The fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded in the morning of April 26, 1986. This led to the most terrible nuclear accident in world history. Now, after three decades, this event seems for some a distant memory, but not for people who were on that fateful day directly at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant …
Valery Zabayukan is one of the employees of the nuclear power plant, who was destined to become a liquidator, one of the thousands who had to take on the terrible mission of cleaning up the zone of a radioactive disaster. He is a tall, broad-shouldered, rather strong, with a large mustache man. Even today, he shakes his hand with the power that is capable of crushing granite. In a word, he is a real hero. His eyes eloquently testify to the horror that he happened to see, but the story he tells us sounds a little different.
“When I heard about the explosion, I could not even imagine that the level of radiation would be a threat to life. In Soviet times, the authorities hid information about the real danger from us. The radiation level where I worked was really very high. Of the 25 people that were part of my group, only six are still alive. My health is also seriously undermined. I am surprised that I’m still alive.”
When asked whether he had a choice to go to the liquidators or not, he replies that he most likely did. He still admits that he could have acted differently.
“I was young, strong. Few things could scare me in this life. Besides, I come from Chernobyl. The city of Pripyat, located nearby, was built before my eyes. This place became my second homeland. Today, I might have made another decision, but then I decided to stay at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. That was the only option acceptable for me.”
After completing the work on eliminating the consequences of the accident, Valery left almost the last one. However, as soon as the opportunity came back, he did it without hesitation. Today, he makes excursions in the Chernobyl zone and shares his personal memories with those who are interested in the history of the worst nuclear disaster in the world. Many of those with whom he had previously communicated still look at him as an eccentric.
Like a fairy tale about a goldfish…
… In the early 80s of the last century, the level of prosperity in Pripyat was much higher than any average Soviet city. Ordinary Soviet citizens could only dream that they had the opportunity to move permanently to Pripyat.
The city had everything essential for providing necessities of life and entertainment. It was a promising city with schools, kindergartens, places of rest, a clinic. There was a large selection of goods in the shops, which were almost impossible to buy in other places.
It was rumored that, for example, high-quality imports throughout the Soviet Union could only be freely bought in Pripyat and in elite stores in Moscow. The salaries were almost double here that of the national average. And life was just wonderful.
There was more than enough work for an able-bodied person. Taking into account plans to bring the number of nuclear reactors to 12, the city was a vivid proof of the high level of not only life but also the development of Soviet technologies, which attracted young families who planned to connect nuclear scientists and a new city power engineers their dreams.
However, everything changed after the explosion. Like an analogy with the tale of a greedy old woman who wanted to live “in gold and silver and in the palace”, but in the end she remained in the old hut with a broken trough. “Experimenters-losers”, demanding more and more victories from the Chernobyl personnel, striving for “results at any cost”, ended up with nothing.
Pripyat is empty today. It has turned into a deserted, dilapidated ghost town, hastily abandoned by residents who believed that they leave for only a few days. Modern Pripyat, left unattended in the shadow of the reactor, is a monument to dreams and lost lives destroyed on the day of the Chernobyl accident.
A laser cannot be invented without an understanding of the laws of atomic physics, or a nuclear reactor without thoroughly studying the theory of the nucleus.
Many years have passed since man invented the loom, steam pump and engine. An economic revolution has occurred. The intensive growth of science has become the point of reference not only for all the highest inventions and achievements of mankind, but also for the frontier from which a chain of irretrievable and unjustified mistakes takes its start.
They were created by man himself, as a result of which not only the author suffers, but the planet as a whole. The number of negative factors affecting the biosphere is no longer acting locally, but on a global scale.
Is there a chance to survive?
The Chernobyl accident is yet another proof of this. The result of such criminal negligence of human inactivity is a global phenomenon, when a high level of radiation is accompanied by the release of radioactive fallout even over the territories furthest from the explosion site.
Due to such disasters, the level of radiation jumps several times and can lead to leukemic diseases and unpredictable mutagenic consequences. The negligence in the use of natural resources has already led to the fact that places on the surface of the earth and in the atmosphere are fixed — just think about these numbers — about a 16-fold increase in the background radiation.
Most of the negative factors affecting the planet are almost impossible to nullify without slowing down the main production. But, not having done it today, we will inevitably bring closer the time when the consequences of the activities of human civilization can lead to the destruction of the biosphere of several planets.
Alas, such a result as the disappearance of all higher life forms on Earth becomes more realistic with every decade. And it’s not up to allegories with a goldfish. This is not the Strugatsky brothers’s fantasies, but rather predictable things. The only difference is that the exclusion zone will not be a specifically defined territory, but the entire planet, unless of course it gets at least some chance of survival.