“The emergency shutdown system at Chernobyl had a fatal flaw.
At 01:23:40, Akimov engages AZ-5, or SCRAM. The fully withdrawn control rods begin moving back into the reactor. These rods are made of boron, which reduces reactivity… but not the tips. The tips are made of graphite. Which accelerates reactivity.
For the same reason our reactors do not have containment buildings around them like those in the West. For the same reason we don’t use properly enriched fuel in our cores. For the same reason we are the only nation that builds water-cooled graphite moderated reactors with a positive void coefficient.
Greed and vanity above all. Human lives priced at zero. An amazingly accurate overall description of Russian (and Soviet) culture and its legacy in Craig Mazin and Johan Renck’s “Chernobyl”.
Recommended. And, except for ostentatious vodka drinking and weird motivation by execution, it’s everything I remember.
Oh and… 10 of the same RMBKs, although upgraded with better tips, still run to this day. 2019.
Because it’s cheaper.
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