Construction of the central office

The nuclear power plant is located on a tributary of the Dnieper about 15 kilometers from Chernobyl (Ukraine), and 110 kilometers from the capital Kiev, near the border with Belarus.

Its construction dates back to the beginning of the 1970s at the same time as the creation of the town of Prypiat to house the employees of the future power plant. The first reactor was commissioned in 1977, the second the following year, followed by the third and fourth reactors commissioned in 1981 and 1983 respectively. It is the latter that will be destroyed by the explosion. Two other RBMK reactors were under construction at the time of the accident.

The Chernobyl catastrophe is the consequence of important and multiple malfunctions a naturally unstable reactor in certain situations  an emergency shutdown system that was too slow and not reliable enough  absence of containment enclosure(s) sufficiently resistant to contain radioactive leaks in the event of a major accident (this is what allowed the radioactive releases to escape easily into the environment)   insufficient consideration of safety rules and nuclear risk in the design and conduct of the tests in question non-existent control of safety by the public authorities  questionable post-accident management, in particular: initial minimization of the accident, late evacuation of the population, sacrifice of firemen and liquidators (see below). In addition, the construction of the power plant was carried out without complying with the standards in force.

A confidential report from 1979, signed by KGB director Yuri Andropov and cited by Nicolas Werth , emphasizes that "various construction sites carrying out block 2 of the Chernobyl atomic power station are carrying out their work without any respect for the standards, assembly and construction technologies defined in the specifications. In 1983, the "Act for the experimental operation" of reactor No. 4 of the Chernobyl power station was signed, even though "all the verifications had not been completed" Construction of the power station was not completed in 1983.