You are now looking down on No. 4 reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant the scene of the worst nuclear disaster in human history.
April 25, 1986
The plant’s operators prepare to conduct a special test to see how an emergency water cooling system would fare in the event of a complete loss of power.
April 26, 1986, 1:23:04 a.m.
Conducted from the stations control room the test officially begins, and an unexpected power surge occurs.
April 26, 1986, 1:23:40 a.m.
An operator presses the emergency shutdown button, but the control rods (a collection of square covered graphite tipped rods positioned above the reactor used to cool the core) jam as they enter the core.
April 26, 1986, 1:23:58 a.m.
The first explosion, to be quickly followed by at least one more, blows the 1,000-ton roof right off the reactor and shoots a fireball high into the night sky. The inexperienced engineer in charge Alexander Akinhov, does not yet think the reactor’s core is damaged. “The reactor is OK, we have no problems,” he says. Akinhov subsequently dies from radiation illness.
April 26, 1986, 1:28 a.m.
The first firefighters arrive at the scene after a automatic alarm goes off in their station. They know nothing about radiation and aren’t wearing any protective clothing. Driver Grigory Khmel later recalls: "We saw graphite lying everywhere. I kicked a bit of it. Another fireman picked up a piece and said 'hot.' Neither of us had any idea of radiation. My colleagues Kolya, Pravik and others all went up the ladder of the reactor. I never saw them again."
April 27, 1986: 2 p.m.
After initially telling residents nothing about the disaster for some 36 hours, Soviet officials finally begin evacuating roughly 115,000 people from nearby towns and villages. Residents are informed it will be temporary and that they should pack only vital documents and belongings, plus some food. Soon after, however, an exclusion zone is set up around Chernobyl that prevents their return.
May 4, 1986:
Liquid nitrogen is pumped underneath the dead reactor in order to cool it. Other aspects of the cleanup, which involves up to 800,000 workers, include bulldozing contaminated villages, shooting contaminated pets and livestock, and burying huge amounts of contaminated topsoil.
May 9, 1986
Workers begin pouring concrete under the reactor, which is later encased in an enormous concrete and metal structure known as the sarcophagus. After 30 years the sarcophagus is deemed unfit for purpose due to corrosion. A new covering called the New Safe Confinement is completed and rolled over the sarcophagus in 2016. It has special features built in that will allow the sarcophagus and remaining radioactive parts to be safely dismantled.
Below is the screen shot of reactor 4 with numbered photos to check.
If you cannot see all the correct blue circles then zoom in slightly until they appear.
Which are the 3 photos that relate to the orange parts of the timeline? Add the numbers together and use the answer to access the next page.