Today in 1991, Chernobyl unit 2 caught fire

Today in 1991, Chernobyl unit 2 caught fire

On October 11, 1991, as a result of a fire in the Turbine Hall, operation of Chernobyl Reactor 2 was terminated and shutdown.

The fire began in reactor No. 2’s fourth turbine at 20:10 Kyiv time, while the turbine was being idled for repairs. A faulty switch caused a surge of current to the generator, igniting insulating material on some electrical wiring. 

This subsequently led to hydrogen, used as a coolant in the synchronous generator, being leaked into the turbine hall “which apparently created the conditions for fire to start in the roof and for one of the trusses supporting the roof to collapse.” 

The fire, which burned more than 180 tons of oil and 500 cubic meters of hydrogen, destroyed the roof of the Turbine Hall and damaged important Reactor Equipment.

The adjacent reactor hall and reactor were unaffected, but due to the political climate it was decided to shut down this reactor permanently after this incident.

The fire was extinguished by the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant’s Fire Brigade. None of the workers were injured.

After the fire, the Unit was never returned into operation.

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