The reactor was destroyed in the accident and considerable amounts of radioactive material were released to the environment. The accident caused the deaths, within a few weeks, of 30 workers and radiation injuries to over a hundred others. In response, Soviet authorities immediately evacuated, in 1986, about 116,000 people from areas surrounding the reactor and subsequently relocated, after 1986, about 220,000 people from Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. The accident caused serious social and psychological disruption in the lives of those affected and vast economic losses over the entire region. Large areas of the three countries were contaminated with radioactive elements, and radionuclides were measurable in all countries of the northern hemisphere. This essay discusses the professional ethics violations that took place in the construction of Chernobyl’s reactor 4 and the Chief Engineer’s failure to keep his duty to public welfare as paramount when ordering a test to continue even after safety concerns were raised by engineering subordinates.
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