Chernobyl notebook. Part of 3

April 26 1986 years


Returning in the evening of April 25 from a trip to the Crimean NPP, I looked through all my notes and minutes of meetings, focusing more on the outline of the meeting of the Bureau of the Crimean Regional Committee of the CPSU 23 April 1986, in which I participated.
Before the meeting of the Bureau of the Regional Committee I had conversations with the head of the industrial department of the regional committee V.V. Kurashik and the secretary of the regional committee for industry V.I. Pigarev. I was surprised then that both comrades asked me almost the same question; Is it not rash to build a nuclear power plant in Crimea, in a resort health resort of the country? Are there no other places in the Soviet Union?
“Yes,” I replied. - There are a lot of junk and sparsely populated or generally uninhabited land-inconveniences, where it would be possible to build nuclear power plants ...
- So why? .. Who decides so? ..
- The Minister of Energy, the State Planning Committee of the USSR ... And the “Energosetproekt” projects the distribution of capacities over the territory of the country, in accordance with the energy needs in a particular area ...
“But we are drawing thousands of kilometers of power lines from Siberia to the European part of the country, really ...”
- Yes you are right.
- So, in the Crimea, you can not build?
- Can.
“And you need ...” said Pigarev, smiling sadly. - But we will build ... - the secretary of the regional committee has already efficiently recovered.
- Yes, we will.
- This is what the principal conversation at the Bureau will be today. Builders and management work sluggishly, disrupting targets. This situation can not be tolerated further ... - Pigarev somehow looked at me pleadingly: - Outline me, please, how are things really going on at the construction site so that I can speak more convincingly at the Regional Committee Bureau.
I analyzed the situation. The secretary spoke convincingly.


On the night of April 25-26, 1986, all future responsible for the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl slept quietly. And the ministers Mayorets and Slavsky, and the president of the USSR Academy of Sciences A.P. Aleksandrov, and the chairman of Gosatomenergonadzor E.V. Kulov, and even the director of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant V.P. Bryukhanov, and the chief engineer of the station N.M. Fomin. Moscow slept and the whole night half of the globe. Meanwhile, in the room of the control panel of the fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, there were truly historical developments.
Let me remind you that the change of Alexander Akimov took over the watch in 24 hours 00 minutes, that is, 1 hours 25 minutes before the explosion. Many of those who took over the shift will not finish until the morning. Two will die immediately ...
So, in 1 hour 00 minutes 26 April 1986, the capacity of the nuclear reactor 4-th power unit due to the coarse pressure of the deputy chief engineer A. S. Dyatlov was stabilized at the level of 200 MW thermal. The poisoning of the reactor with decomposition products continued, a further increase in power was not possible, the operational reactivity margin was significantly lower than the procedural and, as I said earlier, according to SIUR Leonid Toptunov was 18 rods. This calculation gave the computer "Scala" seven minutes before pressing the button "AZ" (emergency protection).
It should be noted that the reactor was in an uncontrolled state and was explosive. This meant that pressing the “AZ” button at any of the remaining moments up to the historical point of the explosion moment known to us would have led to uncontrollable fatal overclocking. There was nothing to affect the reactivity.
Before the explosion there were still 17 minutes 40 seconds. This is a very big time. Almost an eternity. Historical eternity. After all, thought flies at the speed of light. How much can you change your mind over these 17 minutes 40 seconds, remember your whole life, the whole history of mankind. But, unfortunately, it was only the time of movement to the explosion ...
In 1 hour 03 minutes and in 1 hour 07 minutes, in addition to the six main circulation pumps (MCPs) running, one more pump was turned on each side. It was meant that after the end of the experiment, four pumps would remain in the circulation circuit for reliable cooling of the core.
Here it is necessary to clarify to the reader that the hydraulic resistance of the core and the circuit of forced circulation is directly dependent on the power of the reactor. And since the power of the reactor was small (total 200 MW of thermal), the hydraulic resistance of the core was also low. All eight main circulating pumps were in operation, the total water flow through the reactor increased to 60 thousand cubic meters per hour, with the standard 45 thousand cubic meters per hour, which is a gross violation of operating regulations. With this mode of operation, the pumps can disrupt the flow, possibly causing vibration of the pipelines of the circuit due to cavitation (boiling water with strong water hammer).
A sharp increase in the flow rate of water through the reactor led to a decrease in vaporization, a drop in the vapor pressure in the drum separators, where the steam-water mixture from the reactor enters, to an undesirable change in other parameters.
Leonid Toptunov, a senior reactor control engineer, Alexander Akimov, the head of the block shift, and Boris Stolyarchuk, a senior block control engineer, tried to manually maintain the reactor parameters: steam pressure and water level in separator drums, but could not fully do it. At this time dips in steam pressure at 5 – 6 atmospheres and dips in the water level below the alarm set point were observed in the drum separators. A. Akimov, with the consent of A. S. Dyatlov, ordered to block emergency protection signals by these parameters.
The question is, was it possible to avoid a catastrophe in this situation? Can. It was necessary only to abandon the experiment categorically, connect the reactor emergency cooling system (ECCS) to the reactor, use emergency diesel generators, thus reserving power supply in case of total de-energization. Manually, by steps, proceed to reducing the reactor power, up to its complete stop, in no case dropping the emergency protection, for this was equivalent to an explosion ...
But this chance was not used. The reactivity of the reactor continued to slowly fall ...
In 1 hour 22 minutes 30 seconds (one and a half minutes before the explosion), SIUR Leonid Toptunov saw in the printout of the quick reactivity assessment program that it was a value that required an immediate shutdown of the reactor. That is, those same 18 rods instead of the required twenty-eight. He hesitated for a while. After all, there were cases when the computer was wrong. Nevertheless, Toptunov reported the situation to Akimov and Dyatlov.
It was not too late to stop the experiment and carefully manually reduce the reactor power while the core was intact. But this chance was missed, and the trials began. It should be emphasized that all operators, except Toptunov and Akimov, who were still embarrassed by the data of the computer, were calm and confident in their actions. Dyatlov was also calm. He walked along the premises of the control room and hurried the guys:
- Another two or three minutes, and everything will be over. Have fun guys!

At 1 hour 23 minutes 04 seconds, senior turbine control engineer Igor Kershenbaum at the command of GP Metlenko: “Oscilloscope is on!” Closed the throttle stop valves of the eighth turbine, and the rotor of the generator began to run out. At the same time, the “MPA” button (maximum design basis accident) was pressed. Thus, both the seventh and eighth turbos were turned off. The existing emergency protection of the reactor to shut down two turbines was blocked to be able to repeat the tests if the first attempt was unsuccessful. Thereby, another deviation from the test program was made, in which it was not envisaged to block the emergency protection of the reactor to shut off two turbine units. But the whole paradox was that if the actions of the operators were correct in this case, and the blockage was not removed, then by shutting down the second turbine the emergency protection would have worked, and the explosion would have hit us a minute and a half earlier ...
At the same time, that is, in 1 hour 23 minutes 04 seconds, the main zirknosos began steaming and there was a decrease in water consumption through the active zone. Coolant boiled in the process channels of the reactor. At the same time, the process developed slowly at first, and some time after the start of the tests, the power slowly began to increase. Who knows, maybe the growth of power would continue to be smooth in the future, who knows ...
Leonid Toptunov, a senior reactor control engineer, was the first to notice an increase in power and sounded the alarm.
- We need to throw emergency protection, Alexander Fedorovich, we are accelerating, - he said to Akimov.
Akimov quickly looked at the printout of the computer. The process developed slowly. Yes, slowly ... Akimov hesitated. There was, however, another signal: eighteen rods instead of twenty-eight, but ... The head of the block shift experienced complex feelings. After all, he did not want to rise after the drop in power to 30 MW. I did not want to ... I did not want to feel nauseous, to weakness in my legs. Failed, however, to resist Dyatlov. Character is not enough. Reluctantly, obeyed. And when he obeyed, confidence came. He raised the power of the reactor from the unregulated state and all this time he was waiting for a rather serious new reason for pressing the emergency protection button. Now it seems that such time has come.
It can also be assumed that the blockage for triggering the emergency protection was applied to the “MPA” button, when pressed, the “AZ” rods for some reason did not go down.
This could be the reason that Akimov in 1 hour 23 minutes 40 seconds pressed the button "AZ", trying to duplicate the alarm ...
But this is only an assumption. Documentary evidence or eyewitness accounts on this score is not yet ...
- Giving emergency protection! - Akimov shouted and stretched out his hand to the red button.
In 1 hour 23 minutes 40 seconds, the block change manager Alexander Akimov pressed the fifth type emergency protection button, at the signal of which all control rods at the top, as well as the rods of the emergency protection itself, entered the active zone. But first of all, those fatal ends of the rods entered the zone, which give the reactivity increment half of the beta due to dehydration of the CPS channels. And they entered the reactor just at the moment when extensive evaporation began there, also giving a powerful reactivity increment. The same effect gave rise in the temperature of the active zone. Three factors unfavorable for the active zone came together.
The sequence of the development of the accident could be somewhat different. With relatively quiet parameters and a falling coolant flow rate (running out rotor speed decreased), the introduction of control rods into the active zone (positive reactivity over 0,5 p) was a provoking factor. The coolant boiled, adding its component (up to 4 (3), plus the temperature effect. Next - avalanche acceleration, explosion ...
In any case, these damned 0,5 in and were the last straw that overflowed the "patience" of the reactor.
It was here that Akimov and Toptunov would have to wait, not to press the button, then, oh, how the emergency cooling system for the reactor (ECCA), which was turned off, locked to a circuit and sealed, would be useful, it would have to be urgently addressed with the main circulating pumps, supply cold water to the suction line, knock down cavitation, stop steaming and thereby supply water to the reactor and reduce the vaporization, and therefore release of excess reactivity. Here they would ensure the inclusion of diesel generators and a working transformer in order to supply power to the electric motors of the responsible consumers, but alas! .. Such a command was not given before pressing the emergency protection button.
The button was pressed, and the acceleration of the reactor on instantaneous neutrons began ...
Rods went down, but almost immediately stopped. After that, from the side of the central hall came the blows. Leonid Toptunov confusedly shifted on the spot. The head of the block shift, Alexander Akimov, seeing that the absorber rods passed only 2 – 2,5 meters instead of the seven, rushed to the operator’s console and de-energized the servo drives so that the rods fell into the active zone under the action of their own weight. But that did not happen. Apparently, the reactor channels were deformed, and the rods jammed ...
Then the reactor will be destroyed. A significant part of the fuel, reactor graphite and other in-reactor structures will be thrown out by an explosion. But on the selsyns-indexes of the position of the absorber rods of the unit control panel of the fourth power unit, as on the famous clock in Hiroshima, the hands are forever stuck in an intermediate position, showing the depth of the 2 – 2,5 meter instead of the seven, and in this position will be buried in the shelter ...

Time 1 hour 23 minutes 40 seconds ...
At the moment of pressing the “AZ-5” button (emergency protection of the fifth kind), the bright illumination of the selsyn-pointer scales flashed frighteningly. Even the most experienced and cool operators in such seconds compressed heart. The destruction of the reactor began in the depths of the core, but this is not an explosion. Twenty seconds remained before time X.
Let me remind you that at that time there were: block change manager Alexander Akimov, senior reactor control engineer Leonid Toptunov, deputy chief operating engineer Anatoly Dyatlov, senior block control engineer Boris Stolyarchuk, senior turbine control engineer Igor Kershenbaum , Deputy Head of the Turbine Workshop of Unit No. 4, Razim Davletbaev, Head of the Laboratory of the Chernobyl Commissioning Company Peter Palamarchuk, Head of Unit Change, Yuriy Tregub, having passed th shift Akimov, a senior engineer of the turbine from the previous shift Sergei Gazin, trainees from other shifts cihuri Proskuryakov Victor and Alexander Kudryavtsev, as well as a representative of "Dontechenergo" Gennady Metlenko and his two assistants, who were in the neighboring non-operational indoor control room nearby.
The task of Metlenko and his group included the removal of the electrical characteristics of the generator during the run-down of the rotor. Metlenko himself, while in the block control room, had to monitor the rate of fall of the generator rotor speed on the tachometer. Strange fate fell to the lot of this man, actually remaining in the shadows. Understanding nothing in a nuclear reactor, Metlenko became the actual leader of the electrical experiment that led to the worst nuclear catastrophe. He did not even personally know the people with whom he went to work on that fateful night. Later G.P. Metlenko told:
“I did not know the operators. I saw them for the first time; an experiment brought us together that night. I waited a day experience. He could be in the previous shift. I had to take evidence ... I didn’t understand anything during the explosions. The operators remembered - bewilderment. Why did it happen?.."
What did Akimov and Toptunov, the operators of the atomic process, experience at the moment when the absorbing rods were stuck halfway through and the first terrible blows were heard from the central hall? It is difficult to say, because both operators died an agonizing death from radiation, leaving no evidence to that effect.
But you can imagine what they experienced. I am familiar with the feelings experienced by the operators at the first moment of the accident. Repeatedly been in a similar situation when working on the operation of nuclear power plants.
In the first instant: numbness, everything in the chest collapses like an avalanche, gives a cold wave of involuntary fear, primarily because they are caught off guard and at first you don’t know what to do, while the arrows of the recorders and indicating devices run in different directions, and your eyes hurt after they, when the cause and pattern of the emergency mode is still unclear, when at the same time (again involuntarily) one thinks somewhere in the depth, the third plan, about responsibility and consequences of what happened. But the next moment an extraordinary clarity of head and composure begins. The consequence is quick and accurate actions to localize the accident ...
Toptunov, Dyatlov, Akimov, Stolyarchuk - in confusion. Kershenbaum, Metlenko, Davletbaev do not understand anything in nuclear physics, but the operators' anxiety is also transmitted to them.
Absorbing rods stopped halfway, do not go down even after the head of the block shift Akimov de-energized the servo drives. From the side of the central hall one can hear sharp blows, the floor is trembling. But this is not an explosion ...

Time 1 hour 23 minutes 40 seconds ... Leave the block control panel of the fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant for those twenty seconds left before the explosion ...
At this very moment, the central hall of the fourth power unit, a mark of plus fifty (a balcony in the area of ​​the fresh fuel hanging unit), went round Valery Perevozchenko, shift supervisor of the Akim watch, walking around the reactor room. He looked at the reloading machine, frozen at the opposite wall, at the door in the wall, behind which the operators of the central hall Kurguz and Heinrich were in a small room, on the floor of the central hall, examined the fuel holding pools packed with unloaded spent fuel ...
"Piglet" is the name of a circle of fifteen meters in diameter, consisting of two thousand cubes. These cubes together represent the upper biological protection of the reactor. Each of these cubes weighing 350 kilograms is placed in the form of a cap on the head of the technological channel in which the fuel cartridge is located. Around the patch is a stainless floor, formed by bio-protective boxes, covering the rooms of steam and water pipelines leading from the reactor to the drum separators.
And suddenly Perevozchenko started. Strong and frequent hydraulic shocks started, and the 350-kilogram cubes (they still have the project name “build eleven”) started to jump up and down on the head of the channels, as if seventeen hundred people began to throw up their caps. The whole surface of the penny came to life, went shaking in a wild dance. The biosecurity box around the reactor shook and bent. This meant that the explosive mixture had been popping under them ...
Peeling off his hands and hitting the corners of the handrails painfully, Perevozchenko rushed down a steep, almost vertical spiral staircase down to the mark plus ten, into the transition corridor connecting the rooms of the main circulation pumps. In fact, he failed, slightly braking himself on the fly, into a pit forty meters deep.
With a loudly beating heart, with a panicky feeling in the soul, knowing that something terrible was happening, irreparable, on legs weakening from involuntary fear, he ran to the left, to the exit to the deaerator stand where, behind a salutary turn, twenty meters from the door, began The hundred-meter corridor, in the middle of which was the entrance to the block control room of the fourth power unit. He hurried there to report to Akimov about what is happening in the central hall ...
At that moment, when Perevozchenko jumped into the connecting corridor, at the far end of the main circulation pump room was the driver Valery Hodemchuk. He watched the behavior of the pumps in the run-down mode of the generator rotor. The pumps were shaking violently, and Hodemchuk was about to report this to Akimov, but then an explosion slammed ...
At the mark of plus twenty-four, in the 604 room, the Kipovsky premises, located under the reactor power unit, were on duty with the instruments the serviceman from the Chernobyl commissioning enterprise, Vladimir Shashenok. He took readings of the devices in the run-up mode and maintained telephone communication with the unit control panel and the Skala computer complex ...
What happened in the reactor? To understand this, we must go back a little and trace the chain of actions of operators.
In 1 hour 23 minutes, the reactor parameters were closest to stable. A minute before this, Boris Stolyarchuk, a senior unit control engineer, sharply reduced the feedwater flow to the separator drums, which naturally led to an increase in the water temperature at the reactor inlet.
After the stop-control valve was closed and the turbo-generator No. 8 was turned off, the rotor began to run out. Due to the reduction of steam consumption from the drum separators, its pressure began to grow weakly, at a rate of 0,5 amperes per second. The total flow through the reactor began to fall due to the fact that all eight main circulating pumps operated by running out of the turbogenerator. They were shaken and observed by Valery Khodhemchuk (there was not enough energy, the power of the pumps fell in proportion to the decrease in the generator speed, respectively, the water supply to the reactor also fell).
Increasing steam pressure, on the one hand, and reducing water consumption through the reactor, as well as supplying feedwater to separator drums, on the other, were competing factors that determined the steam content in the core, and hence the reactor power.
As I indicated earlier, the reactivity vapor effect (from 2 to 4 beta) is the most significant in uranium-graphite reactors. The effectiveness of emergency protection has been significantly reduced. The total positive reactivity in the core as a result of a sharp decrease in the flow of cooling water through the reactor began to grow. That is, an increase in temperature led, on the one hand, to an increase in vaporization, and on the other, to a rapid increase in temperature and vapor effects. This was the impetus for pressing the emergency protection button. But, as I said above, with the press of the “AZ” button, additional reactivity of the 0,5 beta was introduced. Three seconds after pressing the “AZ” button, the reactor power exceeded 530 MW, and the acceleration period was much shorter than 20 seconds ...
With the growth of reactor power, the hydraulic resistance of the core has increased dramatically, water consumption has declined further, intense vaporization, heat transfer crisis, destruction of fuel nuclear cassettes, rapid boiling of the coolant, which have already fallen particles of destroyed fuel, sharply increased pressure in the process channels, and they began to collapse.
During the period of a sharp increase in pressure in the reactor, the check valves of the main circulating pumps slammed shut and the flow of water through the core completely stopped. Steam formation increased. The pressure grew at a rate of atmospheres 15 per second.
The moment of mass destruction of technological channels was observed by the shift manager of the reactor department Perevozchenko at 1 hour 23 minutes 40 seconds ...
Then, in the last 20 seconds before the explosion, when Perevozchenko flew headlong from a fifty-meter height down to the mark plus ten, violent vapor-zirconium and other chemical and exothermic reactions occurred in the active zone with the formation of hydrogen and oxygen, that is, explosive mixture.

