I have been reading technical reports and whatnot about Chernobyl for some time, and I'm feeling that they-or their wording-is not quite letting me understand it. For lack of a better way to present my many questions, I am requesting an evaluation of one of my current understandings of the Chernobyl explosions; mainly if it is consistent with published research and what parts are and are not.

  1. 01:23:44-Power in a hotspot in the lower southeast quadrant of the reactor causes these fuel channels to explode.
  2. The channels are depressurized and the resulting boiling of water forms steam that is released into the empty space between the channels and the graphite. Aiding greatly is the positive void coefficient kicking in at the broken area of the channel.
  3. 01:23:46/7-This causes a lifting force on the reactor lid which lifts it up somewhat, jamming the control rods, tearing apart the remaining fuel channels (which are attached to it) releasing their steam in the same way as in #2.
  4. 01:23:46/7-The lid moves so high it floats above the reactor hall floor. The steam bursts through the gap thus formed. This is the first explosion
  5. With the steam gone, pressure in the reactor drops and the lid begins settling down. Meanwhile, the loss of water is allowing an outrageous power surge.
  6. 01:23:49/50-power is 300 gigawatts. A hydrogen or nuclear explosion blows the lid through the roof, and kills Valery Khodemchuk. This is the second explosion.
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe post on history SE site? $\endgroup$
    – Eric S
    Nov 9 '19 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ Why not check your understanding against the established timeline? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 9 '19 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ I've tried INSAG-7 + the annexes, and one other American report with some 1986 Soviet data. No help. I've also read preview of Midnight in Chernobyl, including the explosion scene, read the Lars-Erlk de Geer report, watched the Chernobyl HBO Legasov scene........................ $\endgroup$
    – ABJX
    Nov 9 '19 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ This is just my attempt to see if I understand what these reports are saying. $\endgroup$
    – ABJX
    Nov 9 '19 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ What is the "established timeline"? I have seen sources putting the first explosion at around 1:23:48, 1:23:47/46(which seemed to make the most sense based on the information in INSAG-7) 1:23:45, 1:23:44, 1:24:00......The two annexes to INSAG-7 do not say "the reactor exploded at 01:23:xx" (and INSAG-7 itself doesn't even seem to have a timeline), but mention readings at 01:23:49, followed by 01:24 note in an operator logbook about the explosion. $\endgroup$
    – ABJX
    Nov 9 '19 at 17:33

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