chernobyl disaster - causes and solutions

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Chernobyl Disaster: Causes and Solutions David Cabielles Hernández

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Page 1: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Chernobyl Disaster: Causes and Solutions

David Cabielles Hernández

Page 2: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Chernobyl Nuclear Plant

• Decommissioned nuclear powerstation near the city of Pripyat

• Four reactors of type RBMK-1000, each capable of producing1.000 MW

• It is known because of a explosionof a reactor due to differentdesign failures and human errors

Page 3: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Nuclear Plant Performance – Reactor RBMK-1000

• Consists of different control rods that are responsible for regulating the heat with nuclear reactions

• To decrease the heat, more rods are inserted into the reactor

• The reactor produce more energy if it has more control rods down

Page 4: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Nuclear Plant Performance – Energy Generation

• The reactor has water on it, thattransform into steam with theenergy produced

• This foam steam boosts a turbine to generate electricity

• The water (in liquid state) also keeps the reactor on a appropriate temperature

Page 5: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

The Disaster – A “Security Test”

• The accident is producedeffecting a security test

• The test consisted on a simulation of a power failure

• Objective: Determine howmuch time the turbines generate energy despite thepower failure

Page 6: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

The Disaster – Error on Power Decrease

• The power of the reactor isdecreased to reduce risks

• All elapse well the first minutes, but a problem makes a drasticdecrease to 30 MW

• With this power, the reactor can shuts down

Page 7: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

The Disaster – Lack of Communication

• There are 2 users in diferentrooms, responsible of thereactor number 4

• The user on the reactor climbedup several control rods to recover the power

• The user that controls the waterintroduce more water thannecessary (steam can’t be produced)

Page 8: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

The Disaster – The Explosion

• To achieve a balance of steamand water, more rods thanallowed are climbed up

• The responsible of the waterrealize his error, and remove theexcess of water

• Power excess and water absence resulted on an excess of heat that melt the reactor core and resulted on a explosion

Page 9: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Effects

• Several critical effects of theexplosion

• Direct killing of 31 people

• More than 200,000 indirectly dead caused by the radiation (tumors and different organ disorders).

• 160,000 km2 of contamination.

• 400,000 people evacuated.

Page 10: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Committed Errors

• The events preceding the explosion allow highlight three types of errors

• Human: Lack of communication and making erroneous decisions

• Design: Unstable reactors and separation of responsible users

• Automation: The system allows actions that endanger security of the central

• Noting these errors and the critical effects of the explosion, the question of whether the disaster could have been avoided and with which ways arises

Page 11: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Proposed Solutions

• Based on the commited errors, and looking to other nuclear plants, we proposed different solutions for each type of error

• Human error: its necessary give them sufficient instruction, as well as a communication device to know every taken action

• Design error: Close the reactors of this type, and the new designs must have thecontrollers in the same room

• Automation error: System can’t afford to take dangerous actions

Page 12: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Proposed Solution I – Mobile Communication (I)

• The users have to receive anadequate instruction

• Every action taken must be registered

• When it is registered, it iscommunicated to the othercontrollers

• The notification is made viamobile

• The user must read and confirm the messages beforetake ihis own decisions

Page 13: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Proposed Solution I – Mobile Communication (II)

Page 14: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Proposed Solution II – New Reactors and Rooms

• The RBMK reactors has problemsin their design that makes themdangerous

• Currently, there are 6 operativereactors of this type trying to getclosed

• The design of the most importantparts have to be near and connected to favor thecommunication

WATER CONTROL

ROOM

REACTORROOM

MAINCONTROL

ROOM

Page 15: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Proposed Solution III – Ban dangerous actions

• The system have to be enough automated to banactions that are dangerous

• Those actions must be previously specified

• The user is notified aboutit

Page 16: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Conclusions

• Chernobyl is a decommissioned nuclear power station where occurred one of the largest nuclear disasters in history

• The explosion was caused mainly due to three types of errors: humans, design and automation

• It could be avoided just with a good communication between users, despite of the bad design of the reactor and the nuclear plant

Page 17: Chernobyl Disaster - Causes and Solutions

Thank you