Chernobyl (HBO Mini Series)

Chernobyl (HBO Mini Series)

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Steve vRS

4,082 posts

205 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
Terminator X said:
Watched it last night, very good. Why did they all seem to be adamant though that the reactor could not blow up?

TX.
I carry out hazard identification studies (risk assessments) in many high hazard industries and this is a common perception that something can’t go wrong. It is then my job to tease out the scenarios that could result in low frequency, high consequence events to occur. Once this is established, it is possible to then identify and design the appropriate prevention or mitigation measures to make that risk acceptable.

FourWheelDrift

81,948 posts

248 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
Terminator X said:
Watched it last night, very good. Why did they all seem to be adamant though that the reactor could not blow up?

TX.
I think they were talking about a nuclear blow up, a reactor is not like a bomb it can't explode like one. The explosion was a high pressure steam explosion like a old steam engine going bang. It just blew everything else apart around it. They thought they had all safety concerns covered with plenty of water cooling and the rods that control the power, but one problem (the test that went wrong) caused the rods to jam when being inserted into the core, inserting the rods reduces power generation and heat. If they couldn't be inserted the power and heat continues, with not enough water cooling due to the first problem during the test and the the jammed the rods the temperature continue to increase very quickly and what water left in the system turns to vapour and that vapour expands and blows up.

Edited to add, the heat fractured the rods - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster#E...

FredClogs

14,041 posts

125 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
Terminator X said:
Watched it last night, very good. Why did they all seem to be adamant though that the reactor could not blow up?

TX.
I think the scene with the local "committee" members made it quite clear how the USSR operated, by fear, delegation and eventual capitulation of personal opinion to the authority of party rule.

It's why the USSR failed. One old man says keep schtum and everyone keeps schtum... For the good of the party.

Mortgage_tom

1,120 posts

190 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all

My only problem is waiting a week for the next episode!

toon10

5,147 posts

121 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
Loving the way it is shot. So atmospheric and spooky.

stuarthat

905 posts

182 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
Yes really enjoyed that ,hope they cover all the things they done to disperse the problem ,as covered in a book I read .

llewop

3,294 posts

175 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
FourWheelDrift said:
Terminator X said:
Watched it last night, very good. Why did they all seem to be adamant though that the reactor could not blow up?

TX.
I think they were talking about a nuclear blow up, a reactor is not like a bomb it can't explode like one. The explosion was a high pressure steam explosion like a old steam engine going bang. It just blew everything else apart around it. They thought they had all safety concerns covered with plenty of water cooling and the rods that control the power, but one problem (the test that went wrong) caused the rods to jam when being inserted into the core, inserting the rods reduces power generation and heat. If they couldn't be inserted the power and heat continues, with not enough water cooling due to the first problem during the test and the the jammed the rods the temperature continue to increase very quickly and what water left in the system turns to vapour and that vapour expands and blows up.

Edited to add, the heat fractured the rods - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster#E...
The conviction it couldn’t blow up was based on an insufficient understanding of the reactor characteristics such as the positive void coefficient, a specific problem, particularly in the context of the test and removing control rods, was the control rods had graphite ends, so when they started to motor them in, initially there was an increase in reactivity.

smifffymoto

3,343 posts

169 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
llewop said:
FourWheelDrift said:
Terminator X said:
Watched it last night, very good. Why did they all seem to be adamant though that the reactor could not blow up?

TX.
I think they were talking about a nuclear blow up, a reactor is not like a bomb it can't explode like one. The explosion was a high pressure steam explosion like a old steam engine going bang. It just blew everything else apart around it. They thought they had all safety concerns covered with plenty of water cooling and the rods that control the power, but one problem (the test that went wrong) caused the rods to jam when being inserted into the core, inserting the rods reduces power generation and heat. If they couldn't be inserted the power and heat continues, with not enough water cooling due to the first problem during the test and the the jammed the rods the temperature continue to increase very quickly and what water left in the system turns to vapour and that vapour expands and blows up.

Edited to add, the heat fractured the rods - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster#E...
The conviction it couldn’t blow up was based on an insufficient understanding of the reactor characteristics such as the positive void coefficient, a specific problem, particularly in the context of the test and removing control rods, was the control rods had graphite ends, so when they started to motor them in, initially there was an increase in reactivity.
This is one of the reasons I love Pistonheads,there is always somebody that does it in real life or has done something in a professional capacity.

