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Full Version: Chernobyl stills - the way it is
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Lucas Hixson, thatchernobylguy, shows pictures of the control room at Chernobyl with a brief account of what led to the nuclear disaster.
Quote:It is the early morning hours of April 26th, 1986, at one in the morning, and the staff of the Unit 4 reactor at Chernobyl are preparing to conduct a safety test of the turbine generator system.  In order to successfully carry out the test nearly all of the safety systems were disconnected or bypassed.  None of the workers in the control room realize that what will happen in the next few minutes will change the fate of the power station and the Soviet Union itself forever.
Alexander Fyodorovich Akimov has been quietly working with Leonid Toptunov for over an hour to stabilize power in the reactor.  The reactor has been operating at half power for nearly 12 hours, which had allowed a build-up of decay products (mostly xenon) which were poisoning the reactor and inhibiting power levels.  The reactor power level had dipped below 30 MWt, causing Shift Supervisor Anatoly Stepanovich Dyatlov to become highly frustrated with the operators and to storm over to the operators’ control panels and curse out Toptunov and Akimov.  At this point, there are two options: to increase the power immediately and try to eliminate the decay products from poisoning the reactor, or to wait 24 hours for the xenon and iodine to decay.  The decision was made to fight the poisoning of the reactor by removing nearly all of the control rods from the reactor.  Toptunov and Akimov argued that the test should be abandoned, but Dyatlov would not be moved.
During the test, Leonid is the first to notice that that power in the reactor is increasing exponentially.  Toptunov communicates this information to Akimov, who shouts to “Turn off the reactor!”, meaning to press the AZ-5 button, dropping all the control rods into the reactor to quench the proliferation of neutrons and stop the fission chain reaction.  At 01:23:40, Akimov presses the AZ-5 button and scrams the reactor.  None of the operators were aware that the pressing of the AZ-5 button would cause a prompt neutron power surge in the reactor.  A brief moment passes before an explosion is felt in the control room – followed shortly by another explosion 2-3 seconds later.  The lives of these men and millions of others will never be the same.

More pictures from thatchernobylguy on instagram.