The Chernobyl Disaster: Background information when reading All That Is Solid Melts into Air

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All That Is Solid Melts into Air

by Darragh McKeon

All That Is Solid Melts into Air
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  • Paperback:
    Apr 2014, 464 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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Beyond the Book:
The Chernobyl Disaster

In All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, the Chernobyl disaster acts as the primary backdrop against which the story unfolds. Darragh McKeon describes the accident and the horrific aftermath in moving detail.

Chernobyl DisasterThe disaster took place more than twenty-five years ago, on April 26, 1986, Situated about 88 miles north of Kiev in Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union, the nuclear plant comprised four reactors all based on the Soviet designed RBMK-1000 model. In this model, enriched uranium is used to heat water, which is then used to drive turbines and generate electricity. In most nuclear reactors, water is also used as a gauge to control the core's reactivity. This means that as the core heats up, it produces steam or bubbles in the water, and the system is designed to automatically temper things down and not let the nuclear reactions get out of hand. In this design, however, as more steam is produced, things get even more reactive creating a dangerous self-sustaining loop –...

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