The new miniseries “Chernobyl” dramatically portrays the devastating reactor accident near the Ukrainian city of the same name. To better classify the events, we want to take a closer look at the actual background.
When you hear the name Chernobyl, you inevitably think of him. Terrible nuclear disaster occurred on April 26, 1986 near the Ukrainian city of the same name. The creators of the HBO-Sky co-production “Chernobyl” is therefore enough to have this simple title to make it clear what their miniseries is about. In five episodes, the events that led to one of the worst man-made disasters to date are laid out for the viewer.
It also tells the stories of men and women who risked their lives to try to contain the devastating effects as best they could. It is normal that so many events and developments are condensed or shortened in the sense of dramaturgy with this wealth of content. And even if you’re primarily working on actual historical events, it’s worth looking back at the events of that era to rank the action of the series.
What really happened
The starting point of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was a simulated power outage, in which it must be demonstrated that the power plant was capable of producing sufficient energy in such a case to continue operating the necessary reactor cooling systems. In the course of the experiment However, there were several operational errors and important safety regulations were ignored.. Not only was the restart of the emergency cooling system neglected after an interim shutdown, but the reactor output was accidentally reduced to too low a value.
The plan was to reduce production to a value of around 25 percent; Anything below 20 percent would jeopardize the efficiency and safety of the reactor. Likely due to an employee input error or a technical flaw (this has yet to be clarified), the reactor output suddenly dropped to just 1 percent on the night of April 25 to April 26, 1986. For To counteract this, several control rods that were used to control the reactor were withdrawn from the core, without the desired result. Although both the number of control rods and the power level of the reactor fell well below the allowed values, it was decided not to turn it off and instead decided to continue with the experiment. For this, a correspondingly configured signal for an emergency stop was blocked.
When the valves of the turbine generator were closed in the course of simulation, the temperature in the reactor rose rapidly, which ultimately also resulted in a sudden and uncontrolled increase in reactor performance. Finally, the disaster could no longer be avoided with the closure attempt now: in interaction with the design peculiarities of the reactor type, which further favored the unstable state, Large amounts of energy were released, eventually leading to fusion and two explosions. These were so strong that they even blew off the heavy multi-hundred ton deck of the reactor and the roof of the building above, releasing radioactive material.
What were the consequences?
The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was the first incident of its kind to be classified in the highest GAU category (Major Alleged Accident) on a corresponding rating scale. The effects were devastating, especially since the population in the immediate vicinity of the cities of Pripyat and Chernobyl was not initially informed by the Soviet government and was only evacuated days later, while most of the radioactive radiation occurred in the first ten days after the collapse. escaped from the power plant.
When the matter was finally made public, tens of thousands of aides tried (and in some cases lost) their lives to keep the consequences for the rest of Europe as low as possible. However, some of the radiation that was emitted into the air reached much of the continent through cloud formation and winds, where it was transferred to the ground as precipitation. In Scandinavia, Italy, Austria and even in southern Germany there were (and sometimes still are) stronger radioactive concentrations. The areas around what is now Ukraine, Russia and Belarus were hit the hardest. Thousands of square kilometers of land were contaminated there and even today cannot be used for agriculture (or otherwise).
And of course, the people themselves were affected by the effects of Chernobyl. While 50 people died of acute radiation sickness according to the WHO, the number of those who have already been victims of the additional effects of released radioactivity and will likely continue to fall is much higher. Since the long-term consequences, such as the much higher risk of cancer, cannot yet be fully predicted, the estimates here sometimes differ widely. While the WHO estimates that around 4,000 deaths are possible here, other sources assume up to 60,000 deaths that will be attributable to the reactor disaster.
How all these shocking and enduring facts from the miniseries “Chernobyl” were processed in this country Starting today, May 14, 2019, every Tuesday at 8:15 pm on Sky Atlantic HD and on demand via Sky Ticket, Sky Go and Sky On Demand.