On control in the KGB: On the state of protection of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the 30-kilometer zone
On control in the KGB: On the state of protection of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the 30-kilometer zone

“The Office of the KGB of the Ukrainian SSR in Kiev and the Kiev region, taking into account the importance of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant for the national economy, its sabotage vulnerability, constantly pays attention to improving the efficiency and reliability of the regime measures involved in the station, and strengthening the protection of the 30-kilometer zone.

Operational and official capabilities are used in the interest of solving these problems, interaction with the administration of the Chernobyl NPP and the Combine Production Association, the command of the battalions of the internal troops, the leadership of the air traffic control units deployed in Chernobyl, Pripyat and other settlements is organized.

The following was established as a result of studying the state of affairs in this area using qualified specialists from among the personnel of secret bodies.

Organizational, engineering and technical and security measures that guarantee the prevention of deliberate or careless failure of power units, uncontrolled use of nuclear materials are carried out at the facility in accordance with the Basic Principles of Special Safety of NPPs.

Engineering and technical means of protection were partially damaged and disabled at the initial stage of the liquidation of the consequences of the accident in 1986, certain deviations were allowed in ensuring the order of access to the station.

Measures were approved and implemented in preparation for the launch of the 1st and 2nd power units to organize their reliable protection after the completion of priority decontamination measures. Subsequently, similar work was performed on the 3rd power unit and the Shelter object.

Security and operatives

Currently, engineering and technical security measures include the following lines:

  • concrete fence with a total height of 2.5 m, equipped with the Radian M system;
  • control and tracking strip 5–8 m wide;
  • barbed wire fence with the “Peony” system;
  • a strip of subtle obstacles,
  • the situation around the perimeter is controlled by an industrial television system.

The Shelter object has a special fence. Security equipment is in a good condition. The administration of the nuclear power plant recommended that a separate room be allocated for the equipment of the backup perimeter control point using television technology.

The security battalion is not equipped with the necessary number of specialists, which does not allow providing high-quality maintenance and operation of sufficiently sophisticated technical equipment, maintaining them in a constant readiness mode. There are disagreements between the command of the battalion and the administration of the station regarding the assessment of television control equipment, which the NPP management considers as the third engineering line, which contradicts the requirements of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs with an operational security method.

The physical protection of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is carried out by a battalion of internal troops of military unit 3031, numbering 366 people. The principle of perimeter security is operational; 9 daily and 9 half-day posts are also provided. Officers have hands-on experience.

A chatterbox is a find for the spy

However, the quality of the solution of the tasks facing the division is negatively affected by the existing shortcomings. Some military personnel are excessively talkative, and some, due to poor knowledge of the Russian language, insufficient level of general development, cannot quickly study the station, the location of the main and auxiliary premises, possible places for shelter for violators, the existing laissez-passer system, which has 9 types of passes and 11 ciphers.

Despite the classes, the training process is difficult in some cases, while monitoring during mass visits and exits of employees requires a high degree of training. In this regard, it is advisable, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Ukrainian SSR, to consider the issue of a better selection of military personnel to serve in the battalions for the protection of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and to improve the training process.

It was recommended to expedite the solution of the issue of providing vehicles, road equipment along the inner perimeter to increase the efficiency of duty units of the station administration.

The material conditions of servicemen living in the former Skazochny pioneer camp, where 180 people are stationed in one barracks, need to be improved. The problem of organizing the protection of the most critical areas, premises in the main and auxiliary buildings, where equipment is installed that is of particular importance for ensuring the safe operation of reactors, has not been solved at the Chernobyl NPP yet.

The design features of the engineering and technical structures of the station, in particular the machine room, make it possible to freely penetrate not only one, but several important units at once.

As of the reporting period, 11 facilities and buildings — fresh fuel, isotope storage facilities, a nuclear waste storage facility, and others — were installed with technical security equipment at the facility. Separate sections at each power unit have an alarm system with an output to block control panels – electrical control and protection systems, a backup control panel.

Currently, the station has prepared a list of 249 sites, the penetration of persons with hostile intentions can lead to serious negative consequences. A regulation on the self-protection of vulnerabilities has been developed, however, the corresponding additions to the job descriptions have not been made yet, the persons responsible for the protection have not been carried out by order of the enterprise.

