*INTRODUCTION*


[ARROW] History of Accidents?
Before the 1986 DISASTER, Chernobyl was rated as one of the safest nuclear power stations. In fact, just 3 months prior to the explosion, a Soviet official was quoted saying, "the odds of a meltdown occurring at Chernobyl are 1 in 10,000 years [7]." During the trial of the administrative staff of the plant in 1987, it was found that there had been numerous accidents and EMERGENC shutdowns before the explosion. The following is from th e official court verdict of that trial, as quoted from a special correspondent of Moscow News:

"There were many unscheduled (EMERGENC) shutdowns beCAUSE of mistakes made by personnel. The CAUSEs were not always properly investigated and in some cases they were covered up. Out of 71 technical breakdowns in 1980 to 1986, no investigation into the C AUSEs was carried out at all in 27 cases. Many cases of equipment failure had not been registered in the operation LOGs." [8]



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