The cans in the market suddenly stopped having labels. I don't think it was because they ran out of paper.
The Chernobyl accident was a catastrophe in northern Ukraine that occurred April 26, 1986.
The area where the Chernobyl atomic power station was built was a location 160 miles north of Kiev called the Pripyat marshes. It wasn't really marshes, though, because since the 1930's the USSR had been tearing it apart to build more and bigger collectivised farms for the peasants of the area to work on. In 1970 the first reactor's construction was underway and the newborn city of Pripyat was complete, already being filled with workers to staff the power plant. The first reactor was supposed to be completed by 1975, but accidents during construction among other things prevented this, and its completion was two years behind schedule.
ErrorsEditAside from being late, a number of other things were very wrong at the power station. The first reactor, as well as suceeding reactors, were all built with sub-grade materials (as these were cheaper) and also often in haste to prevent being even further behind schedule. Secondly, the reactor design for all of them was flawed, an RBMK-1000 model breeder reactor that enabled all of the safety features to be simply switched off manually from the control room. Aside from these lethal mistakes, the Soviets had also massively overstaffed the station, with over 70 workers being on shift there at once. The ones who were at work but did not have anything to do would sit around, smoke, play cards and drink. Even worse was the fact that the ones who were working were completely incompetant, and most did not even know the basics of nuclear physics.
The Last StrawEdit
On April 25 a test was scheduled to run that would determine how long the turbine of the reactor would spin in the event of a power failure at the station. This was an unnecessary and dangerous test, as it required the manual shutdown of all the safety features. However the test was postponed until midnight of April 26, which meant that not only were these incompetant workers already drunk, they were also exhausted. The test proceeded as normal, and all the safety features were switched off.
What Went WrongEdit
A massive rise in reactivity followed, causing a dangerous power-surge throughout the reactor. At this point, the reaction went completely out of control and the core heated to a temperature far beyond the accepted limit, which ruptured one of the steam pipes. Air rushed into the reactor, which caused it to explode. At this point the reactor team panicked and tried to lower the boron control rods, but it was far too late to do anything to prevent what followed.