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In a recent NY Times article, Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion is touted as the gravest nuclear accident to have ever occurred in human history. The explosion occurred on the 26th of April, 1986 at 1:23:58 am. According to the article, on this Saturday, the Ukraine located nuclear power station that had four reactors exploded during reactor number 4’s testing (Wald, 2011). Consequently, the temperature rose beyond 2,000 degrees Celsius and as a result melting the fuel rods (Wald, 2011). The quality issues raised in the article, therefore, were design and operation flaws. Although it is known that the explosion was a result of a power surge, the exact causes of this surge remained uncertain. However, the article categorically floated the idea that the fire and meltdown resulted from design flaws as well as operational errors.

Chosen Quality Management Tools for Use

  • Brainstorming: This approach is chosen due to its ability to allow the exploration of a range of options. Additionally, it forms the basic starting point of investigations whereby a range of possibilities is floated for further evaluation. Through this tool, various professionals can propose multiple factors that could result in quality problems at the plant.
  • Cause and effect diagram: This approach is as well useful in such an evaluation given that it allows various possible causes to be linked to their likely effects. This allows the quality management team to not make timely identification of the possible challenges but also make headway in identifying the impact the individual challenges are likely to have on the plant’s functionality.
  • Pareto Chart: Based on the concept that most of the challenges in operation are caused by only a few problem items. This is useful in the identification of those items with extremely grave consequences and accords them, the importance they deserve.

3 actions to be taken in investigating the problem

  1. Undertake a critical investigation of possible challenges associated with the management of the nuclear plant. This includes reviewing the reasons behind the successes and failures of other plants.
  2. Bring together a team of experts to review the scenario and suggest possible causes.
  3. Investigate each case and look at its possible effect on the building while attempting to match the recorded facts relating to the problem.


Wald, J. D. (2011). Chernobyl Nuclear Accident (1986). New York Times, p. 6.

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