One of the ex-chiefs of Chornobyl nuclear plant said that it was a human element which caused the disaster.

“I am definitely sure that 20 years ago the Chornobyl nuclear plant explosion was caused not by the design error of the nuclear reactor but the personnel mistake,” said ex-deputy director of the Chornobyl nuclear plant Oleksandr Kovalenko in the interview to Interfax-Ukraina.

“The point is that this nuclear reactor was not designed for electricity production, it was targeted to produce plutonium for military needs. But when in the 60-ties the heads of the party and the country had set an urgent problem to create a nuclear power station, so-called ‘tail’ was attached to the nuclear reactor – that is a turbine to produce electricity,” revealed Kovalenko.

“Such electricity producing construction had never been used in the world. As one of its drawbacks there was a possibility of explosion in case of thermal technological imbalance,” told Oleksandr Kovalenko.

He explained that the water-moderated reactor used in the electric power stations is safe because the reaction automatically terminates in case of the thermal behaviour violation.

“Directly before the explosion, there were researches executed in the nuclear plant. The head of the researches was experienced in the water-moderated reactor not in RBMK (great capacity ported reactor). According to what he knew, the explosion was impossible, as a result of it we have what we have,” concluded Kovalenko.

In response to the question on lessons Ukraine got, he said: “We are a country of bad-mark-pupils because we regularly make the same mistakes. We pay high tribute to people only in emergency situations.”


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