At the same time, according to a number of experts, the effectiveness of security will remain low primarily in the premises without a permanent presence of personnel.

The battle against political myopia

The shift method of work, which to a certain extent leads to depersonalization and a decrease in the level of personal responsibility, has a negative impact on the fulfillment of assigned tasks. At the same time, an opinion was expressed about the need to develop measures for moral and material incentives for employees participating in the protection and eradication of political myopia.

With this in mind, the station management was recommended to consider the allocation of additional funds for special equipment of the most critical premises with the alarm output to the guardroom. At the same time, together with party committees, the implementation of the planned measures will continue to increase the political vigilance of employees of the NPP, Production Association Combine.

The problems listed above are of paramount importance in view of the expansion of the volume of decontamination work, for which more than 2.5 thousand military personnel are involved every day. Providing control over the work of military personnel in the most critical areas by the permanent personnel of the NPP in some cases is ineffective due to significant dose loads.

In this regard, employees are looking for various opportunities to reduce the monitoring time, since in case of re-irradiation, they lose a one-time monetary reward and can later be withdrawn from the station. To eliminate the noted shortcomings, management was recommended to review the organization of control over the work of military personnel.

67,000 people visited the Chernobyl NPP in 1987 and about 1,000 people in the 1st quarter of this year. At the same time, the management of contracting organizations in some cases tries to exert forceful pressure on the administration in order to obtain passes for employees newly recruited to work without clearance. Personnel turnover remains significant at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, during 1987 more than 2,300 people were laid off from the station.

These circumstances are taken into account by us when conducting operational measures to ensure reliable protection of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Regular vigilance checks are carried out on the performance of military service for the same purposes by internal troops, followed by a joint analysis of the results, which gives a definite positive result.

An inspection of vehicles, various packaging, bags and so on was organized at the checkpoint in order to prevent foreign objects from entering the station’s territory and into the restricted area. However, the above measures cannot be fully recognized due to the significant amount of imported and introduced property.

In general, experts assess the state of NPP protection as satisfactory.

30 km zone: huge risks of lawlessness

The problem of protecting a 30-kilometer zone is in a more difficult situation. The provision of physical and technical security for the zone is assigned to the 2nd and 5th battalions of internal troops (military unit 3031), the task force and the departments of the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Kiev Region Executive Committee. The perimeter of the 10-kilometer zone is equipped with a barbed wire fence with burglar alarms along the perimeter of Pripyat.

The wire fence around the perimeter of the 30 km zone is in a poor condition. Despite the fact that entry into the 30-kilometer zone is allowed only by passes of the established pattern, its physical security at the checkpoint and the way of patrol outfits, taking into account the peculiarities of the terrain, does not provide reliable control of entry-exit.

All this creates opportunities for almost unhindered penetration into the area between 30 and 10 km by the radii of unauthorized persons, primarily evacuated ones. Currently, more than 1000 people live in the settlements of the zone, especially in its southern part and their number is constantly growing. The actions of the police in relation to persons who have been voluntarily re-evacuated to the zone are limited by the fact that its status has not been determined yet, which would make it possible to unambiguously regulate the procedure for entry and exit, measures in relation to unauthorized residents, and the direction of economic activity.

Applied practice of persuading does not give a positive result. Cases of lawlessness regarding the property remaining after the evacuation of the population are causing concern. The solution of the issue of determining the status of the zone could significantly contribute to the creation of a single unit for maintaining public order and security, installation of reliable technical equipment around the perimeter.

Given these and other shortcomings in the protection of the station and the 30-kilometer zone, the KGB of the Ukrainian SSR in the city of Kiev and the Kiev region are taking measures to increase the effectiveness of KGB measures for anti-sabotage protection of the object.

The actions of the operational personnel were determined in case of a threat to the station from the side of sabotage groups, measures were developed for interaction with the internal troops to protect the station and zone. Joint exercises are planned in order to open and eliminate possible shortcomings for the current year.

Most of the noted shortcomings will be eliminated in the process of implementation of the safety requirements newly developed by the USSR Atomic Energy Ministry at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. We report in the order of information”.