The Chernobyl Story

In 1986 there was a catastrophic nuclear accident at the No. 4 light water graphite moderated reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant. Below is the story of the events. All image copyrights belong to their respective owners.

The V. I. Lenin Atomic Power Plant, more commonly known as The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, began construction in 1970 in a remote region near Ukraine’s swamp-filled northern border, 15 kilometres northwest of the small town of Chernobyl. The location was chosen because it was desolate, close yet a safe distance from Ukraine’s capital, there was access to a ready water supply (The River Pripyat) and the existing railway line that ran from Ovruc in the west to Chernigov in the east.

It was the first nuclear power station ever to be built in the country and was considered to be not only the best and but also the most reliable of the Soviet Union’s nuclear facilities.

Second from the left is 35 year old turbine expert and loyal communist Viktor Bryukhanov. He was the current Chief Engineer at the Slavyanskaya thermal power station in eastern Ukraine. He was appointed as Chernobyl’s Director.

During the construction of the power station, the Soviet Union’s ninth Atomic City, Pripyat was being erected 3 kilometres away. It’s purpose was to house the station’s 50,000 operators, builders, support staff and their families.

These original architect’s drawings portray Pripyat as a kind of utopia.

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