Home Page    Previous Page    Next Page

The RBMK reactor

The initials RBMK are an acronym for "reactor cooled with water and moderated by graphite" (Russian: reaktor bolshoy moshchnosti kanalniy - Реактор Большой Мощности Канальный). It is one of two types of reactors that the Soviets were using in 1986. The other type of reactors is more recent and could be assimilated to the American pressurized water reactor.

The Soviet Union has built 17 RBMK reactors. Thirteen are still operating in 2007 (source: www.world-nuclear.org).

In Russia:

In Lithuania:

After the accident in 1986, significant changes were made to the RBMK reactors in operation.

Block diagram of a RBMK reactor

Two photos from Google Earth : left, Chernobyl's power plant and its sarcophagus and right, Kursk's power plant (Russia) still active.

On both satellite photos, we see the perfect similarity of the  two power plants of Chernobyl and Kursk.

Home Page    Previous Page    Next Page