Divinity Hoskins Costello – Period 3Jan. 24. 2018NuclearReactor Meltdowns A Nuclear Meltdown is an accident that results in a coredamage from overheating.
These meltdowns can be caused by many factorsincluding, loss of coolant, loss of pressure control, an uncontrolled powerexcursion or a fire within the reactor core. These accidents don’t happen often but when they do occurit can be extremely traumatic. One example of one of these incidents would bethe Three Mile Island coolant failure in Pennsylvania, 1979. This occurred froma failure in the pilot-operated relief valve releasing reactor coolant water tothe drain tank. This nuclear reactor meltdown is recognized as a loss ofcoolant accident due to human factors. It could’ve easily been avoided withproperly trained workers controlling things. The Three Mile Island Meltdown isone of the nuclear meltdowns to cause little to no radioactive damage.
Thereweren’t any injured or dead, but more than 50 percent of the public wereunsatisfied with how the situation was handled. Another example of a majornuclear meltdown is the Chernobyl disaster, which occurred in Ukraine, 1986.Chernobyl is recognized as a disaster because it cause way more damage and heldmore of an aftermath than many other nuclear reactor meltdowns.
Chernobyl wascaused by an explosion in the core during an emergency shutdown. The operatorshut down the reactor, but by that time the reactor was already in very unstableconditions. There ended up being a steam explosion, which released fissionproducts to the atmosphere. Seconds later, another explosion occurred from thefuel channels and hot graphite. These two explosions killed 2 instantly anddirectly killed 31 within weeks of the explosion. There are also 19 indirectdeaths that happened years later in which scientist believe is an effect of thenuclear explosion, although these deaths cannot directly be attributed toradiation exposure. After many major nuclear reactor meltdowns, scientisthave now learned how to handle and manage certain situations. Although it hasbeen abandoned for about 30 years now, they fixed the unstable coolant systemat Chernobyl before shutting down and provided Three Mile Island with more advancedemployees.
While nuclear reactor meltdowns aren’t common, they happen. And whenthey do occur it becomes extremely detrimental to the environment andsurrounding population. This is why scientist had to step it up and try tominimize the accidents as much as possible.