The building of the first reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant started in 1970. The construction was finished seven years later. The nuclear power plant was named after famous V.I.Lenin. The site locates 11 kilometers from the central Chernobyl and three kilometers from the town of Pripyat, where the workers lived.
In 1986 the power plant consisted of four reactors. The fifth and sixth reactors were to be finished by 1988. The massive nuclear power plant produced about 1GW of electricity from each of the four reactors, that is, about 10% of the Ukrainian need. The cooling water supply is about 4 kilometers long. The reactor building itself is quite sturdy and half of it resides under ground. The height of the building is about 90 meters.
The reactor type was RBMK-1000, known to be unstable. This type was commonly used in Soviet Union in the middle nineties. This type of reactor was para-military by its design. It is known to have poor design and it is prone to accidents.
The reactor contained 190tons of uranium, 1700tons of graphite and 180 B-Fr, borated steel, automatic control rods.
There are only two real causes to the disaster: RBMK type reactor and poor design. RBMK is unstable in lower power stages, which can then lead to power surges. There is no absorbent in the control rod tips which made the disaster even worse. Even the graphite is flammable. This flammability with the poor security features made the radiation spill possible. The disaster was possible with the misuse of the reactor by the poorly educated personnel. Had the training been western standard, the accident had never happened.