At this time there was a powerful steam release - the main safety valves of the reactor worked. However, the release did not last long, the valves were not able to cope with such pressure and flow and collapsed.
At the same time, the lower water and upper steam-water communications (pipelines) were torn off by enormous pressure. The reactor from above received a free communication with the central hall and the rooms of the separator drums, and from the bottom with a firmly tight box, which was provided by designers for the localization of the ultimate nuclear accident. But nobody thought of that accident which happened, and therefore in this case the solid-tight boxing served as a huge tank in which detonating gas began to accumulate.
In the 1 hour 23, the 58 minute minutes, the concentration of hydrogen in the explosive mixture in different rooms of the unit reached an explosive and, according to eyewitnesses, two were heard successively, and according to others - three or more explosions. In fact, the reactor and the building of the fourth power unit were destroyed by a series of powerful explosions of explosive mixture.
The explosions were heard right at the moment when the driver Valery Hodemchuk was at the far end of the main circulation pump room, and the shift supervisor at the reactor department, Perevozchenko, was running along the corridor of the deaerator stand towards the block control panel ...
Burning chunks, sparks, flames soared above the fourth power unit. These were hot pieces of nuclear fuel and graphite, which partially fell on the roof of the machine room and caused its fire, since the roof had a bituminous coating.
To understand how much radioactive substances were ejected into the atmosphere and into the station, it is necessary to provide a characteristic of the neutron field twenty-eight seconds before the explosion.
In 1 hour 22 minutes 30 seconds on the Scala computing system, a printout of the actual energy release fields and the positions of all absorbing control rods was obtained. (It should be noted here that the computing machine counts for 7 — 10 minutes; therefore, it presented the state of the apparatus about ten minutes before the explosion.) The overall picture of the neutron field at the time of the calculation was: in the radial-azimuth direction, that is, the diameter of the core is a convex field, and in height there is an average double hump with a higher energy release in the upper part of the core.
Thus, if you believe the car, in the upper third of the active zone there appeared a kind of flattened ball of a high energy release region with a diameter of about seven meters and a height of up to three meters. It was in this part of the core (weighing about fifty tons) that the acceleration on instantaneous neutrons first occurred, it was here that the heat transfer crisis first occurred, the destruction, melting and then evaporation of nuclear fuel occurred. It is this part of the core that was thrown by an explosion of an explosive mixture into the atmosphere to a great height and carried off by the wind in the north-west direction, through Belarus and the Baltic republics beyond the borders of the USSR.
The fact that the radioactive cloud traveled at a height of from one to eleven kilometers is indirectly confirmed by the evidence of S. Antonov’s aerodrome service technician at the Sheremetyevo airport, who said that arriving airplanes (it is known that modern jet airliners fly up to 13 kilometers) were deactivated during the week after the Chernobyl explosion ...
Thus, about fifty tons of nuclear fuel evaporated and was released by an explosion into the atmosphere in the form of fine particles of uranium dioxide, highly radioactive iodine-131 radionuclides, plutonium-239, neptunium-139, cesium-137, strontium-90, and other non-tungsten, Xtium, XNUMX, and other non, and other non, and XnUMX, and others. half-lives. Another seventy tons of fuel was thrown from the peripheral sections of the active zone by lateral rays of the explosion into a blockage with building structures, onto the roof of the deaerator shelf and machine hall of the fourth power unit, as well as to the area near the station.
Part of the fuel was abandoned on equipment, transformer substations, busbars, the roof of the central hall of the third unit, the ventilation pipe of the nuclear power plant.
It should be emphasized that the activity of the ejected fuel reached X-ray 15 thousand X-rays per hour, and a powerful radiation field immediately formed around the emergency power unit, almost equal to the activity of the ejected fuel (nuclear explosion activity). With distance from the dam, activity fell in proportion to the square of the distance.
It should also be noted here that the evaporated part of the fuel formed a powerful atmospheric reservoir of highly radioactive aerosols, which is especially dense and intensively radiating in the area of ​​the emergency power unit, and the entire nuclear power plant.
This tank, quickly filled, grew in a radial direction, and carried by the changing wind, took the form of a huge sinister radioactive flower.
About fifty tons of nuclear fuel and about eight hundred tons of reactor graphite (total graphite loading - 1700 tons) remained in the reactor shaft, forming a crater resembling a crater of a volcano. (The graphite remaining in the reactor completely burned out in the following days.) Partly nuclear dust, through the holes formed, would wake down to the sub-reactor space, to the floor, because the lower water communications were blown off by an explosion ...
I dwell on this in detail in order to draw a picture of the radioactive contamination of the power unit and the terrain and so that the reader could imagine the terrible conditions that firefighters and operational personnel worked with, who could not imagine what had actually happened.
In order to weigh the scale of the radioactive release, let us recall that the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima weighed four and a half tons, that is, the weight of the radioactive substances formed during the explosion was four and a half tons.
The reactor of the fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant threw fifty tons of evaporated fuel into the atmosphere, creating an enormous atmospheric reservoir of long-lived radionuclides (that is, ten Hiroshima bombs without primary damage factors plus seventy tons of fuel and about seven hundred tons of radioactive reactor graphite deposited in the area of ​​the emergency power unit).


Fire in the destroyed reactor zone of the 4 unit of the Chernobyl NPP. Shooting from a helicopter 26 April 1986 of the year

Summing up the preliminary results, let's say that the activity in the area of ​​the emergency power unit ranged from a thousand to twenty thousand roentgens per hour. True, there were places in the distance and behind shelters, where activity was significantly lower.
What then are the assurances of Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR B.Ye. Shcherbina, Chairman of the State Committee on the Use of Atomic Energy of the USSR A.M. Petrosyants and First Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Hydrometeorology of the USSR Yu.S.Sedunov at the 6 May 1986 press conference in Moscow that the radioactivity in the area of ​​the emergency power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is only 15 millirentgen per hour, that is, 0,015 X-rays per hour. I think this, to put it mildly, inaccuracy is unforgivable.
Suffice it to say that only in the city of Pripyat, radioactivity on the streets all day April 26 and the next few days ranged from 0,5 to 1 X-rays per hour everywhere, and timely truthful information and organizational measures would save tens of thousands of people from overexposure, but ...
I will dwell on the analysis of the radioactive contamination of the locality and the irradiation of people in the spaces from Pripyat to Kiev and Chernigov in more detail, because without this analysis it is impossible to imagine both the degree of heroism of those working to eliminate the consequences of the catastrophe and the responsibility of those who by their incompetence carried out illiterate leadership and essentially led to the tragedy ...
But back a few back.
The sequence, number and location of explosive mixtures that destroyed the atomic reactor and the building of the fourth power unit are important.
After the destruction of technological channels and the breakage of steam and water communications from them, steam saturated with evaporated fuel along with products of radiolysis and vapor-zirconium reaction (hydrogen plus oxygen) entered the central hall, to the right and left rooms of separator drums boxing
With the breakage of the lower water communications, through which cooling water was supplied to the core, the atomic reactor was completely dehydrated. Unfortunately, as we will see later, the operators did not understand this or did not want to believe it, which caused a whole chain of wrong actions, overexposure and death, which could have been avoided ...
So, the explosions ... As I have already said, they began at the beginning in the technological channels of the reactor, when, with excessive pressure, they began to destroy. The same fate befell the lower and upper communications of the reactor. After all, the pressure, as we remember, grew almost at an explosive speed - 15 atmospheres per second and very quickly reached 250 – 300 atmospheres. The working structures of technological channels and pipelines are designed for a maximum of 150 atmospheres (the optimum pressure in the reactor channels is 83 atmospheres).
Having broken channels and having got into the reactor space, calculated only for 0,8 at, steam inflated it, and first of all there was a steam explosion of metal structures. The existing steam dumping pipeline from the reactor space was designed to destroy only one or two technological channels, and here all were destroyed ...
Let me give you a fragment of a journal entry made by one of the firefighters at the 6 clinic in Moscow:
“At the time of the explosion, I was near the control room, at the day post. Suddenly I heard a strong steam ejection. We did not attach any importance to this, because steam emissions occurred repeatedly during my work time (I mean the actuation of the safety valves during the normal operation of a nuclear power plant. - GM). I was going to go to rest, and at this time - an explosion. I rushed to the window, the explosion was followed immediately by the following explosions ... "

So - "a strong release of steam ... An explosion ... The explosion was immediately followed by the following explosions ..."
How many explosions were there? According to the testimony of a fireman - at least three. Or more.
Where could the explosions happen? Noise from a strong steam release - the safety valves of the reactor worked, but then they collapsed, then the steam and water pipelines were torn. It is possible that the pipelines of the circulation circuit are in a tight box. Consequently, hydrogen with steam entered first of all in the premises of steam and water communications, followed by the first small blows of an explosive mixture, which were observed by the shift supervisor of the reactor department V. Perevozchenko in 1 hour 23 minutes 40 seconds.
Hydrogen with steam also entered the rooms of the separator drums on the right and left, in the central hall, in a solid box…
4,2 total percent of hydrogen in the volume of the room is enough to start an explosive hydrolysis reaction, which results in only ordinary water.
So, the explosions were supposed to sound to the right and left in the shafts of the descending pipelines of a tightly dense box, to the right and left in the rooms of the separator drums, in the steam distribution corridor under the reactor itself. As a result of this series of explosions, the rooms of the separator drums collapsed, the separator drums themselves, each weighing 130 tons, shifted from the dead supports and separated from the pipelines. The explosions in the underground pipeline mines destroyed the premises of the main circulation pumps on the right and left. In one of them, Valery Hodemchuk found his grave.
Then there should have been a big bang in the central hall. This explosion demolished a reinforced concrete tent, a fifty-ton crane and a two-hundred and fifty-ton transshipment truck together with a bridge crane on which it was mounted.
The explosion in the central hall was like a fuse for a nuclear reactor, which was uncorked and which was full of hydrogen. Perhaps both explosions — in the central hall and the reactor — occurred simultaneously. In any case, the worst and last explosion of an explosive mixture occurred in the core, which was destroyed by internal breaks of technological channels, partly melted, and partly brought to gaseous state.
This last explosion, which threw a huge amount of radioactive substances and hot pieces of nuclear fuel, part of which fell on the roof of the machine room and deaerator shelves, and caused the roof fire. Here is a continuation of the recording of a fireman from the magazine 6-th Moscow clinic:
I saw a black fireball hovering over the roof of the engine room of the fourth power unit ... ”
Or another entry:
“In the central hall (the mark plus 35,6 is the floor, the central hall itself did not exist. - G. M.) there was not the glow, not the glow. But there, apart from the “penny” of the reactor, there is nothing to burn. Together they decided that this glow comes from the reactor ... "
Fire fighters observed this picture from the roof of the deaerator shelf and from the roof of the special chemistry unit (mark plus 71 meter), where they climbed to assess the situation from above.
An explosion in the reactor tossed and launched in the air the top bio-protection plate weighing 2000 tons. In the unfolded, slightly inclined position, it collapsed again on the apparatus, leaving the active zone to the left and right ajar.
One of the firefighters went up to the floor of the central hall (plus 35,6) and looked into the reactor. Radiation with a capacity of about 30 thousand X-rays per hour, plus powerful neutron radiation, emanated from the vent of the "volcano". However, the young firefighters, although they guessed, did not fully represent the degree of radiation danger that threatened them. From fuel and graphite, for which they walked for a long time on the roof of the turbine hall, they also "shone" up to 20 thousands of x-rays per hour ...
But let's leave for the time of the firemen who behaved like real heroes. They extinguished the visible flame and conquered it. But they were burned, and many were burned by an invisible flame, neutron and gamma-radiation that cannot be extinguished by water ...
There were few of them, those who saw explosions and the beginning of a catastrophe from the side at close range. The evidence is truly historical.
At the time of the explosion in the management of Hydroelectromontage, which was located three hundred meters from the fourth power unit, the watchman Daniil Miruchenko was on duty, 46 years old. Hearing the first explosions, ran to the window. At this time there was the last terrible explosion, a powerful blow, similar to the sound during a jet fighter overcoming the sound barrier, a bright flash of light lit up the room. The walls shuddered, rattled and partly flew out the glass, shook the floor under their feet. This exploded nuclear reactor. A pillar of flame, sparks, hot pieces of something flew up into the night sky. Debris of concrete and metal structures tumbled in the fire of the explosion.
- Well, so vono so buhae ?! - in a confusion, with fear and anxiety, the guard thought, feeling the heart bouncing in his chest and some kind of tightness and soskost in his whole body, as if he had instantly lost ten kilograms ...
A large swirling black fireball began to rise into the skies, blown down by the wind.
Then, immediately after the main explosion, a fire broke out in the roof of the machine room and the deaerator shelf. It became clear how melted bitumen poured from the roof.
- Vzhe to burn ... Bis him ... Vzhe to burn ... - not having had time to recover from the explosions and the noticeable shaking of the floor under his feet, the watchman whispered.
The first fire brigade drove to the block from the industrial site, from the window of which firemen saw a picture of the beginning of the disaster. These were cars from the HPV-2 guard of Lieutenant Vladimir Pravik ...
MIRUZHENKO rushed to the phone and called the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Construction Administration, but no one answered. The clock showed half past one in the morning. The attendant was absent or asleep. Then the watchman phoned VF Vyperailo, the head of the Hydroelectromontage Department, but he was not at home either. Apparently, he was fishing. MIRUZHENKO began to wait for the morning, did not leave the workplace. What is all over for him, I will tell a little later ...
At the same time, on the opposite side of the nuclear power plant, closer to the city of Pripyat and the Moscow-Khmelnitsky railway branch, at a distance of 400 meters from the fourth power unit, the operator of the concrete mixing plant of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Irina Petrovna Tsechelskaya, being in a shift, also heard explosions - four hits, but stayed to work until the morning. After all, its concrete mixing unit provided concrete for the construction of structures for the fifth power unit under construction, on which about 25 people worked on the night from 26 to April 270 and from which directly to the fourth unit was 1200 meters. The radiation background there was one or two X-rays per hour, but the air here and everywhere was already densely saturated with short and long-lived radionuclides, graphite ash, the radioactivity of which was very high and which all these people breathed.
When the explosions crashed, Tsechelskoy unwittingly thought:
"Overcoming the sound barrier ... Boiler explosion in the RCC (start-up backup boiler) ... Did hydrogen explode in the receivers? .."
The well-known from past experience came to mind ... But the start-up boiler room stood peacefully in place, there was a scheduled repair of equipment (it's warm outside) ...
The sound of a flying plane could not be heard, as is usually the case after a sound jump. A hundred meters away, closer to the city of Pripyat, a heavy freight train rumbled, and everything was quiet.
Then the splashing, crash and scream of raging flames over the roof of the fourth block machine building was heard. This burned clay and roof bitumen, ignited by the nuclear fuse.
“Extinguish!” Tsechelskaya confidently decided, continuing to work ...
On the concrete mixing unit, where the operator Tsechelskaya was located, the radiation background was 10 – 15 X-rays per hour.
The most unfavorable was the radiation situation in the north-west direction from the fourth power unit, towards the Yanov railway station, a transitional overpass over the railway from the city of Pripyat to the Chernobyl-Kiev highway. There passed a radioactive cloud after the explosion of the reactor. On the way of the cloud lay the base of Hydroelectromontage, from the window of which the watchman Mirazhenko observed explosions and the development of events on the roof of the machine room. The cloud passed over a young pine forest, cutting off the city from the industrial site, abundantly sprinkling it with nuclear ash. And it will become by the fall and for a long time already a “red forest”, deadly for all living things. Over time, it will be bulldozed and buried in the ground. But after all, a pedestrian concrete path ran through this forest, along which the lovers of walking on their own two went to and from work. And I once went on this path to work ...
The background radiation outside, in the area of ​​the Hydroelectromontage base, was about 30 X-rays per hour.
About the ordeals of Irina Petrovna Tsechelsky and her letter to the Minister of Energy Mayorza, written from Lviv 10 on July 1986, I will tell later ...
But who else could have seen the explosion of the reactor of the fourth power unit on that fateful night of April 26 of the year 1986? Such people were. And these were fishermen, who almost day and night, as if replacing each other, because everybody was fishing during their free time, they were fishing at the confluence of the diversion channel into the cooling pond. Water after working turbines and heat exchange equipment is always warm, and here, as a rule, fish bite well. In addition - spring, spawning, biting and completely excellent.
The distance from the fishing spot to the 4 unit is about two kilometers. Radiation background here reached half-orgent per hour.
Most of those who fished, having heard the explosions and saw the fire, remained to catch until the morning, others, feeling an incomprehensible alarm, a sudden dryness in the throat and a burning sensation in the eyes, returned to Pripyat. Gun blows when the safety valves are triggered, similar to explosions, taught people not to pay attention to such noises, and the fire ... will be extinguished. Great None! The Armenian NPP, Beloyark were burning ...
At the time of the explosion, two hundred and forty meters from the 4 block, just opposite the machine room, two more fishermen were sitting on the bank of the supply channel and were catching fry. Every serious fisherman dreams of pike perch. And without fry on perch it is better not to go, empty business. And he, this fry, especially in the spring, strives closer and closer to the block, right to the pumping station, and walks here, and teems. One of the fishermen is a man without certain occupations by the name of Pustovoit. The second fisherman - Protasov, seconded adjuster from Kharkov. He really liked the local places, the intoxicating air, excellent fishing. I even thought: to move here for permanent residence. If possible, of course. Yet the metropolitan area, the limit on registration, so just can not get settled. The fry caught well, and the mood was good. Warm, starry Ukrainian night. And do not believe that April, more like July. 4-th power unit, snow-white handsome, before eyes. And it pleasantly surprises the soul this unexpected combination of magnificent, blinding atomic power and gentle, splashing fishes in the cage.
At first they heard two deaf, as if underground, explosions inside the block. The soil was noticeably shaken up, then a powerful steam explosion, and only then, with a blinding burst of flame, an explosion of a reactor with fireworks from pieces of hot fuel and graphite. In different directions flew, tumbling in the air, pieces of reinforced concrete and steel beams.
With a nuclear light, snatched out figures of fishermen from the night, but they did not guess about it. Well, something there exploded. A barrel of gasoline, or something ... Both continued to catch fry, unaware that they themselves, like fry, fell into powerful snares of a nuclear catastrophe. Catching and catching fry, with curiosity watching the turn of events. Right before their eyes, Pravik and Kibenok deployed their fire brigade, people fearlessly climbed up to thirty meters high and threw themselves into the fire.
- Look! Have you seen? One fireman already climbed to the block "B" (plus the 71 meter above the ground)! Helmet removed! From gives! Hero! Hot, see ...
The fishermen caught an X-ray of 400 each, closer to the morning it became uncontrollably nauseous, it became very bad for both of them. With heat, with fire, it burns inside the chest, cuts the eyelids, the head is bad, like after a wild hangover. And vomiting, continuous, exhausting. During the night, they tanned to black, as if a month in Sochi were fried in the sun. This is a nuclear tan. But they had no idea about it yet.
We noticed here that it was already dawn, and that the guys from the roof are slipping off like stunned ones, and also turns them upside down. It was as if this became easier, sort of for the company ... But what is it that suddenly fell on them? What it is?..
So they got to the medical unit, and then got to the Moscow clinic ...
Much later, one of them was joking: “An illiterate curiosity and an atrophied sense of responsibility will not bring to the good ...”
Much later, in the summer of 1986, a portrait of Pustovoit appeared on the cover of a foreign journal. A man without certain occupations became known in Europe. But grief is grief. It is the same for all living. And nuclear grief is even more so, because in general it is against all living things ...
Even in the morning, on April 26, more and more new fishermen continued to approach the place of fishing. It says a lot: about the carelessness and illiteracy of people, about the long-standing habit of emergency situations, which for many years, while remaining outside publicity, got away with it. But back to the fishermen later in the morning, when the sun rises in the nuclear skies ...
Now, before returning to the unit control room of the 4 unit, I will give evidence of another eyewitness.
G. N. Petrov, former head of the equipment department of the installation management of Yuzhatomenergomontazh, said:
“I drove from Minsk in my car to the city of Pripyat through Mozyr 25 on April 1986. In Minsk, he spent his son in the army for service in Germany. The younger son, a student, was in the construction team in the south of Belarus. By the evening of April 26, he also tried to get into Pripyat, but there were already cordons and he was not allowed.
I drove up to the city of Pripyat somewhere around two hours thirty minutes past night from the northwest, from the side of Shipelyche. Already near the station Yanov saw fire over the 4-m power unit. A flame pipe illuminated by a flame with transverse red stripes was clearly visible. I remember well that the flame was above the pipe. That is, it reached a height of one hundred and seventy meters above the ground. I did not begin to turn home, but decided to drive closer to the fourth power unit in order to get a better look.
I drove up from the construction management side and stopped about 100 meters from the end of the emergency power unit. I saw in the passing light of the fire that the building was dilapidated, there was no central hall, separator rooms, drum separators shifted from their seats gleaming reddishly. Already the heart was sick from such a picture. Then he considered the blockage and the destroyed Geccain premises. Near the block were fire trucks. An ambulance with the flasher turned on to the city ... ”- Interrupting Petrov’s story, I’ll say that in the place where he stopped the car, the radiation background reached 800 — 1500 had an x-ray per hour, mainly from graphite, scattered by the explosion, fuel and a flying radioactive cloud. - "... I stood for a minute." There was an oppressive feeling of incomprehensible anxiety, numbness, eyes absorbed everything and remembered forever. And anxiety all went into the soul, and involuntary fear appeared. Feeling invisible close threat. It smelled like after a strong discharge of lightning, still tart smoke, it began to burn eyes, dry the throat. Choked cough. And I also, to better see, let the glass down. It was a warm spring night. I saw well that the roof of the mashtal and deaerator shelves was on fire, I saw figures of firefighters flashing in clouds of flame and smoke, stretched upward from the fire engines, waving hoses. One fireman climbed right up onto the roof of the “B” unit, apparently observing the reactor and coordinating the actions of comrades on the roof of the turbine hall to the plus 71 mark. They were thirty meters below him ... Now I understand that he then rose to an unattainable height - the first of all mankind. Even in Hiroshima, people were not so close to a nuclear explosion, a bomb exploded there at a height of seven hundred meters. And here - very close, close to the explosion ... After all, under it was the crater of a nuclear volcano and radioactivity in 30 thousands of roentgens per hour ... But then I did not know. I turned the car around and drove to my home, in the fifth microdistrict of the city of Pripyat. When I entered the house, mine was asleep. It was about three in the morning. They woke up and said they heard the explosions. But do not know what it is. Soon an excited neighbor came running, whose husband had already visited the block. She told us about the accident and offered to drink a bottle of vodka to deactivate the body. A bottle together, with jokes, drank and went to sleep ... "
Here I will interrupt the story of Petrov, who will finish a little later, on the evening of 27 on April 1986 of the year.
Now let's go back to the unit control panel of the 4 unit, which we left twenty seconds before the explosion, after Alexander Akimov pressed the button "AZ" and the absorbing rods, without going half the way, got stuck, and not plunging into the active zone ...
It is appropriate to remind the reader that at many press conferences, in the materials presented by our country to the IAEA, it was said that just before the explosion, the reactor was reliably plugged, the rods were introduced into the core. This lie or thoughtlessness was repeated with an intelligent look and an indisputable tone by many journalists. Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers B. Ye. Shcherbina stated this, asserting that with the destruction of the reactor “criticality” was lost - a new concept in nuclear physics ...
However, as already mentioned, the effectiveness of emergency protection due to gross violations of process regulations was reduced to almost zero. Absorbing rods after pressing the button “AZ” entered the active zone only 2,5 meters instead of the seven and did not drown out the reaction, but on the contrary, contributed to the acceleration on instantaneous neutrons. About this gross error of the designers of the apparatus, which ultimately served as the main cause of a nuclear catastrophe, was not mentioned at any press conference. And I had to say. After all, the RBMK reactor is that nuclear mine, by the explosion of which the stagnant epoch informed about its departure to another world ...
So, the active zone has collapsed.
“Is the remaining part of the fuel in the active zone capable of a nuclear reaction, a new explosion?” - this question was asked by the secretary of the CPSU Central Committee V.I. Dolgikh to Deputy Minister of Energy G.A. Shasharin on the night of April 27 of 1986.

