The collapse of the Soviet Union began with the Chernobyl accident. Actually, the collapse began earlier, and its reasons were deep, but Chernobyl was the last straw that filled the cup of human patience.
Concealment by the authorities of the truth about the fact of the catastrophe and its consequences, the lack of information on security measures and insufficient assistance to the victims shook the belief in the value of the communist idea even in its most loyal supporters.
Perhaps the most aware of the situation at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was the ubiquitous KGB of the Ukrainian SSR. It was headed by Stepan Mukha at the time of the accident, and later by Nikolai Golushko. The fact is that there was such a practice in Soviet times – every morning there was an information message from the KGB, with the heading “secret, on the table of the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine.”
It contained an overview of incidents from the previous day. In particular, it talked about the events of the previous day – extraordinary incidents, catastrophes, high-profile crimes, anti-Soviet manifestations (threats to government officials, destruction of monuments, distribution of leaflets), hooligan actions of foreigners in Ukraine and Soviet tourists abroad, activities of foreign “nationalist” and “bourgeois centers.”
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was a strategic object, and since its construction special attention was riveted to it. Special communications of the Chekists of that time were full of references to violations during construction, malfunctions and minor accidents, cases of dissatisfaction of workers.
Since April 26, 1986, this is data on the disaster, the extent of pollution, the level of radiation in various places, on the liquidation of the consequences of the accident and the diagnosis of public mood. A special caste is information about hiding the truth from the population.
The concept of “fact” is understood in the textbook encyclopedia as a real historical event, phenomenon, reality. So, the facts are objective witnesses of what took place, what happened, what is.
And the facts are also judges in the Chernobyl tragedy… More than one new generation has grown in the thirty-three years that have passed since the tragedy at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. What do they know about the misfortune their fathers and grandfathers fought to protect, their land and the whole world from an invisible enemy – radiation? What do they know about the feat of firefighters who were the first to become operational in the liquidators of the consequences of the accident?
The Chernobyl disaster is the largest radiation accident in the history of nuclear energy, which occurred on April 26, 1986, during a technological experiment at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
As a result of the shutdown of the cooling system, the fuel elements overheated with the release of hydrogen, which, when combined with air, created an explosive mixture. Consequently, a powerful explosion occurred that destroyed the reactor building. The melting of the fuel elements led to the combustion of graphite blocks.
There was a fire whirlwind, which pulled in the radioactive decay products from the destroyed zone. The main emissions lasted about 10 days, rising upward from the combustion zone and carried by the wind for tens, hundreds, thousands of kilometers … The remains of the fourth power unit destroyed by the accident are localized in the so-called Shelter facility.
Sources of nuclear and radiation hazard are fuel from a destroyed reactor and numerous radioactive waste of various origins.
The Shelter facility contains 205 tons of nuclear fuel in the form of uranium oxide and plutonium. Of this amount, 2.3 tons is fresh nuclear fuel enriched with -235 uranium, which can be located in the central hall, the rest is spent nuclear fuel containing uranium-235.
Every date is a painful milestone
The Chernobyl disaster caused irreparable harm to the environmental situation, both in the region and on a planetary scale. This is a sad chronology. From the first second when a nuclear disaster occurred, so far.
Tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and for many more years, the black dates of this terrifying calendar will remind its of the mutilated human destinies, the emptiness of houses where once there were bustling with life, with the tears of mothers whose children died in a duel with the Chernobyl disaster.
April 26, 1986
1:23 a.m. – an explosion at the fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
6:50 a.m. of the same day – the fire inside and on the roof of the engine room was eliminated.
About 2:00 p.m. – a decision is made on the relocation of fire departments to Chernobyl. The reason is the high radiation levels in the station area.
On the night of April 26-27, 26 operators burnt by radiation were sent by air from Boryspil airport to Moscow.
On the night of April 27, the first and second power units of the station were shut off.
