The Chernobyl disaster: The death of Legasov
The Chernobyl disaster: The death of Legasov

A group of specialists, during a study of the operational capabilities of the reactor, concluded that it does not comply with modern safety requirements.

The technical characteristics of the structures were unsatisfactory. The conclusion they prepared, which is objectively called by international experts as substantive and not biased, speaks of the established incontrovertible fact that large-capacity channel (RBMK) reactors are potentially dangerous, the scale of an imminent accident when they are used is enormous.

The Chernobyl engineers did not know that the reactor could gain power by accelerating under certain circumstances. Moreover, referring to the expert opinion, there is no guarantee that even the elimination of a number of inaccuracies in the design of the reactor would make it more or less safe.

They believe that there are dozens of other situations, the development of which would lead to similar consequences of the Chernobyl tragedy.

“We were going to the accident. If it had not happened now, then in the current situation it could have happened at any other time. They tried to blow up this station twice, but did it only in the third year. As it became known now, there was not a single year at nuclear power plants without emergency. “The design flaws of the RBMK reactor were also known, but no relevant conclusions were made either by the ministries or the Academy of Sciences of the USSR”.

These words do not belong to an alternative study of the Chernobyl accident. These are the official comments of the commission members involved in identifying the causes of the disaster.

Besides, these are the words of party bosses, not dissidents in nuclear physics. A potential threat to the reactor was not ruled out by its direct inventors – academician Valery Legasov and Anatoly Alexandrov, considered the parents of this nuclear monster. They understood and recognized the shortcomings of their brainchild.

In 1975, there was an accident at the Leningrad NPP, in 1982 a similar one happened at Chernobyl. The Chernobyl disaster could be predicted to the nearest minute. It was not the first at this station, but the only planetary eco-disaster of the past century that took hundreds of lives.

How we are afraid of the truth…

The government commission recognized the imperfection of the reactor, including the inadequate reaction of the chain of technological links to the actions of operators, nevertheless, the stamp “top secret” was immediately imposed on the minutes of the meeting. The materials of the commission of inquiry were classified, and a month later, applicants for arrests were identified.

The newspaper “Pravda”, with the permission of the Politburo, literally printed the following message: “It was established that the accident occurred due to a number of gross violations by the employees of the power plant of the rules for operating reactor facilities.”

This meant that there was an objective version “for internal use” and another was “for everyone else.” One from another radically different.

At the trial, experts of the main design bureau of Kurchatov Institute stated the following definition:

“The reactor is not explosive if it is used properly”.

How they live with this conclusion, and what they dream at night – not many people today fit into their heads. Nevertheless, it was officially decided to adhere to precisely this point of view.

Arguments confirming the guilt of the personnel and individual officials of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant were adopted as “truth of the highest instance”. The IAEA verdict was also based on them, which included materials provided by the Soviet side on the speech of Academician Legasov.

Later, after the collapse of the USSR, in 1993, the IAEA published its updated and refined by some circumstances version of its report as a result of an additional investigation by the Gosatomnadzor. Experts objectively stated about the dangerous design features of the reactor, at the same time, for the sake of justice, noted that there were no reasons to relieve responsibility from the NPP personnel.

As expected, they also recorded a complete lack of constructive interaction between the AC engineering group and constructors and scientific designers. Simply put, those who were responsible for the operation of the reactor had no idea about its potential explosive hazard.

Legasov himself regretted in his documentary evidence that it did not occur to the designers and planners to provide the reactor facility with reliable super protection so that the station personnel, performing all the technical nuances of the experiment, could not damage it.

The death of Legasov and Alexandrov

Two years after the Chernobyl accident, Academician Legasov was found dead in his office. The version of the investigation was that he committed suicide due to an extremely depressed moral and psychological state. There were and still are those who do not agree that Legasov committed suicide on his own. It can be safely assumed that both have objective reasons.

Immediately after the Chernobyl disaster, academician Aleksandrov was relieved from the post of President of the Academy of Sciences at his own request. In 1994, being at a fairly advanced age, he died, but also in very doubtful circumstances, his body was found in a car with the engine running 

Shortly after the Chernobyl accident, the chief designer of RMBC, Academician Nikolai Dollezhal, had retired. It is noteworthy that in the early 1990s he was interrogated in the Chernobyl case, and a few years later he was presented for a government award. At the same time, criminal cases were instituted against a number of other party functionaries.

Vladimir Shcherbitsky was among them. He was the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, who insisted on holding, after only three days, the May Day demonstration in Kiev, where the exceeding critical level of radiation was recorded. The Chairman of the Council of Ministers Alexander Lyashko, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council Valentina Shevchenko, the Minister of Health of Ukraine Anatoly Romanenko are also among them.

It is very revealing that on April 24, 1993, the criminal case against party leaders was still closed. The court ruling states – beyond the statute of limitations. Today, when more than 30 years have passed since the Chernobyl tragedy, the so-called statute of limitations is treated differently.

There is no limitation period for those events as a result of which human life has been taken. For those who survived in Chernobyl, the tragedy to this day responds with pain in the heart and an unhealed spiritual wound, a kind of ecocide that massively destroyed not only part of the plant and animal world, but also the belief that justice exists.