1 hour 23 minutes 58 seconds ... Moments before the explosion ... Those present in the unit control room of the power unit were in the following places: senior reactor control engineer Leonid Toptunov and unit change manager Alexander Akimov - near the left reactor part of the operators console. Next to them is the head of the shift unit from the previous shift, Yuri Tregub, and two young trainees who have just recently passed the SIUR exams. They went out into the night to see how their friend Lenya Toptunov would work, and learn a little. These were Alexander Kudryavtsev and Victor Proskuryakov. Twenty seconds ago, the emergency protection button was pressed. Both: both SIUR and the shift manager of the block looked at the panels of the operators, where the selsyns-indicators of the position of the absorbing rods were mounted (looking like the scales of the alarm clocks) were perplexed. After pressing the “AZ” button, the backlight lamps of the selsyn scales caught fire, and the impression was made that they were red-hot. Akimov rushed to the servo de-energizing key (electric drives of the absorbing rods), pressed it, but the rods did not go down and were already stuck forever in an intermediate position.
- I do not understand! - Akimov shouted in confusion.
Toptunov, also restless and confused, with a puzzled expression on his pale face, alternately pressed the buttons to call for the flow of water through technological channels and the stock before the crisis. The mnemonic board of channels (a simplified scheme) caught fire - the cost was zero, which meant: a reactor without water, it became life, a supply before the heat transfer crisis ...
The crash from the central hall said that there was a crisis of heat transfer and the channels explode.
- I do not understand! What the hell?! We did everything right ... - Akimov screams again.
To the left, the reactor part of the operators' console, a tall, pale, with smoothly combed back, gray-haired Deputy Head Engineer Anatoly Dyatlov approached. Unusually confused. There is a stereotypical expression on the face: “Everything did the right thing ... It cannot be ... We all ...”
At the console “P” - in the central part of the unit control panel (main control room), from where the nutritional-deaerator installation was controlled, was the senior unit management engineer Boris Stolyarchuk. He switched to the station deaerating lines, regulated the supply of feed water to the drum separators. He, too, was confused, although he was convinced of the complete correctness of his actions. Unpleasantly the soul was hurt by sharp blows coming from the womb of the building block. There was a desire to do something to stop this menacing roar. But he did not know what to do, because he did not understand the nature of what was happening.
The “T” console of the turbo unit control (the right part of the operators' console) was located: senior turbine control engineer (SIUT) Igor Kershenbaum, who passed the shift to him and left to see how everything will be, Sergey Gazin. It was Igor Kershenbaum who did all the operations to turn off the turbine unit No. 8 and bring the turbo generator No. 8 to the run-down mode of the generator rotor. The work was carried out in accordance with the approved program and at the direction of the shift commander of the block Akimov. I considered my actions to be absolutely correct. However, seeing the dismay of Akimov, Toptunov and Dyatlov, he felt anxiety. But he had a business, there was no time to worry. He followed the tachometer, along with Metlenko, at the speed of the running out rotor. Everything seemed to go fine. Immediately, at the turbine control panel, the senior head of the turbine workshop of the 4 unit Razim Ilgamovich Davletbayev was in charge of the senior ...
And to the left, at the reactor control panel ... You can see on the mnemotable of the channels: there is no water! Therefore, the reserve was exceeded before the heat transfer crisis ...
"What the hell?! - Akimov thought with indignation and at the same time confusion. “After all, there are eight main circulation pumps in operation!”
And then he looked at the load ammeters. The arrows dangled at the zeros.
“They tore it off! ..” everything inside him collapsed, but only for a moment. Again I felt composure: - We must supply water ... "
At this time - terrible blows on the right, left, below, and immediately followed by a crushing force, an all-encompassing explosion, it seemed, everywhere, everywhere, everything collapsed, the shock wave with white dust, like milk, with hot moisture of radioactive steam broke into the room unit control panel, now former power unit. As in an earthquake, the waves came to the wall and floor. From the ceiling fell down. The pinging of glasses in the corridor of the deaerator shelf, the lights went out, only three emergency lights on the battery remained to burn, the crash and lightning flashes of short circuits caused all electrical connections, power and control cables to explode ...
Dyatlov, blocking the roar and noise, gave the command in a heart-rending voice: “Damp with an emergency speed!” But it was rather not a command, but a cry of horror ... Hissing steam, screaming hot water from somewhere. Mouth, nose, eyes, ears clogged with powdery dust, dry mouth and complete atrophy of consciousness and feelings. Lightning unexpected strike deprived everything at once: feelings of pain, fear, feelings of grave guilt and irreplaceable grief.
But everything will come, although not immediately. And the first to return to these people are courage and courage of despair. But for a long time, almost until death, some of them will have a salutary, lulling lie, myths and legends, born from the rear, already half-crazy mind ...
“E-mine! .. - panicky flashed at Dyatlov. “The rattler has torn off ... Where? .. It seems that in the emergency tank of the CPS (protection control system).”
This version, born in Anatoly Dyatlov’s shaken brain, walked in his mind for a long time, witnessed a bleeding consciousness, paralyzed, sometimes convulsively startling, reached Moscow, and until April 29 was believed in it, it was the basis of many, sometimes disastrous for life action. But why? And because it was the easiest approach. It was both an excuse and a bottom-up salvation for the guilty. Especially for those who miraculously survived in the radioactive womb of the explosion. After all, they needed strength, and they were given at least a partly calmed conscience. After all, there was a night ahead, intolerable, and yet they defeated the night of death ...
- What's happening?! What is it?! - Alexander Akimov cried, when the dust mist slightly dissipated, the roar of silence, and only the hissing of radioactive steam and pouring water remained the main soft sounds of a dying nuclear giant.
The tall, mighty 35-year-old Alexander Akimov, with a wide pink-cheeked face, wearing glasses, with a dark wavy hair, now covered with powder of radioactive dust, internally tossing, not knowing what to do.
“Diversion?! .. It can not be! .. They did everything right ...”
Leonid Toptunov, a senior reactor control engineer, is a young, plump, ruddy, mustache with a brush, he is 26 years old, just three years after the institute is confused, pale, he seems to be waiting for a strike, but he doesn’t know which side he will follow.
Perevozchenko, panting, rushed into the room of the control room.
- Alexander Fedorovich! - confusedly breathing, pale, covered in dust and abrasions, he shouted to Akimov. - There - He threw his hand up, towards the central hall. “Something terrible is there ... The reactor’s penny is falling apart ... Assembly plates eleven are jumping like living ones ... And these ... Explosions ... Did you hear? What is it?..
On the block at that moment there was a dull, wadded silence, broken only by an unusual, striking to the depths of the soul by an unfamiliar steam hiss and the sound of pouring water. His ears were ringing from this silence, which came after the volcanic, stunning blows of the elements. The air began to be felt sharply. Like the smell of ozone, only very sharp. Sore throat ...
The senior unit management engineer Boris Stolyarchuk, pale, with some kind of seeker, helpless expression, looked at Akimov and Dyatlov questioningly and intensely.
- Easy! - said Akimov. - We did everything right ... An incomprehensible thing happened ... - And to Perevozchenko: - Run, Valera, go upstairs, see what is there ...
At that instant, the door to the block control room from the engine room opened wide. Vyacheslav Brazhnik, a smoked, highly alarmed senior turbine driver, ran in.
- Fire in the machine room! He cried out shrilly, added something incomprehensible, and shot out backward into the fire and fierce radiation.
Following him, Razim Davletbayev, deputy head of the turbine department, and Pyotr Palamarchuk, head of the Chernobyl commissioning department, who went out into the night to remove the vibration characteristics of generator No. 8 together with the staff of the Kharkov Turbine Plant, rushed to the workshop. Akimov and Dyatlov jumped to the open door. There was horror. Something unimaginable. Burned in several places at the twelfth and zero marks. Over the seventh turbine blockage, the roof collapsed. I interrupted the oil pipelines, hot oil whipped on the plastic. Smoke was rising from the dam. Red graphite blocks and pieces of fuel lay on a yellow plastic. The plastic around them flared up with a red, smoky flame.
Smoke, fumes, black ash, flakes falling down, hot oil gushing from a broken pipe, fractured roof, just about ready to collapse, the floor panel swaying over the chasm of the machine room. And the noise, the scream of raging somewhere at the top of the fire. Powerful jet of radioactive boiling water, beating from the broken flange of the feed pump into the wall of the condensate box. Bright purple glow at zero - the volt arc is on the broken high-voltage cable. Oil pipe is broken at zero, oil burns. From the break in the roof of the machine room down to the seventh turbine, a thick column of black radioactive graphite dust falls. This pillar expanded at the twelfth mark, sprawled horizontally and went down, covering people and equipment.
Akimov rushes to the phone:
- "02"! Quickly! .. Yes, yes! Fire in the machine room! .. Roofing too! .. Yes, yes! .. Have you left already ?! Well done! .. Fast! ..
The guard of Lieutenant Pravik had already unfolded his cars near the walls of the turbine hall, had already begun ...
Dyatlov jumped out of the control room and, rattling his boots, slipping with a rasping sound on the broken glass, ran into the room of the backup control panel, which is opposite, close to the stair-elevator block. Pressed the button "AZ" of the fifth kind and the de-energizing key of electric drives. Late. What for? The reactor is destroyed ...
But Anatoly Stepanovich Dyatlov thought otherwise: the reactor was intact, the CPS tank (protection control system) exploded in the central hall. Reactor intact ... Reactor intact ...
The glasses in the RPU room (backup control panel) are broken, they slip under my feet, smells strongly with ozone. Dyatlov looked out the window, his head out. Night. The buzz and scream of raging fire above. In the reddish glow of the fire, there is a terrible blockage of building structures, beams, crushed bricks and concrete. On the asphalt around the block something lying around. Very thick. Black-black ... But it did not go to consciousness that it was graphite from the reactor. As in the machine room. There too, the eyes saw hot pieces of graphite and fuel. But consciousness did not accept the terrible meaning of what he saw ...
He returned to the control room. In my heart, then the resolute will to action rose to the ringing, then everything fell into the abyss of hopelessness and apathy.
Entering the room of the control room, Dyatlov listened. Peter Palamarchuk tried in vain to contact the six hundred and fourth room, where his subordinate Volodya Shashenok was located with the devices. There was no connection. By this time, Palamarchuk had already run around the turbogenerator number eight, went down to zero, found the Kharkiv citizens in a laboratory on wheels mounted on a Mercedes-Benz car. He insisted that they leave the gym. True, two of them had already gone to the rubble and received a lethal dose ...
Akimov, meanwhile, had already phoned all the heads of services and workshops, asked for help. Urgent electricians. Fire in the machine room. It is necessary to displace hydrogen from generators, to restore the power supply of responsible consumers.
- They are worth the GCN! - He shouted to the deputy head of the electrical department Alexander Lelechenko. - I can't start a single pump! Reactor without water! Quickly to the rescue!
Davletbaev called from the telephone booth of the mashroom room Akimov and Kershenbaum:
- Without waiting for the arrival of electricians, immediately displace hydrogen from the eighth generator!
There is no connection with the dosimetrist. Switched off switch. Only landline phones work. All operators feel gutter radiation. But how much? What background? Unknown. There are no devices on the control room. Respirators "petal" either. No and potassium iodide tablets. Now it would be nice to take a sip of all. You never know ... With a shield dosimetry connection is not obtained.
“Go, Petro,” Akimov asked Palamarchuk, jump in on Kolya Gorbachenko, find out why he is silent ...
- I have to Shashenku, to Shashenku need. There's something wrong. He does not respond…
- Take Gorbachenko and go to Shashenku ... - Akimov switched to another. It is necessary to report to Bryukhanov, Fomin ... It is necessary ... Oh, how many things have to be ... Reactor without water. The rods of the CPS (absorbing rods of the defense management system) were stuck halfway ... Consciousness went awry, choked him ... Yes, he was choked by shame ... That hot, then ice wave burned the heart as soon as the inflamed consciousness tried to convey to him the whole truth of what had happened. Ah, that damn shock! Shock from the consciousness of the greatest responsibility. The whole weight of her mountain fell upon him. Something to do. Everyone is waiting for him ... Nearby idle are probationers SIUR Proskuryakov and Kudryavtsev ... Rods stuck ... Of course ... And if manually, from the central hall, lower down? .. The idea! .. Akimov enlivened.
“Proskuryakov, Kudryavtsev,” he said pleadingly, although he had every right to order. After all, everyone who was in the room of the control room at the time of the accident fell into his immediate disposal. But he asked: - Guys, we must quickly into the central hall. For the handles twist. It is necessary to lower the CPS down manually. Something doesn't come from here ...
Proskuryakov and Kudryavtsev gone. My good, let's go. Young, so young, and not guilty of anything. Let's go to death ...
Valery Perevozchenko, it seems, was the first to understand the full horror of what happened. He saw the beginning of the disaster. He already believed in the irreplaceable, in the terrible truth of destruction. He saw it in the central hall ... After what he saw, the reactor cannot exist. He simply does not. And since it is not there, it means ... It is necessary to save people. His subordinate guys need to be saved. He is responsible for their lives in response. Thus, Valery Perevozchenko, the shift manager of the reactor department, determined his responsibility at these moments. And the first thing he did was rush to search for Valera Hodhemchuk ...

