What do we know about the explosion that arose several kilometers from Pripyat on April 26, 1986, which killed many Chernobyl liquidators and caused enormous damage to the nuclear industry in many countries of the world and the entire ecosystem of the planet? This material sets out some facts that gave rise to criticisms of the leadership of the USSR at one time.
They were sounded from western experts and the public, who pointed out the lack of professional competence of the authorities in matters of not only the operation of nuclear power stations, but also indecision, silence, and outright lies in exposing the causes of the disaster and making decisions to eliminate its consequences.
Facts are a stubborn thing
Even during the full-scale construction of the Chernobyl nuclear power station, nuclear engineers expressed their fears about the new nuclear power station in Chernobyl being built at an accelerated pace. Thanks to the few declassified documents from the archive of the Security Service of Ukraine, it was possible to find out the presence of documented facts of inconsistency of some structures being erected with the norms of construction and installation works.
In the SSC (State Security Committee) reports, such information dates back to January 1979. In support of archival documents, declassified facts about what happened at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power station were publicized, only from 1983 to 1985, five accidents and about 65 facts of equipment failure.
The catastrophe at the fourth power unit, which was brought to its design capacity at an emergency pace, occurred during the experiment. Its essence consisted of ways to study the possibility of generating electricity, in case the reactor is in an emergency state. The experiment was planned to be carried out at a previously planned reactor capacity of 700 MW.
For reasons already known today, the reactor power level dropped to 30 MW before the start of the experiment. However, the operator on the control panel began to try to restore the required power. The irrevocability of the tragedy became apparent. Time showed 1:23:04. In just a fraction of a second, the reactor power began to grow catastrophically and the operator pressed the emergency protection button at 1:23:40. There are these few seconds that will become fatal, and their catastrophic consequences will be called the official version of the causes of the Chernobyl disaster.
- Recall the materials of the investigation: “… All actions of the operator were foreseen at a special briefing and made in the normal (rather than emergency) mode, in order to prevent the explosion of the reactor”, from the interrogation of the deputy chief engineer of the operation station Anatoly Dyatlov.
The operator did what he had to do, but after he pressed the emergency button, two devastating explosions occurred at intervals of several seconds. The result of these explosions was a destroyed nuclear reactor, and as a result of the largest man-made disaster of the twentieth century.
According to the results of the investigation, the deputy chief engineer of the Chernobyl nuclear power station A. Dyatlov was recognized as one of the culprits of the Chernobyl accident, as the person who agreed to the experiment and, having received a large dose of radiation and suffering from a serious illness, was sentenced to ten years in a general regime colony.
Who is guilty and what to do?
The state commission created by the leadership of the USSR to investigate the causes of the disaster, as well as the SSC of the USSR, having reliably relieved itself of all responsibility for the tragedy, assigned it exclusively to the Chernobyl personnel. It goes without saying that the court took the same position. Moreover, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which conducted its own investigation, supported this view. And only after almost 20 years, recognizing the mistakes of the previous report, the International Atomic Energy Agency will publish its new report on the causes of the Chernobyl disaster, and the world will know the facts that actually happened at the time of the accident and in the first hours and days after it.
In general, an updated report by the International Atomic Energy Agency found that most of the actions of nuclear power experts, which the early Soviet leadership recognized as violations, actually corresponded to accepted standards, and, in fact, they did not affect the outcome of the accident.
Not only that, as it was said by international experts, the staff of the Chernobyl power station was not aware of the dangers of working in experimental conditions. At the time of the experiment, the reactivity margin was less than the value permitted by the regulation; the emergency reactor cooling system was turned off. In addition, the operators simply did not know the current value of the operational reactivity margin and therefore were not aware that they were violating the regulations.
The course of development of further events, hours and days after the Chernobyl disaster, the reaction to the situation of the leadership of the party elite, the concealment of any true documents about the real causes of the disaster, the secret of any information in order to prevent panic cost tens of hundreds of people. In this sense, the fact that was hidden at that time was very indicative of that, despite the recorded peak of radioactivity on May 1, 1986, the country’s leadership did not cancel the festive demonstration, and radioactive rain fell on the crowd of many thousands.
- These are facts, these are tragic destinies, these are lessons from which all mankind is obliged to draw the necessary conclusions for the safety of the planet.