At the time the accident was
occurring, and during the weeks and months that followed, there was a widespread lack of
accurate information about the seriousness and the radiological impact (deposition levels)
of the accident.
The underestimation of the extent
of the Chernobyl accident continues today in most official versions in terms of where and
in what quantity deposition from the Chernobyl nuclear accident occurred.
During and after the accident,
official information sources ranged from unreliable (Russian and French government
sources) to inaccurate (IAEA, National Radiological Protection Board, etc.). Political
considerations and partisan prejudice in favor of nuclear energy production combined with
the lack of environmental monitoring information.
Technically, the accident was
caused partly by operator error and partly by faults in the reactor construction itself.
It all started with an experiment to investigate the possibility of producing electricity
from the residual energy in the turbo-generators.
To carry out the experiment, the
operators broke six vital safety rules, and all automatic shutdown systems were taken out
of operation. In addition, the emergency core cooling system for the reactor was taken out