Testimony of Nikolai Feodosevich Gorbachenko - the duty service of dosimetry in the change of Akimov:
“At the time and after the explosion I was in the dosimetry shield room. Shaken several times with terrible force. I thought - everything is a cap. But I look - alive, standing on my feet. There was another companion with me on the dosimetry board, my assistant, Pshenichnikov, a very young guy. I opened the door to the corridor of the deaerator shelf, from there puffs of white dust and steam. It smells the characteristic smell of steam. Another flash discharges. Short circuit The panels of the fourth block on the dosimetry panel immediately went out. No evidence. I don’t know what's going on in the unit, what kind of radiation situation. On the panels of the third block (we have a combined shield on the line) - the alarm went off. All devices went on the bargain. I pressed the “MCR” toggle switch, but the switch de-energized. There is no connection with Akimov. By the city phone, Samoylenko reported to the shift supervisor of the dosimetry service, who was on the Shield Control Board (radiation safety control) of the first stage. He called back to the leadership of the radiation safety service: Krasnozhon and Kaplun. I tried to determine the radiation situation in my room and in the corridor, behind the door ... There was only a “DRGZ” radiometer per thousand microroentgen per second. Showed poke. I had another device with a scale on the 1000 x-ray per hour, but when turned on, it unfortunately burned out. There was no other. Then I went to the control unit block and reported on Akimov the situation. Everywhere she jumped on the 1000 microroentgen per second. So, somewhere around four roentgens per hour. If so, then you can work about five hours. Of course, from the conditions of an emergency. Akimov told me to go through the block and determine the dosimetric environment. I climbed to the plus twenty-seventh mark on the stair-lift block, but did not go further. The device went off scale everywhere. Petya Palamarchuk came, and we went to the six hundred and fourth room to look for Volodya Shashenk ... "