April 27, companies of chemical, radiation and bacteriological reconnaissance and a company of special processing of the 48th separate chemical defense battalion went to Pripyat at the signal of “combat alert”.
Morning April 27 – a decision was made to evacuate the inhabitants of Pripyat.
1:10 p.m. of the same day – the message of the Pripyat city executive committee on evacuation was transmitted via local radio.
In 2.5 hours, more than 1,200 buses, about 900 trucks, two diesel trains, motor ships took 47,000 people out of the city, including 17,000 children.
From April 27 to May 10, almost 5,000 tons of sand, clay, lead, boron compounds were added to the reactor from helicopters and topped up.
On the night of April 27-28, another 120 doomed to death were taken to Moscow.
April 29, the Chernobyl NPP personnel was relocated to the Skazochny pioneer camp.
On May 1, 1986, the Communist Party brought hundreds of thousands of people, including children, to a festive parade in Kiev, although the radiation level was ten times higher than the permissible level. At 8:00 p.m. on April 30, the wind turned towards Kiev and the background began to rise in the city.
On May 2, 1986, the Soviet leadership decided to evacuate the population from the 30-kilometer zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant – on the 6th day after the accident, and officially announced it only on the 9th.
May 1, May Day demonstration takes place in Kiev, the international cycling of the World also takes place there.
May 2, the evacuation of villagers from a ten-kilometer zone began.
May 4, the beginning of the evacuation of the population from the thirty-kilometer zone.
May 6, the release of radioactive substances is practically stopped.
May 7, according to TASS, 1300 doctors, nurses, laboratory assistants, radiation medicine consultants, as well as 240 field hospitals are working in the zone.
May 9, a message on Kiev radio: “the level of radiation is gradually decreasing and meets the standards of both domestic and international …“
May 15, more than 250,000 schoolchildren, pregnant women, mothers with children from Kiev and other regions were taken to pioneer camps and boarding houses.
May – June – work continues on clearing radioactive debris, decontamination of the zone, and the burial of small villages.
July 20, TASS announced the start of the construction of the rampart along the Pripyat River and the construction of more than 120 dams and lintels on the water bottling of small rivers.
September – settlement of the constructed shift village Zeleny Mys.
September-October – people continue to work at the 4th power unit, where the “sarcophagus” is being built. Tens of thousands of people are employed in the decontamination and disinfection, burial of equipment, maintaining order, guarding facilities and others – exploiters, military personnel, police, firefighters, etc.
October-November – the first and second power units of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant started working again.
November – fencing of a 30-kilometer zone with a special regime was completed.
June 1, 1987, foreign journalists are allowed to visit the 30-kilometer zone.
December 4, 1987, the third power unit came into action.
May 31, 1988, the USA prolongs the validity of the agreement with the USSR on scientific and technical cooperation in the field of peaceful atom, hiding that the orientation of the Soviet side on the uranium-plutonium cycle is obsolete.
Protests against the construction of new and operation of old nuclear power plants are increasingly breaking out in many regions of Ukraine. Corresponding publications appear in the press, picketing of the existing Khmelnitsky, Rivne, Zaporizhzhya and South-Ukrainian NPPs takes place.
Thousands of people take part in them. April 26, 1988, the first unauthorized demonstration takes place in Kiev on the October Revolution Square (Independence Square), despite the KGB’s opposition.
Its slogans are “Down with the nuclear power plant from Ukraine”, “We are for a nuclear-free Ukraine”, “We don’t want dead zones”, “NPP – for a referendum”, “Industry, land, water must be under environmental control”, “A personal dosimeter for everyone”. Soon, the empire built on lies collapsed.
October 1991, another fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
December 15, 2000, all power units of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant were stopped.
2005 – radioactive fuel and waste from the Shelter continue to pose a major nuclear hazard.
From this moment, work begins on the organization and implementation of a full-scale long-term project aimed at creating an environmentally safe functioning system on the territory of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the exclusion zone. Corresponding work is carried out in close connection with scientists around the world in the framework of international cooperation programs.