Army Transportation and Aviation Logistics School Nuclear Power Case Study Questions

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1. Identify any three major ethical issues in the case and justify.[220 words]

2. Identify any three affected categories in the disaster and explain to what extend they were affected. [220 words]

3. As a decision maker how would you take decisions differently applying ethical principles. Suggest any three ethical principles and explain. [220 words]

4.“Inadequate monitoring of machines”.“Placement of roof plates does not confirm to designer specifications”. Consider the given violations and indicate if they were voluntary wrongdoings or intentional negligence. Justify your answer. [220 words]

5. What positive or negative moves /actions could have avoided the disaster? [220 words]

ChernobylChernobyl is a nuclear power plant in Pripyat, Ukraine. It is known for the nuclear disaster which occurred onApril 26, 1986.At that time Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union. This incident is considered as one of the worstdisasters in the history of nuclear power. It was the product of a flawed Soviet reactor design coupled with seriousmistakes made by the plant operators. It was a direct consequence of Cold War isolation and the resulting lackof any safety culture. It was a unique event and the only accident in the history of commercial nuclear powerwhere radiation related fatalities occurred.On 25 April, prior to a routine shut down, the reactor crew at Chernobyl 4 began preparing for a test to determinehow long turbines would spin and supply power to the main circulating pumps following a loss of main electricalpower supply. This test had been carried out at Chernobyl the previous year, but the power from the turbine randown too rapidly, so new voltage regulator designs were to be tested. Early on 26 April, a series of operatoractions, like disabling of automatic shutdown mechanisms, preceded the attempted test.By the time the operator moved to shut down the reactor, he found that the reactor was in an extremely unstablecondition. There was a dramatic power surge caused by the control rods as they were inserted into the reactor.The interaction of very hot fuel with the cooling water led to fuel fragmentation, along with rapid steam productionand an increase in pressure. The features of the design of the reactor were such that substantial damage toeven three or four fuel assemblies would result in the destruction of the reactor, and this is exactly whathappened. The overpressure caused the 1000 t cover plate of the reactor to become partially detached, rupturingthe fuel channels and jamming all the control rods, which by that time were only halfway down. Intense steamgeneration then spread throughout the whole core. It was fed by water dumped into the core due to the ruptureof the emergency cooling circuit. That caused a steam explosion and released fission products to theatmosphere. Approximately two to three seconds later, there was another explosion. This threw out hot graphitealong with fragments from the fuel channels. There is some dispute among experts about the character of thissecond explosion, but it is likely to have been caused by the production of hydrogen from zirconium-steamreactions.As a result of these explosions two workers died on the spot. About a quarter of the 1200 tonnes of graphite wasestimated to have been ejected. The fuel started burning causing the release of radioactivity into theenvironment. About 200-300 tonnes of water, per hour, was injected into the other half of the reactor that wasintact. But, this was stopped after half a day, fearing the flooding of units 1 and 2.From the second to tenth dayDepartment of Professional Development & HumanitiesCollege of EngineeringEthics in Workplace UHS00101Sem. B Feb. 2020after the accident, some 5000 tonnes of boron, dolomite, sand, clay, and lead were dropped on to the burningcore by helicopter to extinguish the blaze and limit the release of radioactive particles into the atmosphere.The accident caused the largest uncontrolled radioactive release into the environment that continued for about10 days which in turn caused serious health hazards, for large populations in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. Thecasualties included firefighters who attended the initial fires on the roof of the turbine building. All these were putout in a few hours, but radiation doses on the first day were estimated to range up to 20,000 millisieverts (mSv),causing 28 deaths by the end of July 1986, six of who were firemen. In the years following the accident, a further220,000 people were resettled into less contaminated areas. Most of the people affected have not died yet.When and if the people involved die of cancer, or related diseases, it will be hard to tell if this was because ofthe accident. A 2005 IAEA report tells of 56 direct deaths; of those, 47 were accident workers and 9 were childrenwho died of thyroid cancer and 4,000 people may die from long term diseases related to the accident.Many internal Memos were issued about the construction flaws of the power plant as early as 1979.For example:The report about the Construction Flaws at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant submitted by- The USSRCommittee of State Security [KGB] No. 346-A Moscow; on February 21, 1979, that stated the following:? There are design deviations and violations of construction and assembly technology occurring at variousplaces in the construction of the various units of Chernobyl AES, and these could lead to mishaps andaccidents.? The structural pillars of the generator room were erected with a deviation of up to 100 mm from thereference axes, and horizontal connections between the pillars are absent in places.? The placement of roof plates does not conform to the designer’s specifications.? Crane tracks and stop ways have vertical drops of up to 100 mm and in places a slope of up to 8 degree.? Deputy Head of the Construction Directorate, Comrade V. T. Gora, gave instructions for backfilling thefoundation in many places where vertical waterproofing was damaged.? Damage to waterproofing can lead to ground water seepage into the station and radioactivecontamination of the environment.? Interruptions were permitted during the pouring of especially heavy concrete causing gaps and layeringin the foundation.? Access roads to the Chernobyl AES are in urgent need of repair.Department of Professional Development & HumanitiesCollege of EngineeringEthics in Workplace UHS00101Sem. B Feb. 2020? As a result of inadequate monitoring of the condition of safety equipment, in the first three quarters of1978, 170 individuals suffered work-related injuries, with the loss of work time of 3,366 worker-days intotal.? The specialists conclude that at present there are no obstacles to the subsequent operation of theChernobyl AES, and the electric power station is operating reliably.Such reports were totally ignored and the Soviets made the decision to operate the power plant before all propersafety procedures and construction flaws were corrected and this poor decision led to the explosion of Plant 4in Chernobyl.Source:Purdue.edu.2020.Ethical Issues Example. [Online] Available from:https://web.ics.purdue.edu/~pbawa/421/ETHICAL%20IS… [Accessed: 3rdFeb.2020]World-nuclear.org.2019. Chernobyl Disaster-World Nuclear Association.[Online]Availablefrom:https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/chernobyl-accident.aspx>[Accessed: 3rd Feb.2020]Questions:1. Identify any three major ethical issues in the case and justify.2. Identify any three affected categories in the disaster and explain to what extend they wereaffected.3. As a decision maker how would you take decisions differently applying ethical principles.Suggest any three ethical principles and explain.4. “Inadequate monitoring of machines”. “Placement of roof plates does not confirm to designerspecifications”. Consider the given violations and indicate if they were voluntary wrongdoingsor intentional negligence. Justify your answer.5. What positive or negative moves /actions could have avoided the disaster