And at this time in the machine hall, at the level of zero, it burned in several places. The floor was broken, hot pieces of fuel and graphite fell on the floor and equipment, the oil pipe was broken by a piece of concrete floor, and oil burned. He also smashed the valve on the suction line of the feed pump, lashed out the radioactive boiling water in the direction of the condensate box. At any moment, the turbine oil tank and hydrogen in the generator could explode. We had to act ...
But let us leave for some time the engine room, where the operators, not sparing their lives, showed miracles of heroism and did not let the fire spread to other blocks. It was a feat. No less than the firefighters committed ...
Meanwhile, SIUR's probationers Proskuryakov and Kudryavtsev, following Akimov’s order, ran out into the deaerator shelf and, out of habit, turned right, to the elevator in the CPW block (auxiliary systems of the reactor compartment), but they saw that the mine was destroyed, elevated by unknown force, lying on the ruins of the building designs. Then they went back to the stair-elevator block. Sharply, like after a thunderstorm, but even stronger - it smelled of ozone. Cleared. And some kind of force was felt around. But they began to climb up ...
Behind them, Perevozchenko jumped out into the corridor of the deaerator shelf, warning Akimov and Dyatlov that he had gone to look for subordinates who might have been in the rubble. First of all, he ran to the broken windows, looked out. The organism felt radiation with its whole being. Excessively smelled like freshness, after light air, but many times stronger. In the yard - the night. In the near night sky there are red reflections of the burning roof of the deaerator shelf and the fire in the central hall. If there is no wind, the air is usually not felt. And here Perevozchenko felt as if the pressure of invisible rays piercing through him. He was seized by a particularly interior panic fear that was coming from somewhere in the depths of the being. But anxiety for the comrades prevailed. He stuck his head stronger and looked to the right. I realized that the reactor block was destroyed. Where there were walls of the premises of the main circulation pumps, in the dark there is a block of broken building structures, pipes and equipment. Above? .. He looked up. Rooms drum separators either. So, the explosion in the central hall. There are visible fires. A lot of them…
"Ah, there are no protective equipment ... There is nothing ..." - he thought with annoyance, breathing deeply in the air with radionuclides. Light burns with fire. The first depression was gone.
Perevozchenko felt an internal heat in his chest, on his face, in his whole being. As if all he caught fire from the inside. Lit! Lit!
“What have we done ?! - Valery Ivanovich exclaimed inwardly. “The guys are dying ... In the central hall, where the explosion was, the operators Kurguz and Heinrich ... In the premises of the central pump - Valera Hodemchuk ... In the Kipovsky room under the reactor power unit - Volodya Shashenok ... Where to run, who to look for first? .."
First of all, it is necessary to clarify the radiation situation. Perevozchenko ran, slipping on the fragments of glass, to the room of the KRB shield (radiation safety control), towards Gorbachenko.
The dosimetrist was pale, but collected.
- What is the background, Kohl? - asked Perevozchenko. His face was already burning with brown fire.
- Why, here ... On the 1000 range, the micro-X-ray per second hanked, the panels of the fourth block went out ... - Gorbachenko smiled guiltily. - We assume that somewhere around four X-rays per hour. But it seems a lot more ...
- Why did you not even get hold of the devices?
- Yes, the device was on the 1000 X-ray, but burned out. The second is in the storeroom closed. The key is in Krasnozhon. Only I watched - that the capter in the rubble. Do not approach ... You know what the concept was. Nobody seriously thought about the ultimate accident. I did not believe ... Now I will go with Palamarchuk Shashenk to look. Not responding from six hundred and fourth ...
Perevozchenko left the dosimetry shield and ran to the premises of the main circnasos, where Valera Hodemchuk remained before the explosion. This is the closest thing.
In the direction of the dosimetry shield, Petya Palamarchuk, head of the laboratory at the Chernobyl commissioning plant, fled from the control room. He and his subordinates provided the removal of characteristics and parameters of various systems in the run-down mode of the rotor. Now it was clear that in the most dangerous place, in the monolithic reactor block, where the elements had just raged, Shashenok was silent in the six hundred and fourth room. What about him? The room is key. Pulse lines converged there from the main technological systems to the sensors. If the membranes broke ... Three-degree steam, overheated water ... Does not respond to calls. In the tube continuous beeps. Therefore, the tube was knocked off the device. Five minutes before the explosion, there was a great connection with him.
Palamarchuk and Gorbachenko fled already to the stair-lift block.
- I'm for Hodemchuk! Perevozchenko shouted to them, looking as they dived from the corridor of the deaerator shelf into the monolithic part of the destroyed reactor compartment. But after all, fuel and reactor graphite were scattered everywhere.
Palamarchuk and Gorbachenko ran up the stairs, to the plus twenty-fourth mark (plus twenty-four meters above ground level). Perevozchenko along the short corridor at the tenth mark - in the direction of the destroyed premises of the MCP ...
At this time, young interns of SIUR Kudryavtsev and Proskuryakov were approaching, moving their way through the rubble, to the thirty-sixth mark, on which the reactor hall was located. Upstairs, reinforced by the elevator block canyon echo, there was a scream of flame, the cries of firefighters coming from the roof of the turbine hall, and somewhere very close, apparently from the patch of the reactor.
“Is it burning there too? ..” - flashed by the guys. At the thirty-sixth mark, everything was destroyed. The trainees passed through the rubble and pile-up of the structures into a large room of the ventilation center, which was separated from the reactor hall by the now destroyed monolithic wall. It was clearly visible that the central hall was inflated by an explosion like a good bubble, and then the upper part was torn off, and the wall remained bent, and the reinforcement sticks out with radial flaws. In some places, the concrete has crumbled, and a bare reinforcing mesh is visible. The guys stood a little, shocked, hardly recognizing so familiar before the room. They were bursting with unusual gaiety, which was inexplicable for such grief, despite the fact that their chest burned terribly during breathing, they ached in their temples, their eyelids were burning as if they were dripping with hydrochloric acid.
Along the corridor in 50 – 52 axes passed, slipping on glass fragments, to the entrance to the central hall. The entrance was closer to the outer end wall along row “P”. The corridor is narrow, littered with broken structures, glass. Overhead the night sky in the red glow of fire, smoke in the air, burning, caustic and suffocating, and above all this the feeling of the presence of some other force in the air, which has become pulsating, dense, burning. This powerful nuclear radiation ionized the air, and it was now perceived as a new, frightening, unsuitable for human life environment.
Without respirators and protective clothing, they approached the entrance to the central reserve (central hall) and, bypassing the three wide-open doors, entered the former reactor hall, littered with crumpled rubble and smoldering debris. They saw fire hoses hanging down towards the reactor. From the trunks flowed water. But there were no people. Firemen retreated from here a few minutes ago, losing consciousness and last forces.
Proskuryakov and Kudryavtsev were actually at the nucleus of an atomic explosion (I mean primarily the level of radiation). But where is the reactor? Is it really ...
A round plate of the upper biological protection with scraps of thin stainless steel tubes sticking out in all directions (CCTS system - monitoring the integrity of technological channels) lay at some angle on the reactor shaft. The armature of the destroyed walls hung loosely in all directions. This means that the slab was thrown by an explosion, and again, obliquely, it fell on the reactor. From the vent of the destroyed reactor there was a red and blue fire with a strong howling. It was seen, was a good traction. Through-flow air. A nuclear heat with an activity of thirty thousand X-rays per hour hit the faces of the interns. They involuntarily covered their faces with their hands, shielding themselves, as it were, from the sun. It was absolutely clear that there were no absorbing rods, they fly, in sight, in orbit around the earth. So now there is nothing to lower into the active zone. Just nothing ...
Proskuryakov and Kudryavtsev stayed near the reactor for about a minute, remembering everything they saw. That was enough to get a lethal dose of radiation. (Both died in terrible agony at Moscow's 6 clinic.)
In the same way, with a feeling of deep depression and inner panic feeling, which replaced nuclear excitement, they returned to the tenth mark, entered the control panel building and reported on the situation to Akimov and Dyatlov. Their faces and hands were brown-brown. The same color was the skin and under the clothes, which turned out already in the medical unit ...
“There is no central hall,” said Proskuryakov. - Everything was blown away. The sky overhead. From the reactor fire ...
“You guys didn’t figure it out,” Dyatlov said dully, stretching the words. - It was something burning on the floor, and you thought - the reactor. Apparently, an explosion of an explosive mixture in the emergency tank of the CPS (protection control system) demolished the tent. Remember, this tank at the seventieth mark, mounted in the outer end wall of the central hall ... It is so ... And not surprising. The volume of the tank — one hundred and ten cubes — is considerable, so ... With such an explosion, not only the tent, but also the entire unit could be smashed ... We must save the reactor. It is intact ... We must supply water to the core.
So the legend was born: the reactor is intact. The emergency water CPS tank exploded. Water must be fed to the reactor.
This legend was reported to Bryukhanov and Fomin. And then - to Moscow. All this gave rise to a lot of unnecessary, unnecessary and even harmful work that aggravated the situation at the nuclear power plant and increased the number of deaths ...
Proskuryakova and Kudryavtseva were sent to the medical unit. Fifteen minutes earlier, the operators of the Kurguz and Heinrich reactor hall were sent there, who were near the reactor when the explosions crashed ...
They sat in their work space after inspecting the central hall and waited for Perevozchenko to arrive in order to receive a task for the entire shift. About four minutes before the reactor explosion, Oleg Heinrich told Anatoly Kurguz that he was tired and would sleep a little. He entered a small neighboring room, an area of ​​about six square meters, deaf, without windows. There was a couch. Heinrich closed the door and lay down.
Anatoly Kurguz sat at the desk and made an entry in the operational log. It was separated from the central hall by three open doors. When the atomic reactor exploded, highly radioactive steam with fuel poured into the room where Kurguz was sitting. In the pitch of hell he rushed to the door to close it. Shut down He shouted to Heinrich:
- Very burning! Very burning!
Heinrich jumped up from the couch, rushed to open his door, opened it slightly, but from the door he smelled such unbearable heat that he did not try anymore, instinctively lay down on the plastic floor, it was a little cooler here, and Kurguzu shouted:
- Tolya, lie down! Below is colder!
Kurguz crawled into the closet to Heinrich, and they both lay down on the floor.
“You could even breathe here. The lungs were not so burned, ”Heinrich later recalled.
They waited about three minutes. The heat began to subside (the sky opened above his head). Then they went out into the corridor in 50 – 52 axes. Kurguz had skin on his face and hands. She hung rags. There was blood on her face and hands.
They did not go to the staircase and elevator block, from where the probationers Proskuryakov and Kudryavtsev would soon arrive, but in the opposite direction, towards the “clean staircase” and descended to the tenth mark. If they met the interns, they would surely bring them back and thus save their lives. But it happened otherwise. They missed each other ...
On the way to the unit control panel, at the twelfth mark, gas operators Simekonov and Simonenko joined Heinrich and Kurguzu. Accompanied, they headed for the MCR-4. Kurgusu was very bad. He was bleeding. He was hard to help. The skin under the clothes, too, was blistered. Any touch caused unbearable pain to the victim. Where did he get the strength to go with his feet. Heinrich was burned less - the deaf room saved. But both of them got six hundred roentgens ...
They were already walking along the corridor of the deaerator shelf when Dyatlov came out of the block control room. He rushed to them.
- Immediately in the medical unit!
Before the health center, and he was in the administrative building of the first block, along the corridor of the deaerator shelf — about four hundred fifty - five hundred meters.
- Can you walk, Tolya? - asked the children of Kurguza.
- I do not know ... No, probably ... The whole body hurts ... Everything hurts ...
And they did the right thing, they did not. The health center of the first stage was closed. In the health center of the second stage the paramedic was also not this time. Such was the self-confidence of Comrade Bryukhanov. Everything is safe! The concept of a stagnant era in action ...
They called an ambulance to the administrative block (administrative building) of the second stage, went down to the zero mark, knocked out the surviving glass by a miracle in the window and went out through it ...
Dyatlov ran several times to the control room of the 3 block. He ordered Bagdasarov to turn off the reactor. Bagdasarov asked Bryukhanov and Fomin to stop the third block, but did not receive permission. Operators from the central hall of the 3 unit reported to their supervisor that an emergency sound and light alarm had been activated. It seems that the activity has sharply increased ... They still did not know that this fuel and graphite, which were thrown by an explosion on the roof of the CH-3 (central hall-3), are shot through the concrete floor ...
Returning again to the control room-4, Dyatlov gave the command to Akimov:
“Call the day staff of the workshops again.” All to the emergency unit! First of all electricians, Lelechenko. It is necessary to chop off the hydrogen from the electrolysis for the eighth generator. Only they will do it. Act! I'll walk around the block ...
Woodpeckers left the control unit block.
Davletbaev ran several times from the engine room into the control room, reported the situation. It is full of different people. Dosimetrist Samoilenko measured Davletbaev with a device: “From you. Razim, on all bands zahkal! Change clothes urgently! ”As luck would have it, a set of protective equipment of the turbine room is locked. Sent the hero Brazhnik to break a crowbar ...
Akimov ordered the Chief Engineer of the Unit (SIUB) Stolyarchuk and the engineer Busygin to turn on the feed pumps in order to supply water to the reactor ...
- Alexander Fedorovich! - cried Davletbaev. - Equipment is de-energized! We urgently need electricians to use the switchgear at zero ... I do not know how they will do. Torn cable connections. Everywhere lightning is shorting. Ultraviolet glow at zero near the feed pumps. Whether the tevesk shines (a piece of fuel), or a short-circuit volt arc ...
- Now Lelechenko will arrive with his eagles!
Davletbaev again plunged into the hell of the machine room. At zero, Brakes hammered wooden chops into holes in the oil pipe. To make it more convenient, I sat down on the pipeline and got a buttock application burn. Davletbayev rushed to the blockage of the seventh turbine, but it was impossible to approach. Scary slippery. Oil on plastic. Turn on the shower device. Turbine enveloped in water mist. With the remote turned off the oil pump ...
Near the seventh car there is a telephone booth, from which the drivers all the time called on the control room. Against the booth, outside the window - the fifth transformer, it turned out to be a piece of fuel, which was not known. They received a deadly dose of Perchuk, Vershinin, Hawthorn, Novik ...
Meanwhile, Gennady Petrovich Metlenko, the head of a failed electrical experiment, was pushed around the premises of the main control room. Akimov finally noticed him and asked:
- Be a friend, go to the gym, help turn the valves. All de-energized. Manually each open or close for at least four hours. The diameters are huge ...
Poignant, of small stature, with a sharp-eyed, lean face, a Dontechenergo representative ran into the computer room. Tragedy unfolded there at zero. Fallen farm interrupted turbine oil pipe. Hot oil poured out and caught fire from pieces of hot nuclear fuel. The driver Vershinin extinguished the fire and rushed to help his comrades in order to prevent further ignition and explosion of the oil tank. Hawk Moth, Perchuk, Brakes exhausted the fire in other places. Everywhere there was high-level fuel and reactor graphite, which fell into the machine room through the breach of the roof. Ashes, radiation, highly ionized air, black nuclear ash from burning graphite and bitumen roof burning at the top.
A chunk of the ceiling farm broke the flange on one of the emergency feed pumps. It had to be disconnected by suction and pressure lines from deaerators. Turn the gate valves by hand for at least four hours. Another pump must be prepared to work on the "reactor". Also manually turn the gate valve. Radiation fields at the zero level of the machine hall are from five hundred to fifteen thousand roentgens per hour. Metlenko sent back to the block shield.
“We will manage! Do not bother! .. "
With electricians of the Akimov watch, Davletbaev organized the substitution of nitrogen for hydrogen in the generator in order to avoid an explosion. Emergency oil was drained from the turbine oil tanks to emergency tanks outside the power unit. Maslobaki flooded with water ...
Turbinists on this fateful night of April 26, 1986, made an outstanding feat. If they had not done what they had done, the flames of the fire would have engulfed the entire machine hall from the inside, the roof would have collapsed, the fire would have spread to other blocks, and this could lead to the destruction of all four reactors. The consequences are hard to imagine ...
When the Telyatnikov firefighters, having extinguished the fire on the roof, appeared at five in the morning inside the turbine hall, everything was already done there ... A second emergency feed pump (APEN) was also prepared for operation and was put into operation on a non-existent reactor. Akimov and Dyatlov assumed that the water went to the reactor. However, she could not go there for the simple reason that all the pipeline communications of the bottom had been torn off by an explosion, and the water from the second APAN went to the sub-equipment room, where a lot of destroyed nuclear fuel was waking up. Mixing with the fuel, the highly radioactive water went to the bottom of the deaerator shelf, flooding the cable half-floors and switchgear, leading to short-circuits and the threat of losing power supply to the still operating power units. After all, all the power units of the Chernobyl NPP are connected to each other via a deaerator shelf, where the main cable routes pass ...
By five in the morning - repeated vomiting and very bad state of health at Davletbaev, Busygin, Korneyev, Brazhnik, Tormozin, Vershinin, Novik, Perchuk. Sent to the medical unit. Davletbaev, Busygin, Korneev will survive, receiving about three hundred and fifty X-rays. Survive and brake - received a lot more.
Brazhnik, Perchuk, Vershinin and Novik received a thousand and more happy. A martyr's death will die in Moscow ...
But back to the beginning of the accident. Let's walk with Valery Ivanovich Perevozchenko his way to death. After all, he was looking for Hodemchuk, he wanted to save all his subordinates. This man did not know fear. Courage and duty led him to hell ...
Meanwhile, Palamarchuk and Gorbachenko moved along the stair-lift block through the rubble to the twenty-fourth mark, at the six hundred and fourth Kipov building, where Volodya Shashenok was silent.
“What is wrong with him? .. If only he was alive ...” - flashed at Palamarchuk.
After a series of formidable explosions on the block, it was relatively quiet, only through the breaches one could hear screams and the noise of the flame of the burning roof of the engine room, shrill cries of people extinguishing the fire, the haunting howling of the destroyed atomic reactor in which graphite was burning. All this was like a distant background, but closer — a murmur of murmur or rain noise pouring from somewhere radioactive water — up, down, you won't understand, some tired residual hiss of radioactive steam, and the air ... The air was thickened, unaccustomed. Strongly ionized gas, the sharp smell of ozone, a burning sensation in the throat and lungs, a hacking cough, pain in the eyes ...
They fled without respirators, in total darkness, illuminating their way with pocket torches, which each operator had with them ...
Perevozchenko, on the short transition corridor at the tenth mark, ran towards the Getsenovsky premises, where Valera Khodhemchuk stayed, and stopped, amazed. There was no room. Above - the sky, the reflections of the flames raging above the engine room, and right in front of it - piles of debris, heaps of cross-section of building structures, disfigured equipment and pipelines.
There was also a lot of graphite reactor and fuel in the rubble, from which radiation of at least ten thousand x-rays per hour "shone". Perevoachenko, stunned, drove a flashlight beam over all this devastation, and he had one jumping, strange thought: how is he here ... Is it possible to be here? .. But stubborn: to find, to save Valera. Be sure to save - overpowered. He listened intensely, trying to catch at least a weak voice or a man's moan ...
And above Heinrich, Kurguz ... Where there was an explosion ... He will also save them ... Sure ... These are his people, his subordinates ... He will not leave them ...
And time passed. Every second, every extra minute is deadly. The body of the shift supervisor at the reactor hall absorbs and absorbs x-rays, the tanning in the dark of night becomes darker. And "sunbathe" not only the face and hands, but the whole body under clothing. Sunbathes ... Burning, burning ... Burning inside ...
- Valera-a! - with all his might shouts Perevozchenko. - Valera-a! Respond! I am here! Do not be afraid! We will save you-ah!
He rushed straight to the rubble, climbed over the wreckage, carefully searching for crevices among the destroyed structures, burning his hands on pieces of fuel and graphite, which he inadvertently grasped in the dark.
He strained his ear, trying to catch the slightest groan or rustle, but in vain. But I still searched, scraping the body against the protruding hooks of the armature and sharp chipped concrete blocks, squeezed into three hundred fourth room, but there was nobody in it ...
"Valera was on duty in the far side ... There was his post ..."
And Perevozchenko made his way along the rubble to the far end, and searched there. But all for nothing.
- Valera-a! Oh! Shouted Perevozchenko, raising his hands to the sky and shaking his fists. - Valera, oh, dear! - Tears of powerlessness and burning poured over the swollen cheeks, which burned from radiation to blackness. - Yes, what is it? Hod pearl! Respond!
But in response, Perevozchenko’s face was lit only by the reflections of the fire raging in the night sky over the roof of the turbine hall, and the shrill, like the desperate cries of wounded birds, the voices of firefighters. There, too, there was a struggle against death, and there people accepted death in themselves.
Exhausted from fatigued nuclear fatigue, Perevozchenko climbed backward through the rubble, sneaked to the stair-lift block and began to climb upwards, to the thirty-sixth point, to the central hall. After all, there, in the nuclear hell and fire, Kurguz and Heinrich are dying ...
He did not know that some time ago Anatoly Kurguz and Oleg Heinrich, who miraculously survived the explosion, heavily irradiated and scalded with radioactive steam, left the death ground themselves, went down the relatively clean staircase to the tenth mark and sent to the medical unit.
Perevozchenko repeated the path of the interns of Kudryavtsev and Proskuryakov, entered first into the operators room, they were not there, then he entered the central hall and took on the additional nuclear strike of the roaring reactor fire.
An experienced physicist, Perevozchenko realized that the reactor was no longer there, that he had turned into a giant nuclear volcano, that it could not be extinguished with water, because the lower communications were cut off from the reactor by an explosion, that Akimov, Toptunov and the guys in the turbine hall running feed pumps to feed into the reactor water dying in vain. After all, water is not served here ... We must withdraw all people from the block. This is the most correct. We need to save people ...
Perevozchenko went downstairs, he was constantly vomiting, was in a daze, and his consciousness was turned off for a moment, he fell, but when he came to himself, he got up again and walked, walked ...
Entering the block control room, he told Akimov:
- The reactor is destroyed, Sasha ... It is necessary to lead people off the block ...
- The reactor is intact! We will give him water! - passionately objected Akimov. - We did everything right. Go to the medical unit, Valera, you feel bad ... But you are confused, I assure you ... This is not a reactor, it burns buildings, structures. They put out ...
At the same time, when Perevozchenko was searching for Khodemchuk buried in the rubble, Pyotr Palamarchuk and dosimetrist Nikolay Gorbachenko, struggling to overcome the debris and faults at the twenty-fourth mark of the reactor block, finally penetrated into the Kipov premises where Vladimir Shashenok was at the time of the explosion. Palamarchuk and Gorbachenko found a comrade in the fault of six hundred and fourth rooms, crushed by a fallen beam, strongly burned with steam and hot water. Then, in the medical unit, it turned out that he had a fracture of the spine, his ribs were broken, and now ... he had to be saved ...
At the moment before the explosion, when the pressure in the circuit grew at the speed of 15 atmospheres per second, pipes and sensors broke in this room, radioactive steam and overheated water went from there, something fell from above, and Shashenok fainted. The entire surface of the skin received deep heat and radiation burns. The guys released a friend from under the dam. Palamarchuk, trying not to cause him new sufferings, threw him on his back with the help of Gorbachenko and, hardly making his way through the rubble of concrete and pipes, brought Shashenka to the tenth mark. From there, alternating with Gorbachenko, along the corridor of the deaerator shelf, about four hundred and fifty meters, to the health center at the administrative block (administrative building) of the first unit. The health center was nailed up on a nail. They called an ambulance. Ten minutes later, paramedic Sasha Leap arrived, and Shashenka was taken to the medical unit. Then the pediatrician Belokon arrived at his ambulance and stayed on duty until the morning until he himself was taken to the medical unit ...
Palamarchuk and Gorbachenko, carrying out the comrade, were also highly irradiated and were soon sent to the medical unit. Gorbachenko had still managed to go around the block, measuring the gamma background, climbed the machine hall, made a round of the block outside. But all this was in fact wasted. With a device with a measurement scale of only 3,6 X-rays, he could not measure those rabid radiation fields that were in fact. And thus could not properly warn comrades ...
In 2 hours of 30 minutes night, the director of nuclear power plants, Viktor Petrovich Bryukhanov, arrived at the control room-4. A kind of powdered gray, confused, almost insane.
- What happened? - he asked Akimov in a choked voice.
At the premises of the control room-4, the air activity at that time was about three to five roentgens per hour, and in places of the obstruction from the dam even more.
Akimov reported that, in his opinion, there was a severe radiation accident, but the reactor was intact, the fire in the mashroom was in the liquidation stage, the firemen of Major Telyatnikov extinguished the fire on the roof, which is being prepared for the second emergency feed pump and will soon be put into operation. Lelechenko and his people should only provide power. Transformer disconnected from the short circuit protection unit ...
- You say - a severe radiation accident, but if the reactor is intact ... What activity is now on the unit?
- Gorbachenko’s radiometer shows a thousand microroentgen per second ...
“Well, this is a little bit,” said Bryukhanov a little more calmly than before.
“I think so too,” Akimov confirmed excitedly.
- Can I report to Moscow that the reactor is intact? - asked Bryukhanov.
“Yes, you can,” answered Akimov confidently. Bryukhanov went to ABK-1 in his office and from there at 3 one o'clock in the morning he called home Vladimir Vasilyevich Marin, Head of the Nuclear Power Sector of the CPSU Central Committee ...
By this time, the chief of the civil defense headquarters of the nuclear power plant, S. S. Vorobiev, arrived at the emergency unit. He had a radiometer with a measurement scale on an 250 x-ray. That was already something. Passing along the deaerator shelf to the machine room, to the rubble, I realized that the situation was extremely difficult. On the 250 scale, an X-ray radiometer showed barbing in different places of the block and blockage.
Vorobyov reported the situation to Bryukhanov.
“You have a faulty device,” said Bryukhanov. - There can be no such fields. Do you understand what it is? Understand with your device or throw it in a landfill ...
“The device is serviceable,” said Sparrow.
In 4 hours 30 minutes of the morning, the chief engineer Fomin arrived at the control room. He was searched for a long time. For some reason at home I did not take the phone, my wife mumbled something unintelligible. Someone said he might be fishing. Therefore, did not answer the phone. People knew something ...
- Report the situation!
Akimov reported. He elaborated on the sequence of technological operations before the explosion.
- We did everything right, Nikolai Maksimovich. I have no complaints about shift personnel. By the time the “AZ” button was pressed, the fifth kind of operational reactivity margin was 18 control rods (protection control systems). Destruction produced an explosion 110-vat tank emergency water CPS in the central hall, at the mark plus 71 meter ...
- Reactor intact? - asked Fomin beautiful bask.
- The reactor is intact! - Akimov answered firmly,
- Continuously feed water into the machine!
- Now in the work of emergency feed pump from deaerators to the reactor.
Fomin retired. Internally, he then all tossed like a hunted beast, then fell into a bottomless abyss, mentally panicked crying: "The end! The end! ”Then suddenly he acquired an iron confidence:“ Let us stand! ”
But he did not survive. This man broke first under the monstrous burden of responsibility, which only now acquired its lead gravity and crushed all its weak, essentially, being on pride and vanity being ...
Having ordered Akimov to supply water to the reactor at two o'clock in the morning, the Deputy Chief Operating Engineer Anatoly Dyatlov left the control panel and went out, accompanied by a dosimetrist, down the stair-lift block. All the asphalt around was strewn with blocks of reactor graphite, pieces of structures, fuel. The air was thick and pulsating. That was how ionized highly radioactive plasma was felt.
- Activity? - Dyatlov asked the dosimetrist.
- Beaten up, Anatoly Stepanovich ... Kha-kha! Damn it! Dries the throat ... At a thousand microroentgen per second - barred ...
- Japanese crucians! .. You have no damn devices! You play poker! ..
- But who thought there would be such fields ?! - suddenly the dosimetrist was indignant. “There is one radiometer with a scale of ten thousand X-rays, but it is closed.” And the key is in Krasnozhon. Yes, only that capterca, I looked, did not get close. Piled her. And shine, God forbid. Without the device I feel ...
- Turkeys! Japanese crucians! The device is in the storeroom hold! Oboldy! Measure with a nose!
“Yes, I measure it already, Anatoly Stepanovich ...” said the dosimetrist.
“If only you ... I measure, too, you son of a bitch!” - shouted Woodpeckers. - But it should not. This is your job ... Hurried ?!
They came close to the rubble, closer to the row of "T" and the VROW unit (auxiliary systems of the reactor compartment). There, the obstruction was towered by a mountain, rising obliquely from the ground itself up to the separator rooms ...
- E-mine! - Dyatlov exclaimed. - What have you done! Cap!
The dosimetrist flipped back and forth with the range switch, muttering: "Beathed up ... Beeped up ..."
- Throw you to the edren-fen! .. Japanese crucians ... We went around the machine hall ...
Around graphite on the asphalt and pieces of fuel. In the dark, not quite distinguishable, but you can understand if you want. Now and then you stumble over graphite blocks, football with your feet. Real activity up to fifteen thousand X-rays per hour. Therefore, the barometer on the radiometer from the dosimetrist.
In consciousness does not go, does not fit what he saw. Skirted the butt of the turbine hall. Along the concrete wall of the pressure pool - nineteen fire engines. The scream and the roar of fire on the roof of the engine room are heard. Flame is high. Above ventruby.
But strange thing! In the minds of the deputy chief engineer for operation of the fourth power unit, two images, two thoughts appeared, as it were, and now lived. One: “The reactor is intact. Feed the water. " The second: “Graphite on the ground, fuel on the ground. Where, I ask? It is not clear where. Activity is mad. I feel activity in the gut. ”
- Everything! - Dyatlov ordered. - Roll back! They returned to the control room-4. Gorbachenko went to his dosimetry shield. The deputy chief of service of the Republic of Belarus (radiation safety) Krasno-Zhon is about to approach.
The total exposure dose they received was 400 glad. By five in the morning, vomiting began. Very bad state of health. Deadly weakness. Headache. Brown-brown complexion. Nuclear tan.
Gorbachenko and Dyatlov under their own power left for ABK-1 and then “ambulance” - to the medical unit ...

