The Chernobyl accident: dispersal of clouds
The Chernobyl NPP 2019: present

Recently, a training had been held at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and in the Exclusion Zone for specialists in nuclear safety and response to nuclear events in the United States of America. The training was conducted as part of a trilateral cooperation between the radiation safety workshop of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the Clean Futures Fund charitable foundation, and the Technical Resources Group Inc.

It provides radiation response services, and provides training and skills development for emergency response services throughout the United States and many other countries.

TRG holds about 200 radiological trainings each year, teaches thousands of emergency response specialists in the United States and abroad to develop their skills and better understand the consequences of a radiation or nuclear accident. The Chernobyl NPP personnel has valuable knowledge and experience; it needs to solve complex environmental and operational problems at the station every day.

This experience and knowledge is of critical importance to the international community and should be studied in order to improve the knowledge and safety of personnel responsible for radiation safety and emergency response worldwide. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant has always put transparency, openness and interaction as priority tasks.

Within the framework of trilateral cooperation on the basis of the Chernobyl NPP facilities and the exclusion zone, specialists from the United States gained knowledge in the field of responding to emergency nuclear events and handling contaminated facilities and territories, and also adopted practical professional skills of the Chernobyl NPP personnel in the above topics.

Similar events have become the norm for the modern Chernobyl NPP. All kinds of trainings, international conferences, modern research in the framework of scientific and practical consultations, symposiums, consultations – Chernobyl has become a global platform for any dialogue today, the purpose of which is anti-radiation safety.

Also, the Chernobyl NPP became the platform for the IAEA national seminar in September. The topic of the seminar is the characterization of liquid and solid radiation wastes, as well as waste packages. The work was attended by foreign IAEA experts from Hungary and France, representatives of the Institute for the Safety of Nuclear Power Plants and the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine, as well as Chernobyl experts.

The main topics for discussion concerned international practices for characterizing wastes, in particular their legislative regulation, equipment for characterization, as well as methods for measuring the activity of radionuclides. The information announced at the seminar is important for the Chernobyl NPP because the station is at the stage of decommissioning, which leads to the formation of a large amount of waste.

…Today, the Chernobyl NPP lives almost daily with such a practice of professional meetings at a very different level. The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant continues to be an international platform for constructive professional discussions aimed at the phased transformation of the Shelter into a safe ecological zone against the background of the commissioning of a new confinement.

We give below several historical chronicles related to the functioning and operation of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the late 80s of the last century for a more objective understanding of the importance of the present moment. The materials were taken from the newspaper “Labor Watch”, which was published at that time with a circulation of 4,000 copies.

Look back, look forward

October 1988, the reporting and election conference, the city committee of the Communist Party of Slavutich reports.

“…Summing up the work for the past period, it should be noted that, in general, almost all enterprises cope with the planned indicators. The current time is marked by the intense labor rhythm of builders, power engineers, and nuclear engineers. Together we write a biography of Slavutich.

Its transfer to a rotational-free working method, ensuring the safe operation of the station, the city being settled by permanent residents, the continuation of work in the 30 km zone, and much more are among the primary and most important tasks that the city committee has to solve is the creation of a stable Chernobyl labor collective.

It should be noted that the 1st, 2-nd and 3-rd units of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant are stable, which generated more than 30 billion kW / h of electricity in the post-accident period, including about 15 billion kW / h in 9 months of this year. Electricity consumption was reduced by 7.76% by improving the mode of operation, servicing equipment, increasing the reliability of its operation.

Radiation levels have been achieved at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, ensuring safe work and equipment maintenance. A further decrease in the average monthly load of personnel exposure continues. A significant contribution to the cause of the aftermath of the accident is made by the teams of the Combine Production Association, construction organizations. A large amount of work has been completed on the conservation of the third stage of the station, the reconstruction and putting in order of engineering networks, the completion of the commissioning of sanitary inspection rooms.

A large amount of work had been done to decontaminate 30 km of the exclusion zone for 9 months of 1988. Hundreds of pieces of equipment and kilometers of pipes were returned to the national economy. Tens of thousands of cubic meters of radioactive waste was localized and disposed of for disposal. Much has been done on dust suppression, decontamination of roads and pedestrian crossings, buildings and structures, we continue to organize scientific and practical events together with specialists of the Institute of Atomic Energy named after I.V.Kurchatov.

