 1977. Industrial current began to supply the first power unit, whose power was a million kilowatts. Later launched three more units. The station began to produce annually about 29 billion kilowatt-hours.
On 26 of April 1986, a disaster happened at the fourth unit of the Chernobyl NPP made a scheduled stop and test turboreactor. Resulting in an explosion and then the fire started. This disaster became the largest for all history. The active stage of the accident continued for ten days.
The total release of radioactive materials, according to experts, amounted to approximately 50 million Curie. This is equivalent to the explosion of 500 atomic bombs dropped in 1945 on Hiroshima. Pollution by radioactive elements were about 155 thousand km2 of the territory of the former USSR. The number of population exposed to pollution, 6 million 945 thousand people. Currently live in affected areas about 5 million people.
Official figures state that large doses of radiation received by about 600 people, 134 of them were particularly strong exposure, 28 died from radiation sickness. 600 thousand liquidators from the entire territory of the former USSR, who participated in extinguishing fires, clearing, cleaning, erecting a protective wall, had received high doses of radiation. Russian Chernobyl Union reports that as of April 2014, about 9 thousand Russian liquidators of the disaster died more than 55 thousand were disabled.
In November 1986 the emissions of radioactive substances has ceased. At this time was erected the shelter. Since that time the fourth unit is under the sarcophagus. In the unit there are about 190 tons of poorly enriched uranium-235, 35 tons of radioactive dust, 70 thousand tons of concrete, mangled metal, glassy mass. Total activity of this total more than 2 million Curie.
In October – November 1986, the newly commissioned first and second blocks of the NPP in December 1987 – the third block. By December 1996 there remained only the third reactor, which is output periodically during scheduled maintenance. In December 2000 Leonid Kuchma (at the time he was President of Ukraine) ordered to permanently disable third reactor. Thus, the generation of electricity at nuclear power plants in Chernobyl was completely stopped.
The lifetime of the sarcophagus over the fourth power unit was run until 2006. In 1998, the international community has cooperated efforts to transform the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the entire area around her into an ecologically safe system. The European Union and 26 donor countries agreed to allocate about $768 million, the Parties decided to build a sarcophagus over the old new.
According to the programme for 2013-2022, it is planned to preserve all of the reactor of the Chernobyl NPP. In 2022-2045, is planned reactor installations to a level acceptable for the life and health of citizens. In 2045-2065, it is planned to dismantle the reactor and clean the place where was located the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. By 2065, the station should be completely eliminated. The total cost of all planned work is approximately $1.3 billion.
By 2016 there should be built a new shelter for the fourth unit. The height of the shelter is planned for 110 m, a width of 164 m and a length of 257 meters by 2015 It is planned the construction of a repository for spent nuclear fuel, the function of which will be: utilization of what is still left at the Chernobyl NPP, storage of spent nuclear fuel from operating plants of Ukraine.