Evidence of the wife of the head of the atomic energy sector of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Alpha Feodorovna Martynova:
“26 April 1986 of the year at 3 in the morning there was a long-distance telephone call at home. From Chernobyl called Maryu Bryukhanov. Having finished the conversation, Maryin told me:
- At Chernobyl, a terrible accident! But the reactor is intact ...
He quickly dressed and called the car. Before leaving, he called the top leadership of the Central Committee of the party on an instance. First of all, Frolyshev. That - Long. Dolgikh - to Gorbachev and members of the Politburo. After that he left for the Central Committee. At eight in the morning I called home and asked me to collect it on the road: soap, tooth powder, brush, towel, etc. ”

In 4 hours 00 minutes in the morning 26 on April 1986, Bryukhanov from Moscow was followed by the order:
"Organize continuous cooling of the atomic reactor."
On the shield of dosimetry of the second stage, Nikolay Gorbachenko was replaced by the deputy chief of the RB (radiation safety) service at Krasnozhon NPP. He answered the questions of the operators how much to work, stereotypically:
- On the 1000 range, microroentgen per second is a bargain. Work five hours at the rate of a set of twenty-five rem.
(This suggests that the deputy head of the RB service was also unable to determine the true intensity of radiation.)
Akimov and Toptunov, too, ran up to the reactor several times to see how the water supply from the second emergency feed pump was working. But the fire was buzzing and humming.
Akimov and Toptunov were already brown-brown from nuclear tanning, already vomiting turned inside out, already in the medical unit Dyatlov, Davletbaev, people from the turbine hall, already sent to replace Akimov Vladimir Alekseevich Babichev, but Akimov and Toptunov did not leave. One can only bow his head before their courage and fearlessness. After all, they doomed themselves to certain death. Nevertheless, all their current actions flowed out of the false initial premise: “The reactor is intact!” They didn’t want to believe that the reactor was destroyed, that the water did not get into it, and, taking with it nuclear dust, it merged into negative marks, flooding cable routes and high-voltage switchgear and thereby creating a threat of blackout to three other operating units.
“Something is preventing the water from getting into the reactor ...” thought Akimov. “Somewhere on the pipeline line the valves are closed ...”
They penetrated with Toptunov into the premises of the nutrient assembly at the twenty-fourth mark of the reactor compartment. The room was dilapidated by an explosion. At the far end of the breach, you can see the sky, the floor is flooded with water with nuclear fuel, the activity is up to five thousand roentgens per hour. How long can a person live and work in such radiation fields? There is no doubt that not for long. But there was an over-doping condition, an extraordinary internal concentration, the mobilization of all the forces of the body from the late consciousness of guilt, responsibility and duty to people. And the forces from somewhere were taken by themselves. They should have died already, but they were working ...
And the air here, as well as everywhere around and inside the fourth power unit, was a dense and pulsating, radioactive ionized gas, saturated with the entire spectrum of long-lived radionuclides that the destroyed reactor erupted from itself.
With great difficulty, they opened the control valves on two threads of the supply pipeline, and then climbed through the rubble to the twenty-seventh mark and in a small pipeline room, which was almost knee-deep with fuel, undermined (opened) two 300 valves. Along the way, there was one more valve on the right and left threads of the pipeline, but neither Akimov and Toptunov, nor Nekhayev, Orlov, Uskov, who helped them, had enough strength to open them ...
Preliminary assessing the situation and the actions of the operational personnel after the explosion, it can be said that the turbinists in the machine room, firefighters on the roof, and electricians led by the deputy head of the electrical department Alexander Grigorievich Lelechenko showed unconditional heroism and dedication.
These people prevented the development of a catastrophe in the engine room, both inside and outside, and thus saved the entire station.
Alexander Grigorievich Lelechenko, protecting young electricians from unnecessary walking to the high radiation zone, he went to the electrolysis cell three times to turn off the supply of hydrogen to emergency generators. If we take into account that the electrolysis cell was near the blockage, fragments of fuel and reactor graphite everywhere, whose activity reached from five to fifteen thousand X-rays per hour, one can imagine how highly moral and heroic this 50-year-old man consciously covered his young lives was. And then knee-deep in highly active water studied the state of switchgears, trying to energize the feed pumps ...
The total exposure dose they received was 2500 pleased. That would be enough for five deaths.
But having received first aid in the Pripyatsky medical unit (saline was poured into his vein), Lelechenko fled to the unit and worked there for several more hours ...
He died a terrible, martyr's death in Kiev.
The heroism of Valery Perevozchenko, the shift supervisor at the reactor department, Pyotr Pala-Marchuk, a setup man, and dosimetrist Nikolai Gorbachenko, who rushed to save their comrades, is indisputable.
As for the actions of Akimov, Dyatlov and Toptunov and helping them, their work, full of dedication and fearlessness, was nevertheless aimed at aggravating the emergency. False model, assessment of what is happening; “The reactor is intact, it needs to be cooled, to supply water. The destruction occurred from the explosion of the CPS tank in the central hall, ”on the one hand, they somewhat calmed down Bryukhanov and Fomin, who reported the situation to Moscow and immediately received a response order:“ Continuously supply water to the reactor! Cool". On the other hand ... Temporarily, such an order seemed to ease the soul and seemed to bring clarity to the situation: supply water, and everything will be fine ...
This determined the whole character of the actions of Akimov, Toptunov, Dyatlov, Nekhaev, Orlov, Uskov and others, who did everything to put an emergency feed pump into operation and supply water to an imaginary “safe and sound” reactor.

The same thought allowed Bryukhanov and Fomin not to go mad, because she gave hope ...
But the water supply in the deaerator tanks was depleted (total 480 cubic meters). However, the recharge from the water treatment plant, from other spare tanks, was switched there, thereby leaving three other operating units without the possibility of replenishing the unbalanced water leaks. There, especially in the neighboring third block, there was an extremely difficult situation that threatened to lose the cooling of the core.
Here we must pay tribute to the head of the shift unit number 3 Yuri Eduardovich Bagdasarov, who at the control room at the time of the accident on the neighboring block and had a respirator "petal" and potassium iodide tablets. As soon as the radiation situation deteriorated, he ordered all his subordinates to put on respirators and take potassium iodide tablets.
When he realized that all the water from the tanks of pure condensate and water treatment was switched to an emergency unit, he immediately reported to Fomin the bunker, which would stop the reactor. Fomin banned. By morning, Bagdasarov himself stopped the third unit and put the reactor into a cooling mode, fueling the circulation circuit with water from the barbeater pool. He acted with courage and in a highly professional manner, preventing the melting of the core of the third reactor in his shift ...
Meanwhile, in the bunker of the ABK-1 (bomb shelter) Bryukhanov and Fomin were constantly on their phones. Bryukhanov maintained contact with Moscow, Fomin with the unit control panel of the 4 unit.
To Moscow: to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Maryin, Minister Mayorts, head of Soyuzatomenergo Veretennikov. In Kiev: the Minister of Energy of Ukraine Sklyarov, the secretary of the regional committee Revenko, repeated the same model of the situation a thousand times:
“The reactor is intact. We give water to the device. The emergency water CPS tank in the central hall exploded. An explosion blew out the tent. Radiation conditions in the normal range. One person died - Valery Hodemchuk. Vladimir Shashenok - one hundred percent burn. In serious condition.
"The radiation situation is within normal limits ..." Just think. Of course, he had instruments with a measurement range of just one thousand microroentgen per second (this is 3,6 X-rays per hour). But who prevented Bryukhanov from having a sufficient number of devices with a large range of measurements? Why did the necessary instruments turn out to be locked in the fitting room, and the dosimetrists' possessions - defective? Why did Bryukhanov neglect the report of the chief of the civil defense headquarters of the NPP S. S. Vorobiev and did not transfer his radiation situation data to Moscow and Kiev?
Here, of course, there were both cowardice, and the fear of responsibility, and, due to incompetence, disbelief in the possibility of such a terrible disaster. Yes, for him the incident was incomprehensible to the mind. But this only explains, and does not justify his actions.
Bryukhanov was transferred from Moscow that a government commission was organized, the first group of specialists would leave at nine in the morning.
“Hold on! Cool the reactor! ”
Fomin sometimes lost his temper. He fell into a stupor, then began to cry, cry, beat his fists and forehead on the table, then he developed a stormy, feverish activity. His beautiful sonorous baritone was saturated with extreme stress. He put pressure on Akimov and Dyatlov, demanding a continuous supply of water to the reactor, threw more and more new people at the 4 block in return for leaving the system ...
When Dyatlov was sent to the medical unit, Fomin called Anatoly Andreyevich Sitnikov, deputy chief engineer for the 1 line of XNUMX, from home, and said:
- You are an experienced physicist. Determine the state of the reactor. You will be like a person from the outside, not interested in lies. I beg you. It is better to climb on the roof of the block "B" and look at the top of the central hall. BUT?..
Sitnikov went to meet death. He climbed the entire reactor block, went into the central hall. Already here he realized that the reactor was destroyed. But he considered this insufficient. I went up to the roof of the “B” block (special chemistry) and from there I looked at the reactor from a bird's-eye view. The picture of unimaginable destruction opened his eyes. The explosion torn off the monolithic tent of the central hall, and the pitiful remnants of the bent concrete walls, with the shapeless tentacles of reinforcement protruding in all directions, resembled a giant actinium lurking in anticipation of another living soul approaching it, or even plunge into its infernal nuclear womb.
Sitnikov drove an obsessive image away from him, and, feeling that hot radioactive tentacles licked his face, his hands, burning his brain and his very soul, the saddle inside, began to scrutinize what was left of the central hall. The reactor clearly exploded. The slab of the upper bioprotection with scraps of pipelines sticking out in different directions, packets of impulse lines, seemed to have been thrown by an explosion and, falling backward, lay obliquely on the reactor shaft. From the burning openings on the right and left, the fire was buzzing, carrying unbearable heat and stench. Sitnikov, especially his head, was directly bombarded with neutrons and gamma rays. He was breathing thick radionuclide gas, more and more feeling an unbearable burning sensation in his chest, as if someone had made a fire inside him. The fire is all inflamed, inflamed ...
He grabbed at least a half thousand roentgen on his head. Irradiation affected the central nervous system. In the Moscow clinic, his bone marrow did not take root and, despite all the measures taken, he died ...
At ten in the morning Sitnikov reported to Fomin and Bryukhanov that, in his opinion, the reactor was destroyed. But the report of Anatoly Andreevich Sitnikov caused only irritation and was not taken into account. The water supply to the "reactor" continued ...
As I said earlier, the first to hit the nuclear element inside the power unit were the operators of the central hall Kurguz and Heinrich, the operator of the main circumnasos Valery Hodemchuk, the serviceman Vladimir Shashenok, the deputy head of the turbine shop Razim Davletbayev, the turbine drivers - Brazhnik, Tormozin, Perchuk, Novik, Vershinin ...
Outside of the power unit, the first firefighters, Major Telyatnikov, fearlessly joined the fight against fire.
The fireman, Ivan Mikhailovich Shavrey, at the time of the explosion, was full-time at the industrial site, five hundred meters from the emergency power unit. After the explosion, immediately after an alarm, Lieutenant Vladimir Pravik left for the HPV-2 guard unit. He carried the fire station atomic power station. Almost at the same time, Lieutenant Viktor Kibenk, guard guard of the UHFR-6, who carried the city fire brigade, left Pripyat.
The commander of the fire department Leonid Petrovich Telyatnikov was on vacation and had to go to work every other day. They were celebrating his birthday with his brother, when they called from the industrial site:
- Fire in the engine room! - excitedly reported on duty. - The alarm system provided by the NPP triggered. The roof is burning. The guard sent to Lieutenant Pravik. To help asked from Pripyat guard lieutenant Kibenko!
- Well done! - approved Telyatnikov. - Send the car. I'm coming.
The car drove quickly. Seeing the fire, Telyatnikov immediately realized that there were few cash people and we had to ask for help from everywhere. He ordered Lieutenant Pravik to convey the alarm in the region. Pravik on the radio passed the call number 3, in which all fire engines of the Kiev region should follow to the nuclear power plant, wherever they are.
Shavrey and Petrovsky installed their cars in row "B" and climbed the mechanical stairs to the roof of the machine room. A fiery squall raged there. The guys from SVHR-6 with poor state of health were already meeting them. Helped them to get to the mechanical staircase, while they themselves rushed to the fire ...
V.A. Prishchepa deployed his car (fire brigade) at row “A”, connected to the hydrant, and its calculation along the fire escape climbed onto the roof of the turbine hall. When they got in, they saw: in some places the roof overlap is broken. Some panels fell down, others wobbled heavily. Prishchepa went downstairs to warn his comrades about this. I saw Major Telyatnikov. Reported to him. He said:
- Set the combat post duty and not leave until victory.
So did. With Chavrei and Petrovsky, Prischepa stayed on the roof of the machine hall until five in the morning. Then they became ill. Rather, it became bad almost immediately, but they suffered, they thought it was from smoke and heat. And by five in the morning it became really bad, deadly bad. Then descended. But the fire has already been extinguished ...
Five minutes after the explosion at the scene of the accident was the calculation of Andrei Polkovnikov. Spun the car, prepared to extinguish. He went up to the roof twice, relayed Telyatnikov's order how to act.
Pravic arrived first at the crash site, so his entire guard was thrown at the extinguishing of the roof of the turbine hall. The guard of Kibenko, who arrived a little later, was thrown into the reactor compartment. There the flames raged at different levels. In five places it burned in the central hall. Kibenok, Vashchuk, Ignatenko, Titenok and Tischura rushed to fight this fire. It was a fight against fire in a nuclear hell. When they extinguished the foci in the separator rooms and in the reactor hall, one remained, the last and most important center - the reactor. At first they did not understand, they began to extinguish the active zone, which was buzzing with fire, from the hoses. But the water against the nuclear element was powerless. Neutrons and gamma rays cannot be extinguished with water ...
Until Telyatnikov was gone, Lieutenant Pravik assumed the general leadership of the elimination of fire. He went and scouted every detail. He repeatedly approached the reactor, climbed onto the roof of block “B” to see the whole picture from there and correctly determine the tactics of fighting fire. When Leonid Telyatnikov appeared, Pravik became his right hand, the first assistant.
It was necessary to stop the fire on the decisive directions. One branch of the Telyatnikov threw in to the defense of the machine hall, the other two held back the progress of the bubbling fire to the neighboring third power unit, and also extinguished the fire in the central hall.
After listening to the report of Pravik, the Telyatnikov, he himself several times went up to the 71 mark in order to better consider the direction of the movement of fire. After all, the situation changed every minute.
Lava burning bitumen, heavy toxic smoke reduced visibility. Difficult breathing. Worked under the threat of unexpected emissions of the flame, sudden collapses. In total, thirty-seven fires were put out in the reactor compartment and on the roof of the engine room.
The heat burned unbearably, but the firemen boldly walked into it. Smoke ate his eyes, molten bitumen adhered to his boots, and helmets poured black with radioactive ash of graphite and expanded clay.
Leonid Shavrey from the Pravicka unit was at the post on the roof of Block B, making sure that the fire did not spread further. It was scary hot. Both outside and inside. No one suspected radiation yet. The fire was like a fire; nothing supernatural was noticed. Shavrey even removed his helmet. Stuffy, crushing chest, choking cough. But one after another people began to fail. Nausea, vomiting, clouding of consciousness. At about half past three in the night, the Telyatnikov descended to the block control board to Akimov. Reported the situation on the roof. He said that the guys something bad becomes. Is it radiation? I asked the dosimetrist. Gorbachenko came. He said that the radiation situation is difficult. He sent his assistant Pshenichnikov to help Telyatnikov.
We went through the stair-elevator block, at the top of which was a door on the roof. But the door was locked. Could not break out. We went down to the zero mark and walked across the street. We went on graphite and fuel. Calf houses were already bad: brown-brown complexion, nausea, vomiting, headache. But he thought he was poisoned by smoke and overheated in a fire. And yet ... I wanted to make sure more precisely.
Pshenichnikov had a radiometer per thousand microroentgen per second. Everywhere, below and on the roof, he went off scale, but the dosimeter could not determine the true radiation situation. His radiometer showed only three and six tenths of X-rays per hour. In fact, the roof was in different places from two to fifteen thousand roentgens per hour. After all, the roof caught fire from the glowing graphite and fuel that fell on it. Having mixed with the melted bitumen, it all turned into a highly active mess, which was served by firefighters.
Down on earth, as I said, was no better. Not only graphite and fuel debris, but also nuclear dust that fell from the explosion cloud covered everything with a toxic coating.

The driver V.V. Bulava tells:
“I received a command to get through to the location of Lieutenant Hop. Had arrived. Put the car on the pond. Turned on the water supply. The car I have only from the repair, all brand new, smells like fresh paint. Chutes on wheels are also new. Only when approaching the block I hear, knocking something about the right front wheel. Jumped out to look. So it is - reinforcement has pierced the tire, sticks out of the wheel and clings to the wing ... Such an insult, right to tears. Only from repair, such a pity, while putting the car on the pond, there was no time. And then he turned on the pumps, got into the cabin, but this piece of iron doesn’t go out of his head. I sit straight and see how she stuck into a live tire and triumphs to herself. No, I think I will not tolerate that. Got out of the car and pulled it to the hell out. Did not give in. I had to get busy ... But in the end I got into a Moscow clinic with deep radiation burns of my hands ... I would have known that he had put on mittens ... Such things ... "

The first to fail were Kibenk firefighters with their commander. In the first group of victims was Lieutenant Pravik ...
By five in the morning the fire extinguished. But the victory came at a high price. Seventeen firefighters, among them Kibenok, Pravik, Telyatnikov, were sent to the medical unit, and in the evening of the same day - to Moscow ...

In total, fifty fire engines arrived from Chernobyl and other districts of the Kiev region to help the scene of the accident. But the main work has already been done ...