Thousands of people are standing behind the volumes of construction and installation work, received kW / h of electricity, not sparing their strength, and sometimes, risking their health. The main task of this stage is to ensure the highest degree of reliability and safety of the nuclear power plant.

The accelerated construction of the city of Slavutich, the priority occupation of workers of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, city-forming enterprises in its residential quarters are subordinate to this task. A new city of power engineers is born thanks to the dedicated work of builders – envoys from all union republics. To introduced in 1987, 120 thousand square meters of housing, more than 110 thousand square meters have been commissioned of new living space for 9 months of this year, which amounted to 3904 apartments.

Unfortunately, it is not possible yet to ensure the comprehensiveness of the development of the entire city, a number of objects necessary for full urban functioning have not been put into operation in accordance with the established deadlines yet. There is still performed a poor quality of work, poor provision of facilities with material resources, and lack of professional personnel. Works on the improvement of sidewalks, lawns are extremely unsatisfactory; the planting of trees and shrubs is poorly organized.

Failure to meet the deadlines for the delivery of social and cultural facilities led to a breakdown in the beginning of greening the city. There is a low production culture at many facilities, requests for the supply of materials are systematically disrupted, causing machine downtime, loss of working time, which in turn causes fair complaints, “grandstanding storming through”, and a decrease in the quality of work performed. It is not for nothing that people say that “waiting syndrome is ruining any business”. Everyone – from a simple master to the head of the site – should make conclusions.

It is necessary not to “force” each new five-year plan with bright slogans in order for the biography of the new city of nuclear scientists to become a personal biography for hundreds of thousands of families as quickly as possible, but to carry out systematic daily painstaking work – each should be in its place, honestly, in good conscience. So that we can all proudly look at the streets and avenues that are given the names of the heroes – Vasily Ignatenko, Vladimir Pravik, Viktor Kibenko, Nikolai Vashchuk, Nikolai Titenok, Vladimir Tishura, and many others”.

At full capacity

From the materials of the newspaper “Labor Watch”

…November 1988. The work to eliminate the consequences of the Chernobyl accident is carried out in the territory where soil, vegetation, buildings, equipment, mechanisms are radioactive sources. The Department of Radiation Monitoring developed the “Instructions on radiation safety for the 30 kilometer zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant” in order to protect the health of people directly working in the contaminated area and to prevent the spread of radioactive “dirt” outside the 30-kilometer zone.

It defines the basic requirements for the implementation of radiation safety and for the regulation of human behavior in conditions of radioactive contamination and increased background. Alas, cases of violation of this document have a place to be. Especially in the part that prohibits the export of various objects outside the zone without monitoring.

Outreach among the population has been carried out everywhere since the catastrophe. Not everyone is able to come to terms with the requirements of the Instructions. Nevertheless, this does not stop the instructors, who, at the full capacity, daily calling for the moral responsibility of citizens, bring to their attention the basic requirements of radiation safety every day.

Unfortunately, one still has to deal with those who are trying to bypass the checkpoint in any way and remove household items, building materials, mechanisms, or other equipment from the exclusion zone. Sometimes people try to get around the checkpoint in their personal “contaminated” vehicles, in radioactive overalls, they try to take out what has not passed dosimetric control.

Are there really still those who do not understand the severity of such a consequence and what threat do such actions pose for those who live outside the exclusion zone? It’s hard to believe, but such people, it turns out, are not stopped by either the moral code or the Code of Criminal Procedure…”

There is a difference of almost 30 years between these events. Fall 1988 and Fall 2019. Agree that this resembles a chessboard, illustrating the black-and-white difference between the current state of affairs and the problems faced by those who were involved in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident just a couple of years after the disaster.

Such different troubles, such different workdays, but with the same past, with the same pain, and we hope with very similar aspirations to quickly turn over the tragic page in the history of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

We wish with the same desire to enable the future generation to turn the Chernobyl nuclear power plant from a terrifying place of global catastrophe, into a showcase, progressive, ecological, scientific Center, which rose from the ruins, took to the rails of global modernization, recreated the natural landscape and was able to prove to the whole world its right to exist, as a place of memory, heroism, duty, honor, the triumph of science and nature.

There is every reason to believe that such a future awaits the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. A new confinement at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the creation of a radiation-ecological biosphere reserve, the development of new modern projects for the operation of the Exclusion Zone in the future give such an excellent start.