People will certainly have shivers running down their spines at the mention of "Chernobyl" for many years from now. Why did the catastrophe happen?
19 years have already passed since the day of the terrible disaster that claimed so many lives. These days Russian and Ukrainian scientists put forth a new version of the accident. Their report to the International Atomic Energy Agency says that an natural anomaly caused the accident.
The State Commission set up to investigate the cause of the accident came up with three main version of the events. The version No1 blamed some terrorists who allegedly sneaked into a central room of the Block 4 and put explosive devices on the premises. Another version put all the blame on the operators who were on duty that night. Their neglect was alleged to have caused an uncontrolled runaway of the reactor. And the final version pointed to "design flaws" of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
No official report on the accident ever mentioned geophysical anomalies preceding the disaster, according to Valery Vasiliev, who worked for IAEA from 1984 to 1888. He also worked for more than 30 years in the Soviet Ministry of Nuclear Energy.
A team of Russian and Ukrainian scientists learned of strange power outages which began affecting towns and villages near Chernobyl power station two weeks prior to the accident. The scientists also found out that industrial electronic equipment failed to operate properly and road accident rate was higher than usual at the time. The atmospheric pressure went up and down abruptly a few times in the area. Some declassified information shows that a local deflection of ionospheric layer took place over the Chernobyl area at the time, according to researchers of the Institute of Meteorology under the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Their opinion is shared by specialists at the Kharkov Research Institute of Radio Engineering and Automatic Equipment.
Another sensational discovery was made when scientists studied a number of seismograms dating back to the time of Chernobyl disaster. A special commission concluded that a regional earthquake occurred in the vicinity of the Chernobyl power plant 20 seconds prior to the explosion of the reactor. "Until recently nobody seemed to pay any attention to the fact that it took a mere 20 seconds for putting the reactor out of order," says Academician Vitaly Starostenko, director of the Ukrainian Institute of Geophysics, a member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
It is quite amazing that members of the State Commission disregarded the lack of substantial destruction inside the reactor room as opposed to a service basement beneath the reactor, its support crossbar had a few burn-outs measuring up to 1.7 meter. All the communications lines were simply vaporized. The temperature soared up to 50 degrees Celsius in no time. There are flows of solidified lava hanging on the walls in a room that is located under the basement. It looks very much like the consequences of a volcano's eruption.
"This is a high-temperature plasma that came in through the fractures which became active during the so-called called process of disturbance of all fields and environment resulting in pathology," as Mr. Vasiliev puts it. He believes the weather abnormalities and the earthquake were the portents of the phenomenon.
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was built in a unique location featuring a conjugation of a few linear and two concentric fractures. Back at the turn of 20th century, scientists first discovered the existence of fractures in earth's crust and the impact they cause on the structural strength of buildings. According to researchers of the Institute of Physics of Earth, the maximum proximity of a river network to a nuclear power station became one of the main official requirements that was taken into account while choosing locations for nuclear power plants in the Soviet Union in the 1960s. A great deal of water was required for cooling nuclear power plants. Since the deep fractures are normally located in the vicinity of rivers, all the nuclear power plants were built in the most difficult places in terms of engineering and geological conditions.
Scientists believe that an external source of energy triggered a surge of high-temperature plasma that went along the regenerating fracture and caused the explosion. Earth is constantly drawing energy from space. Various ways are used for throwing back energy surplus. Using fractures is the most simple way.
Such geophysical developments always have a negative effect on the bodies and minds of those who happen to be around, according to Valery Vasiliev. He points out that the duty operators at the Chernobyl plant (they minimized the effects of the disaster) performed in a truly heroic manner. All of them passed away. They were accused of neglect causing uncontrolled runway of the reactor. The results of tests conducted in hospital should have cleared the operators of all the allegations. The tests showed no traces of natrium-24, a neutron component, in their blood. If there really had been an uncontrolled runway of the reactor, the blood tests would have shown the presence of the above neutron component.