On that fateful and heroic night on the “Ambulance” of the Pripyatsky medical unit, the pediatrician Valentin Belokon was on duty. Worked in two teams with paramedic Alexander Skachkom. Belokon was at the patient when he received a call from the nuclear power plant. On call, the paramedic surgeon left.
At 1 an hour 42 minutes Jump rang from a nuclear power plant and said that there was a fire at the station, there were burned ones, you need a doctor. Belokon left with driver Gumarov. They took two more backup machines. On the way towards them, a car jumped with a flashing flasher. As it turned out, the Jump was carried by Volodya Shashenka.
At the ABK-1, the door of the health center was hammered on a nail. Hacked. Several times Belokon drove to the third and fourth blocks. Walked on graphite and fuel. From the roof crawled in a very bad condition Titenok, Ignatenko, Tischura, Vashchuk. He provided first aid - mostly soothing injections - and sent him to the medical unit. The last of the fire came Pravik, Kibenok, Calf. By six in the morning, Belokon also felt unwell and was taken to the medical unit.
The first thing that caught my eye when he saw the firefighters was their terrible excitement, at the limit of nerves. This has not been observed before. Therefore, soothing pricked them. And this, as it turned out later, was the nuclear rabies of the nervous system, a false super-tone, which was then replaced by a deep depression ...

Testifies Gennady Shasharin - former Deputy Minister of Energy and Electrification of the USSR:
“I was at the time of the explosion in Yalta, in a sanatorium. Rested with his wife. At 3 in the morning of 26 on April 1986, the phone rang right in the room. They called from the Yalta KGB, said that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant had a serious state of emergency, that I was appointed chairman of the Government Commission, and that I should urgently fly to Pripyat at the accident site.
I quickly got dressed, went to the duty manager and asked me to connect with the manager of Krymenergo in Simferopol, as well as with the VPO Soyuzatomenergo in Moscow. Connected with the VPO Soyuzatomenergo. G. A. Veretennikov was already there (about four in the morning). I asked him:
- Emergency protection dropped? Is water being fed to the reactor?
“Yes,” answered Veretennikov.
Then the administrator of the sanatorium brought me a telex signed by the Minister Mayorza. The telex already stated that Boris Evdokimovich Shcherbina, deputy chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, was appointed chairman of the Government Commission, and that I should also be in Pripyat on April 26. Fly out immediately.
I talked with the manager of Krymenergo, asked for a car by seven in the morning and book a seat on a plane to Kiev. He spoke with Krymenergo from the Yalta KGB; there the officer on duty connected me.
By seven in the morning, the Volga arrived, and I went to Simferopol, spending only five days on vacation. In Simferopol arrived at the beginning of the tenth. The flight to Kiev was expected in 11 hours 00 minutes, there was a time margin, and I visited the regional committee of the party. They did not really know anything. Concerned about the construction of nuclear power plants in the Crimea.
I flew to Kiev around 13 hours. There, the Minister of Energy of Ukraine Sklyarov told me that Mayots with the team would fly up from hour to hour, we must wait ... "

Victor Smagin, head of the shift unit No. 4, testifies:
“I had to change Alexander Akimov at eight in the morning on April 26 of 1986 of the year. I slept soundly at night, I did not hear explosions. I woke up at seven in the morning and went to the balcony to smoke. From the fourteenth floor I have a clearly visible nuclear power plant. I looked in that direction and immediately understood that the central hall of my native fourth block was destroyed. Above the unit is fire and smoke. I understood that it was a rubbish. He rushed to the phone to call the control room, but the connection was already cut off by the KGB, apparently, so that the information did not flow. Going to leave. He ordered his wife to close the windows and doors tightly. Do not let children out of the house. Most, too, do not go out. Sitting at home until my return ...
Ran to the street to the parking of the bus. But the bus did not fit. Soon they submitted “Rafik”, they said that they would take it not to ABK-2, as usual, to the second pass, but to ABK-1 to the first unit.
Brought to the ABK-1. There everything was already cordoned off by the police. Ensigns did not miss. Then I showed my round-the-clock skipping of managing operational personnel, and I was reluctant, but missed.
Near ABK-1, he met the deputies of Bryukhanov V. I. Gundar and I. N. Tsarenko, who were going to the bunker. They told me:
- Go, Vitya, to the control room-4, change Babichev. He changed Akimov at six in the morning, probably already grabbed ... Do not forget to change into “glass” (as we called the conference room) ...
“Once I change my clothes here,” I realized, “it means radiation to ABK-2 ...”
Rose in the "glass". There are a lot of clothes: overalls, shoe covers, "petals". While he was changing his clothes, he saw through the glass a General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (this was the Deputy Minister of the Interior of the Ukrainian SSR, G. V. Berdov), who proceeded to Bryukhanov’s office.
I quickly changed my clothes, not knowing yet that I would return from the unit to the medical unit with a strong nuclear tan and with a dose of 280 glad. But now I was in a hurry, put on the HB suit, boot covers, cap, “petal-200” and ran along the long corridor of the deaerator shelf (common to all four blocks) towards the control room-4. In the area of ​​the Skala computer room, there was a failure, water was flowing, it was floating. Looked into the room "Rocks". Water pours from the ceiling onto the cabinets with equipment. Then did not know that the water is highly radioactive. There is no one in the room. Yura Badaeva, you see, already taken away. I went further. Looked into the dosimetry shield room. There, the deputy chief of the RB (radiation safety) service Krasnozhon already managed. Gorbachenko was not. So, too, they drove away or somewhere on the block. The head of the night shift of dosimetrists, Samoylenko, was also in the room. Krasnozhon and Samoilenko made a fight. I listened and realized that they were fighting because they could not determine the radiation situation. Samoylenko puts pressure on the fact that radiation is enormous, and Krasnozhon that you can work for five hours at the rate of 25 rem.
- How much work, men? - I asked, interrupting their skirmish.
- Background - 1000 microroentgen per second, that is, 3,6 X-rays per hour. Work five hours at the rate of recruitment 25 rem!
“Lies all this,” Samoylenko summarized. Krasnozhon again enraged.
- What do you have no other radiometers? - I asked.
“There is in the storeroom, but it was overwhelmed with an explosion,” said Krasnozhon. - The authorities did not foresee such an accident ...
"And what are you - not the bosses?" - I thought, and went on.
All the windows in the corridor of the deaerator shelf were blown out. It smelled very keen of ozone. The body felt strong radiation. And they say there are no such senses. Looks like there is something. An unpleasant sensation appeared in my chest: spontaneous panic, but I controlled myself and held it in my hands. It was already light, and the blockage was clearly visible through the window. All the asphalt around is covered with something black. I looked closely - so is the reactor graphite! Wow! I realized that the case with the reactor is bad. But consciousness has not yet reached the whole reality of what happened.
Entered the block control room. There were Babichev Vladimir Nikolaevich and deputy chief engineer for science Mikhail Alekseevich Lyutov. He sat at the desk of the shift commander.
I told Babichev that I came to change it. It was 7 hours 40 minutes in the morning. Babichev said that he replaced one and a half hours ago and he feels fine. In such cases, the arrived shift comes under the command of a working watch.
“Akimov and Toptunov are still on the block,” Babichev said, “they open the valves on the feedwater supply line to the reactor in the 712 room, at the 27 mark. They are assisted by a senior mechanical engineer from the first stage Nekhaev, a senior engineer in the operation of the reactor department of the first stage Uskov, and a deputy head of the reactor department of the first stage Orlov. Go, Victor, change them. They are bad ...
Deputy Lutov, Chief Science Engineer, sat and, clasping his head with his hands, stupidly repeated:
- Tell me, guys, the graphite temperature in the reactor ... Tell me, and I will explain everything to you ...
- What kind of graphite are you asking, Mikhail Alekseevich? - I was surprised. - Almost all graphite on earth. Take a look. The yard is already light. I just saw ...
- What do you mean? - scared and incredulously asked Lyutov. - My head does not fit this ...

“Come and see,” I suggested.
We went with him into the corridor of the deaerator shelf and entered the room of the backup control panel, it is closer to the dam. There, too, an explosion smashed the glass. They cracked and squealed under their feet. The air, saturated with long-lived radionuclides, was thick and stinging. From the dam, directly bombarded with gamma rays with an intensity of up to fifteen thousand X-rays per hour. But then I did not know about it. Burning eyelids, throat, breathless. From the face there was an internal heat, the skin was drying, it was tied up ...
“Look,” I said to Lyutov, “it's all black from graphite ...”
- Is it graphite? - Lutov did not believe his eyes.
- What is it? - I exclaimed with indignation, but in the depths of my soul I also do not want to believe in what I see. But I already understood that because of a lie people died in vain, it's time to confess to myself everything. With evil stubbornness, flushed with radiation, I continued to prove to Lyutov.
- Look! Graphite blocks. Clearly discernible. There is a block with a “father” (protrusion), and a block with a “mother” (with a recess). And the hole in the middle for the technological channel. Do not you see?
“Yes, I see ... But is it graphite? ..,” Lyutov continued to doubt.
This blindness of people always drove me to madness. See only what is beneficial to your skin! Well this is death!
- And what is this? - I started yelling at the boss already.
- How much is it here? - finally came to Lyutov.
“Not everything is here ... If it is thrown away, then in all directions.” But, see, not all ... I am at home at seven in the morning, from the balcony, I saw fire and smoke from the floor of the central hall ...
We returned to the control room. Here, too, it smelled great of radioactivity, and I caught myself at the fact that, as if for the first time, I saw the native control room-4, its panels, instruments, panels, displays. Everything is dead. The arrows of the indicating devices froze on the scale or zero. The “Drag” machine of the “Scala” system was silent, issuing a continuous printout of parameters during unit operation. All these charts and printouts are now waiting in the wings. The curves of the technological process froze on them, the figures are silent witnesses of the atomic tragedy. They would be cut out soon, I thought, and as the greatest jewel they would take to Moscow to make sense of what had happened. There will also be operational logs from the main control room and from all workplaces. Then all this will be called a “bag with papers”, but for now ... Only two hundred and eleven round selsyns, the position indicators of the absorbing rods, stood out vividly against the general dead background of the shields, illuminated from the inside by emergency backlight lamps of the scales. The arrows of the selsyns froze in the 2,5 meter position, not reaching the bottom of the 4,5 meters.
I left the control room-4 and ran up-and-down the stair-elevator block, to the 27 mark, in order to change Toptunov and Akimov in the 712 room. On the way, I met Tolya Sitnikov coming down. He was bad, dark brown from nuclear tan, continuous vomiting. Overcoming weakness and vomiting, said:
- I looked at everything ... On the instructions of Fomin and Bryukhanov ... They are sure that the reactor is intact ... I was in the central hall, on the roof of “B” block. There is a lot of graphite and fuel ... I looked into the reactor from above ... In my opinion, it is destroyed ... Buzzes with fire ... I don't want to believe in it ... But we must ...
It was his “in my opinion” that betrayed the agonizing feeling that Sitnikov experienced. And he, a physicist, did not want to believe to the end, did not believe his eyes, so much that what he saw was scary ...
The entire history of the development of nuclear energy "this" feared the most. And hide this fear. And "this" happened ...
Sitnikov, staggering, went down, and I ran upstairs. Coaming (threshold) at the door in the 712-m room is high, about 350 millimeters. And the whole room is filled with water with fuel over the coaming. Akimov and Toptunov came out of the room - swollen, dark brown-brown faces and hands (as it turned out when viewed in the medical unit, the rest of the body is of the same color. Clothes to the rays are not a hindrance). Facial expressions - depressed. Terribly swollen lips, tongues. They hardly spoke ... Heavy sufferings, but also a feeling of bewilderment and guilt were simultaneously experienced by the shift commander of the block Akimov and SIUR Leonid Toptunov.
“I don’t understand anything,” Akimov said, “hardly turning the swollen tongue”, “we did everything right ... Why ... Oh, bad, Vitya ... We are reaching ... It seems that all valves have been opened along the way ... Check the third on each thread ...”
They went downstairs, and I entered a small 712-th room, an area of ​​about eight square meters. It contained a thick pipeline that split into two sleeves or threads, as the operators say, with a diameter of 200 millimeters each. On these sleeves were three valves. They opened the Toptunov and Akimov. As Akimov thought, the water from the working feed pump went to the reactor through this pipeline ... Actually, the water did not get into the reactor, but flowed into the sub-equipment room and from there poured cable half-floors and switchgears at minus marks, aggravating the accident ...
Strange, but the absolute majority of the operators, including myself, in the utterly uncomfortable hours, wished for the real.
“The reactor is intact!” - this is a false, but saving, mind-lightening thought that bewitched many here, in Pripyat, Kiev, and in Moscow, from which ever tighter and more persistent orders flowed:
- Supply water to the reactor!
These orders calmed down, instilled confidence, dynamism, gave strength where they were not supposed to be according to all biological laws ...
The pipeline in the 712 room was submerged. And from this water "light" about a thousand x-rays per hour. All valves are de-energized. Need to twist manually. And manually twist a long time - the clock. Here Akimov and Toptunov twisted them for several hours, taking the fatal doses. I checked the opening of the valves. Two valves on the left and right threads were opened. Took for the third in the course. But they were also undermined. Began to open further. He was indoors for about twenty minutes and grabbed a dose of 280 glad ...
I went down to the block control room, replaced Babichev. With me on the control room were: senior unit control engineers Gashimov and Breus, senior turbine control engineer Sasha Cheranyov, his backup Bakaev, shift manager of the reactor shop Seryozha Kamyshny. He now ran everywhere in the block, mainly in the deaerator shelf, to cut off the left two deaerator tanks, from which water flowed into the destroyed feed pump. However, the cut was not possible. The valves there are six hundred millimeters in diameter, and after the explosion, the deaerator shelf moved about half a meter from the monolith, breaking the rod penetrations. To control the valves even manually became impossible. They tried to restore, to impose, but high gamma-fields did not allow this. People "went out of order." Kamyshny was assisted by a senior engineer of the turbine Kovalev and a mechanic Kozlenko ...
By nine in the morning, a working emergency feed pump had stopped, and thank goodness. Stopped pour bottoms. Out of water in deaerators.
I sat on the phone all the time. He kept in touch with Fomin and Bryukhanov. They are with Moscow. A report went to Moscow: “We are supplying water to the reactor!” From there came an order: “Do not stop the water supply!” And the water ended ...
At the control room, the activity of radiation is up to five roentgens per hour, and in the places they are shot from the dam - even more. But there were no devices. Didn't know exactly. I told Fomin that the water was over. He panics: “Serve water!” - shouts. Where do I get it from ...
Fomin frantically sought a way out. Finally came up with. I sent the deputy chief engineer for the new units, Leonid Konstantinovich Vodolazhko, and the shift commander, Babichev, from whom I took the shift to organize the supply of water to the tanks of pure condensate (three tanks of 1000 cubic meters each), and then with emergency pumps again to the reactor. Fortunately, this adventure of Fomin was not crowned with success ...
About fourteen o'clock I left the control unit block of the fourth power unit. The state of health was already very bad: vomiting, headache, dizziness, fainting. Washed and changed clothes in the sanitary inspection room of the second stage and went to the laboratory and household building of the first stage, to the health center. There were already doctors and sisters ... "

Much later, in the afternoon of April 26, the new fire brigade arriving in Pripyat will pump water with fuel from the NPP cable floors and pump it into a cooling pond, in which water activity over the entire area of ​​twenty-two square kilometers will reach sixth degree of curie per liter , that is, it will be equal to the water activity of the main circuit during the operation of a nuclear reactor ...
As already mentioned, Fomin and Bryukhanov did not believe Sitnikov that the reactor was destroyed. They didn’t believe the head of the civil defense headquarters of the nuclear power plant, Vorobyov, who warned them about high radiation fields, advised him to throw the radiometer into the garbage bin. But somewhere in the depths, Bryukhanov still had a single sober thought. Somewhere in the depths of the soul, he took note of the information Vorobyov and Sitnikov, and in any case asked Moscow to gobble for the evacuation of the city of Pripyat. However, B. Ye. Shcherbina, whom his assistant L.P. Drach contacted by telephone (Shcherbina was at that time in Barnaul), received a clear order:
- Do not raise panic! Do not perform evacuation before the arrival of the Government Commission!
Nuclear euphoria, tragedy, catastrophic situation deprived Bryukhanov and Fomin of common sense. Every hour Bryukhanov reported to Moscow and Kiev that the radiation situation in Pripyat and around nuclear power plants was within the normal range, that the situation was generally controlled, cooling water was being supplied to the reactor ...
When the feed pump stopped, Fomin developed a boisterous activity of organizing the supply of water from other sources.
As VG Smagin testified, he sent the deputy chief engineer for Vodolazhko’s fifth unit under construction and who did not have time to go to the medical department of the shift commander Babichev to supply and accumulate fire water in three thousand-kilowatt tanks of pure condensate, which are mounted outside, near the CPPF unit (auxiliary systems of the reactor compartment), close to the blockage, so that from there emergency water supply pumps from the ECCS system pump the water back into the reactor, which no longer existed. This iron stubbornness, reminiscent of the manic actions of the insane, could only bring more harm: additional flooding of minus marks and overexposure of new and new people. After all, the entire fourth unit was de-energized, the switchgear was flooded with water, not a single mechanism could be put into operation any longer, this was associated with severe overexposure of personnel. Around radiation fields from 800 X-rays to 15 thousand X-rays per hour. Although cash devices could measure activity levels up to four roentgens per hour ...
More than a hundred people have already been taken to the medical unit. It was time to come to senses. But no - the madness of Bryukhanov and Fomin continued:
“The reactor is intact! Pour water into the reactor! ”
Early in the morning of April 26 in Moscow was formed for the flight to Kiev and then to Pripyat the first group of specialists by special flight from the Bykovo airport. He telephoned at night on the phone and the chief engineer of VPO of Soyuzatomenergo Boris Yakovlevich Prushinsky gathered people.
In Moscow, a second, higher-ranking group was also preparing to take off - representatives of the Central Committee and the Government, senior assistant to the USSR Prosecutor General Yu. N. Shadrin, deputy chief of the Civil Defense Headquarters of the country, Colonel-General B. P. Ivanov, Commander of the USSR chemical warfare officers, Colonel-General V. K. Pikalov, ministers, academics, marshals ... This group was supposed to fly to Kiev by special flight at 11 in the morning of 26 in April of 1986, but certain difficulties of collection (after all, were days off) delayed the flight to sixteen hours ...