Rick_1138

3,194 posts

142 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
I have recorded the first episode and will watch it tomorrow as not for the wife as bit severe and unpleasant subject matter for her tastes.

I have always had a fascination with nuclear power and situations that could arise, hence a love of films like Threads, Twilight's last gleaming etc.

Having worked in a roundabout way, in the field of what caused this accident to happen, i read into it a lot more as was interesting how the steps led up to it.

I did HSE for a living but worked in an industrial gas turbine firm where we restored older variants of RR equipment, and doing some research just to familiarise myself with the working of ind GT's and UK nuclear plants we worked in the story came up.

Seeing how they kept trying to do the black start of the back up GT, simulating an EMP attack or other cut to local power, could the Power turbine restart the gas turbine with its own wind-down momentum. They knew this wouldn't work and had tried it a few times already, but there was pressure from higher up to do the test, even though the local guys knew they done it too many times already, however the runaway reaction was not noted by some electrical gremlins too, and sadly, as mentioned above, inserting the rods back in caused the reaction to flare briefly but as it was already quite far on, it caused seizure and massive fast heat build up, causing the steam blast that blew the massive lid off reactor top.

Always made me feel safer when our sales rep and engineers talked about the safety and processes involved in UK sites and makes you sleep much sounder knowing the controls in place nowadays. It really is a well regulated source of power generation, because of the danger if it did go wrong.

Jim the Sunderer

2,567 posts

146 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
What the fk was wrong with that mustachio guy with in the chef's whites and those two dudes that look like 1980s greyhound promoters?

Doofus

15,154 posts

137 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
I was distracted when not only did we have Martin "st on it!" Goodman, but also Jim, their neighbour, in the control room at the same time.

I fully expect Wilson to save the day.

StevieBee

9,571 posts

219 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
Terminator X said:
Watched it last night, very good. Why did they all seem to be adamant though that the reactor could not blow up?

TX.
Others have provided some excellent technical explanation to this. Another prevailing issue wasn't so much the that it couldn't blow up but the brainwashed idea that nothing could possibly go wrong.

This was part of the old communist order where bad news was prevented from reaching the upper levels of government for fear of retribution to those that provided the bad news and the overwhelming drive to control perceptions of state amongst the masses; even in the face of the blindingly obvious.


fishermanpaul

123 posts

71 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
A long read (with lots of pics) about both the accident itself and a visit to the area as a tourist later:
https://leatherbarrowa.exposure.co/chernobyl#post-...


LaurasOtherHalf

19,679 posts

160 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all
Just watched this tonight, fk me that was terrifying.

FourWheelDrift

81,948 posts

248 months

Wednesday 8th May 2019
quotequote all

Ructions

4,475 posts

85 months

Thursday 9th May 2019
quotequote all
LaurasOtherHalf said:
Just watched this tonight, fk me that was terrifying.
I’m currently reading Svetlana Alexievich's Voices from Chernobyl, its frightening. The authorities just couldn’t admit how bad it really was and when they did realize that the impossible had happened they ran with one of the greatest cover ups in history.

Pesty

42,655 posts

220 months

Thursday 9th May 2019
quotequote all
Jim the Sunderer said:
What the fk was wrong with that mustachio guy with in the chef's whites and those two dudes that look like 1980s greyhound promoters?
He was in trouble with the party

He had personality issues and his son died in a nuclear accident


sly fox

1,816 posts

183 months

Thursday 9th May 2019
quotequote all
FourWheelDrift said:
Thanks for those links. The first video is chilling.
The workers must have known they were going to die because of their work at the plant and in such close proximity to reactor fallout.
And secondly, the home made 'radiation suits' made out of lead sheets, christ.



dave7108

188 posts

118 months

Thursday 9th May 2019
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How can I watch this series if I don't have sky

spyder dryver

1,316 posts

180 months

Thursday 9th May 2019
quotequote all
Another good docu-drama here. Features Ade Edmonson in an uncharacteristic role. Not the best quality video but well worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njTQaUCk4KY