Inside Chernobyl’s Power Plant
When the plant was initially designed, it was originally going to be called the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station. The station was to hold 6 reactors, each capable of production 1,000 megawatts. Due to the meltdown of Reactor 4, the 5th and 6th reactors were never fully completed. The four reactors were completed in the years 1977, 1978, 1981 and 1983 respectively. By the time the fourth reactor went live, Chernobyl was responsible for 10% of Ukraine’s power generation.
After the 1986 Disaster, the remaining 3 reactors still produced energy for Ukraine. In 1991 a fire broke out on one of Reactor 2′s cooling fans, which led to its shut down. Then, in 1996, Reactor 1 was shut down followed by Reactor 3 being shut down in 2000. Please note, the fact that the reactors are shut down simply means that they are no longer producing electricity. They are, however, still spinning turbines and producing energy because you can’t simply stop a nuclear reaction. Ever since the catastrophe and to this day people still work in the nuclear power plant, slowly decommissioning the reactors, hoping to soon completely dismantle the plant.
Billions of dollars have been poured into the plant via international aide over the past decade, and billions more will be required before the plant is completely decommissioned. Ukraine hopes to make good on its promise for complete dismantlement within the next decade, but this type of figure is hard to swallow given the source. While billions have been donated, due to Ukraine’s rampant corruption it is highly unlikely that even half of that money ever made it to the plant.
Here’s a video taken from inside Chernobyl’s sarcophagus. The video is pretty old and its quality is very poor, but this is the best video I could find with footage from within. If anyone has a link to a better video, please make note of it in the comments. It’s crazy to think the people still work there given its condition.
As always, here are some photos of the plant. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any high quality shots, so these will have to do.
All photos were taken from English Russia’s post on the Chernobyl reactor. For a slightly different interpretation, I highly recommend visiting them. Likewise, English Russia has a ton of great content on Russia outside of this article.