A Dark Achievement: Commemorating 30 Years of the Chernobyl Sarcophagus
A Dark Achievement:
Commemorating 30 Years of the Chernobyl Sarcophagus
A panel discussion on Monday, December 5, 2016, 4:30pm-6:00pm at Virginia Tech's Research Center in Arlington, VA.
2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, but it is also the 30th anniversary of the completion of the enormous concrete structure that came to be known as the “sarcophagus”. While the physical entombment of Chernobyl’s reactor 4 was only one (albeit an important) piece in the emergency response to the nuclear disaster that began in the early morning hours of April 26, 1986, it was an incredible achievement against all possible odds. The panel will provide an opportunity to take a fresh look at one of the worst nuclear disasters in history, and the response to it. It is the concluding part of an invitation only workshop, where engineers, historians, social scientists, and emergency response professionals will have exchanged ideas on the experiences with, challenges of, and successes in nuclear emergency response, past, present, and future. The discussion (featuring a subset of the workshop participants) is open to the public and will provide a summary of the day's discussions in the form of short statements by the panelists, before engaging in a conversation with the audience.
We are excited to welcome Nikolai A. Steinberg to this discussion, who was directly involved in the accident mitigation process from day one. The Soviet authorities appointed the experienced nuclear engineer the plant’s chief engineer immediately following the accident. Mr. Steinberg was also the lead author of what came to be known as the "Steinberg Report," published in 1991, which challenged the human error version of events and led to a fundamental revision of the IAEA's widely cited "INSAG-1" expert report that had blamed control room operators for having caused the Chernobyl catastrophe. In addition, Mr. Steinberg's expertise has been recognized internationally, as he currently serves on an international expert consortium advising the Japanese utility TEPCO on the decontamination and decommissioning process of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant. (note that in addition to participating in the panel, Mr. Steinberg will also deliver a keynote speech on Tuesday, December 6, 12:00 noon, as part of the SIREN series).
We also expect a report from a team that is currently visiting Chernobyl, just as the international consortium Novarka is planning to complete the “New Safe Confinement,” and slide the colossal arch structure over the original Chernobyl sarcophagus.
Registration is free. If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Sonja Schmid, PhD, at least 10 business days in advance during normal business hours: +1 703-538-8482, email@example.com.