Meanwhile, the city of nuclear power engineers Pripyat woke up. Almost all the children went to school ...

Testifies Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Kharitonov - senior engineer of the production and administrative department of the construction of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant:
“On Saturday 26 April 1986, everyone was already preparing for the holiday 1 May. Warm fine day. Spring. Blooming gardens. My husband, the head of the ventilation section, was going to go with his children to the country after work. In the morning I washed and hung laundry on the balcony. By the evening, millions of decays had already accumulated on it ...
Among the majority of builders and installers, no one really knew anything. Then something leaked out about the accident and the fire at the fourth power unit. But what exactly happened, no one knew exactly ...
The children went to school, the kids played outside in the sandboxes, riding bicycles. All of them in the evening of April 26 had high activity in their hair and clothes, but then we didn’t know. Not far from us, delicious donuts were sold on the street. Many bought. A typical day off ...
Construction workers went to work, but they were soon returned, around twelve in the afternoon. My husband also went to work. Returning to dinner, he told me: “The accident is not allowed. They cordoned off the entire station ... “
We decided to go to the dacha, but the police posts did not let us out of the city. Came back home. Strange, but we still perceived the accident as something separate from our private life. After all, there were accidents before, but they concerned only the nuclear power plant itself ...
After lunch, began to wash the city. But this did not attract attention. The phenomenon is usual on a hot summer day. Washers in the summer is not a miracle. Normal peaceful environment. I just paid some casual attention to the white foam at the shoulders, but did not attach any importance to this. I thought: strong water pressure ...
A group of neighbors children rode bicycles on the overpass (bridge), from there the emergency block was clearly visible, from the side of Yanov station. This, as we later learned, was the most radioactive place in the city, because a cloud of nuclear release had passed there. But it became clear later, and then, in the morning of April 26, the guys were just interested in watching the reactor burn. These children then developed severe radiation sickness.
After lunch, our children returned from school. They were warned there not to go outside, to make a wet tidy at home. Then it came to consciousness for the first time that was serious.
Different people learned about the accident at different times, but by the evening of April 26 knew almost everything, but the reaction was still calm, as all the shops, schools, institutions worked. So, we thought, not so dangerous.
Toward evening it became more disturbing. This alarm was no longer known from where, whether from the inside of the soul, or from the air, in which a metallic smell began to be strongly felt. Some kind of he can not even say for sure. But metallic ...
In the evening, caught fire stronger. They said: graphite is burning ... People saw fire from far away, but did not pay much attention.
- Something is burning ...
- Firefighters extinguished ...
“It’s still burning ...”

And on the industrial site, three hundred meters from the destroyed power unit, in the Hydroelectromontage office, the watchman Danila Terentevich Mruzhenko waited eight in the morning and, because the head of the department did not answer his calls, he decided to go a mile and a half to the construction management and report back to the construction manager Kizime or the dispatcher about that saw at night. Nobody came to change it in the morning. Nobody also called him what to do. Then he closed the office on the castle and went on foot to the construction department. He already felt very bad. Vomiting has begun. In the mirror I saw that I was very tanned over the night without the sun. In addition, while heading towards construction management, for some time he was following the trail of nuclear emissions.
Came to the office, and there it is closed. There is not anyone. Saturday after all.
Near the porch is some unfamiliar man. I saw MIRUZHENKO and said:
- Go, grandfather, rather in the medical unit. You are completely bad.
MIRUZHENKO somehow walked to the medical unit ...
Anatoly Viktorovich Trapikovsky, an avid fisherman, is the driver of the head of the Hydroelectromontage Department, in early morning on April 26, in a company car, hurried to the supply channel to catch fry and move further on the perch. But in the usual way he could not drive. Fenced off the police. Then he turned around and, on the other hand, tried to slip into the warm canal - also a police cordon. Then he went through the forest along a barely perceptible stitch and went to the canal. Located fishing. Fishermen, who sat here from the night, told about the explosions. They thought they said that the main safety valves worked. Such a sound of steam emission. And then there was an explosion with strong fire and sparks. The fireball went to the sky ...
Gradually and imperceptibly, the fishermen disappeared. Trapikovsky went fishing for some time, but fear began to creep into his soul, and he too got ready and went home ...

In the morning, two insulator workers, Alexey Dzyubak and his brigadier Zapёkly, passed from the night shift from the 5 unit under construction. They were heading towards the Khimzashchita office located three hundred meters from the 4 block. Tramped on the trail of nuclear emissions, that is, on the nuclear dust that was waking up from a radioactive cloud. The activity of the “trace” on the earth reached ten thousand roentgens per hour. The total exposure dose they received was about 300 glad everyone. We spent half a year in the 6 clinic of Moscow ...

The guard (VOKhR worker) Klavdiya Ivanovna Luzganova, 50 years old, was on duty at night from 25 to 26 on April at the SNFS building under construction (spent nuclear fuel storage) two hundred meters from the emergency unit. I got about six hundred happy. She died in the 6 clinic in Moscow at the end of July 1986 ...
On the fifth unit in the morning of April 26 left a team of construction workers. Vasily Trofimovich Kizima, the head of the Construction Department, came to the fifth block, a fearless, courageous man. Before that, he traveled by car and inspected the blockage around the 4 block. He had no dosimeters, and he did not know how much he received. He told me later:
- I guessed, of course, my chest was very dry, my eyes were burning. No wonder, I think, it burns. Surely Bryukhanov spat out the radiation ... Inspected the blockage, went to the 5 block. Working to me with questions. How much work? What is activity? Require benefits for harm. Everyone and me, too, suffocated a cough. Protest the body against plutonium, cesium and strontium. And then there's iodine-131 in the thyroid gland. Smothers No one has respirators. And there are no tablets of potassium iodide either. I call Bryukhanov. Cope for the situation. Bryukhanov replied: "We study the situation." Closer to dinner again called him. He studied the situation again. I am a builder, not an atomic scientist, and I realized that Comrade Bryukhanov was not in possession of the situation ... I was left a mess, and I stayed ... At twelve o'clock in the afternoon I let the workers go home. Wait for further guidance from ...

Evidenced by the chairman of the Pripyat city executive committee Vladimir Pavlovich Voloshko:
“Throughout the whole day of April 26, Bryukhanov introduced everyone into ignorance, stating that the radiation situation in the city of Pripyat was normal. Outwardly, all day April 26 Bryukhanov was insane. Some seemingly crazy, lost himself. Fomin, he, in general, with intervals between giving orders, wept, whined, where did the impudence, anger, self-confidence go. Both more or less came to themselves in the evening. By the arrival Shcherbyna. As if he could bring with him salvation. To the explosion Bryukhanov went naturally. This is not surprising. Bryukhanov himself knew only the turbine and selected his own kind of turbinists. Fomin - electricians. Imagine, Bryukhanov every hour sent to Kiev reports on the radiation situation, and it appeared in them that the situation was normal. No you exceeding the background. - Voloshko with indignation added: - “They sent an x-ray to Toll Sitnikov, an excellent physicist, for fifteen hundred thousand. And he was not listened to when he reported that the reactor was destroyed ...
Of the five and a half thousand people operating staff - four thousand disappeared on the very first day in an unknown direction ... "

In 9 hours of 00 minutes of the morning of 26 on April 1986 of the year, Lidiya Eremeeva, a Soyuzatomenergostroy, on duty from Moscow, contacted the Construction Department of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. In Pripyat, the chief engineer of the Zemskov construction site picked up the phone. Yeremeeva asked him for the construction data per day: the laying of concrete, the installation of metal structures, the means of mechanization, the number of workers on the 5 block ...
- You really do not bother us today. We have a small accident here, - answered V. Zemskov, who had just conscientiously bypassed the emergency unit and was highly irradiated. Then he had vomiting and a medical unit ...

On April 9, 9.00 from the Moscow Bykovo airport flew a Yak-26 plane on a special flight.
The first operational interdepartmental group of specialists comprised of B. Ya. Prushinsky, Chief Engineer of VPO Soyuzatomenergo, E. I. Ignatenko, Deputy Head of the same association, V. S. Konviz, Deputy Head of the Institute Hydroproject (station general designer), representatives of NIKIET (Chief Designer of the RBMK reactor) K. K. Podushkin and Yu. N. Cherkashov, representative of the I. Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy - E. P. Ryazantsev and others.
The group, as I have already said, was gathered for the departure by B. Ya. Prushinsky, calling each one by telephone.
At the disposal of the departing group was not rich information transmitted by Bryukhanov:
- the reactor is intact, cooled with water, - which flattered Podushkin and Cherkashov very much, as representatives of the chief designer of the apparatus. It was pleasant to know that Koniza, as the general designer, because he applied this “reliable” apparatus in the design of the nuclear power plant;
- the radiation situation is within the normal range - it calmed everyone and especially the representative of the Institute of Atomic Energy named after I. Kurchatov - E. P. Ryazantsev, because the active zone calculated by the institute turned out to be reliable, durable and manageable, since in such a critical situation the reactor survived ;
- only two fatal accidents - this is not so much for an explosion;
- The 110-cc tank of emergency cooling of CPS drives (protection control system) exploded, apparently from an explosive mixture explosion. Well, you need to think about protecting the tank for the future ...

At ten forty-five in the morning of April 26, the emergency operational team of specialists was already in Kiev. Two hours later, the cars drove to the building of the Pripyat Party Committee.
It was necessary to get acquainted with the true state of affairs as soon as possible in order to have reliable information for the report upon arrival of the members of the Government Commission.
First of all, you need to get to the emergency unit and see everything with your own eyes. It is even better to inspect the unit from the air. It turned out that there is a civil defense helicopter nearby that landed near the overpass that is near Yanov station. It took some time to look for binoculars and a photographer with a camera. Binoculars have not been found. Photographer found. Before departure, they were also sure that the reactor was intact and cooled with water. An hour and a half after the arrival of the task force, the Mi-6 helicopter took off. A photographer, chief engineer of HPE Soyuzatomenergo B. Ya. Prushinsky and a representative of the chief designer of the reactor K. K. Polushkin came on board. The dosimeter was only in the pilot, which allowed later to find out the absorbed dose of radiation.
They flew up from the side of the concrete mixing center and the city of Pripyat. Before and slightly to the left of the SROW unit. 400 height meters. Down to 250 to get a better look. The picture is depressing. Solid camber, there is no central hall. The block is unrecognizable ... But in order.
“Hang here,” asked Prushinsky.
On the roof of the SROWS block (auxiliary systems of the reactor compartment), close to the wall of block “B” (special chemistry) are visible the piles of bent beams, bright fragments of wall panels and floors, stainless pipes glittering in the sun, black graphite pieces and crumpled, rusty from corrosion of fuel assemblies . A particularly crowded block of fuel and graphite near a square ventilation pipe, protruding from the roof of the SROWS and closely adjacent to the wall of the block "B". Then - a blockage from disfigured pipelines, broken reinforced structures, equipment, fuel and graphite rose obliquely from the ground itself (capturing a surface on the ground radially about 100 meters), from the former wall of the main circulation pump room along the “T” row, inside the destroyed room of the TCN , the end wall of which from the side of the building on the right of the building of HZhTO (liquid and solid waste storage) miraculously survived.
It was here, under this rubble, that Valery Khodhemchuk was buried, it was here, absorbing the lethal dose of radiation, the shift supervisor of the reactor department, Valery Perevozchenko, was searching for his subordinate, clambering in the dark over the pile of building structures and equipment, shouting his throat with a dry and contracted radiation throat: “Valera ! Respond! I'm here! Come! .. ”
Prushinsky and Polushkin did not know all this and could not know. But shocked, realizing that it was not just the destruction that took place, but something much bigger and more terrible, they absorbed in the smallest details the picture of misfortune that had opened before them.
Around, on the asphalt blue from the sun and on the roof of the HTS, you can see thick black pieces of graphite and even whole packages of graphite blocks. There is a lot of graphite, black from graphite ...
Prushinsky and Polushkin looked dumbfounded at all this unimaginable devastation. What they saw now in the expression, it seemed, was lost earlier only in imagination. But, of course, much paler and simpler and mostly purely theoretical. But it seems that the famous formula of Kozma Prutkov acted even now: “Do not believe your eyes!” And Prushinsky and Polushkin found that they wanted not to look at all this, as if this did not concern them at all, but that this was some kind of other strangers. But it concerned them, them! And shame that you have to see this ...
And at first they did not seem to see everything, only the heart in the chest sank to pain, and their eyes, although they were eagerly looking at this whole mayhem, but with bashfulness, as if they were repelled from the dismal picture of destruction. Oh, and not see all this! But we have to! Na-ado! ..
It seems that the premise of the main circulating pumps destroyed by an explosion from the inside. But how many explosions were there ?! In the rubble that rose obliquely from the ground right up to the floor of the former separator room, thick long pipes appear to be manifolds, one almost on the ground along the diagonal of the angle between the VROW wall and the wall of the MCP room, the second one is much higher. From about plus twelve to plus twenty four, he leaned with the upper end on a long pipe downstream. Consequently, the explosion of this pipeline threw out of the shaft solidly tight box. Further, on the floor, if the shapeless clutches can be called a floor, at the mark of plus thirty-two - 130-ton drums-separators shifted from the supports, eight merrily gleaming in the sun, eight pieces of strongly bent piping strapping, a pile of rubbish hanging from consoles pieces of concrete floor panels and walls. The walls of the separator room were demolished, with the exception of the surviving stub from the end, from the side of the central hall. Between this stub of the wall and the blockage there is a gaping black rectangular gap. Nothing stuck in it. It means that this is an opening in the shaft of a solid box or in the upper communications of the reactor. It seems that some of the equipment and pipelines were “blown out” by an explosion from there. That is, there was an explosion from there, too, so there is “clean”, nothing sticks out ...
Thinking so, Prushinsky unwittingly remembered the new after installing the main circuit - the holy of holies technology. And now…
From the side of the junction of the central hall to the deaerator shelf the rest of the end wall is lower. The end wall of the reactor hall along row "T" survived to about plus fifty-one (to the base of the emergency CPS tank, which was located in this wall from mark plus fifty-one to plus seventy). It was in this tank, according to Bryukhanov's report, that an explosive mixture exploded, which destroyed the central hall. Well, and how then the premises of the main circnasos, drum separators, strong-tight boxing? What destroyed them? .. No! Bryukhanov’s report is erroneous, if not false ...
And on the ground around the dam there are black placers of the graphite stack of the reactor. The eyes involuntarily look there again and again. After all, since graphite on earth means ...
I did not want to admit to myself the simple and obvious now thought: “The reactor is destroyed ...

After all, this recognition immediately raises a huge responsibility to people. No ... To millions of people. In front of the entire planet Earth. And the unimaginable human tragedy ...
Therefore, it is better to just watch. Without thinking, to absorb this nightmare of the agonizing atomic block stinking with radiation ...
The wall of block “B” on the part of the SROW in the junction to the room of the main circumnasos stuck out with uneven chips. On the roof of the “B” block, clearly visible were pieces of the graphite stack of the reactor, square blocks with holes in the middle. It's impossible to make a mistake here. Very close to the roof of the “B” block to the helicopter hovering above it. Any one and a half hundred meters. The sun is at its zenith. Clear, contrast lighting. Not a cloud in the sky. Closer to the end wall of block “B” graphite is piled high. Pieces of graphite are evenly scattered on the roof of the central hall of the 3 unit, and on the roof of the “B” block, from which a white ventilation pipe with red annular bands protruded. Graphite and fuel are visible on the viewing platforms of the ventilation pipe. That, you see, these radioactive “lights” “shine” in all directions. And here is the roof of the deaerator shelf, where only seven hours ago, the firemen of Major Telyatnikov ended the fight with fire ...
As if from the inside the flat roof of the machine hall was torn up, twisted armature, some torn metal grids, black burns stick out. Glittering streams of bitumen glittered in the sun, in which at night the firemen were knee-deep. On the remaining parts of the roof there are long, randomly intertwined hoses and coils of fire hoses.
At the end wall of the turbine hall, in the corners along the rows of “A” and “B” and along the pressure pool, people can see the now highly radioactive red fire boxes - silent witnesses to the tragic struggle of fragile people with visible and invisible atomic elements.
Further, on the right, the cooling pond reservoir extending into the distance, on the golden sandy beaches with children's sandals lay boats, boats, and in front - the empty surface of still pure water ...
From the 5-th power unit under construction, people who did not have time to leave in small groups and one by one left. These are the workers who were long ago sent home by the head of the construction site Kizim, who did not achieve the truth from Bryukhanov. All of them will follow the trail of a radioactive release, everyone will receive their dose and carry terrible dirt on the soles of their children’s home ...
“Hang right over the reactor,” asked the pilot Prushinsky. - So! Stop! Take off!
The photographer took some pictures. Opening the door, looked down. The helicopter was in an upward flow of radioactive release. All by helicopter without respirators. There is no radiometer. Below is a black rectangle of spent fuel pool. There is no water in it ...
“The fuel in the pool will melt ...” thought Prushinsky.
The reactor ... Here it is - the round "eye" of the reactor shaft. It seems to be narrowed. The huge "eyelid" of the upper bioprotection of the reactor is expanded and heated to a bright cherry color. Flames and smoke erupted from the squint. It seemed as if giant barley was ripening and about to burst ...
“Ten rem,” said the pilot, glancing into the eyepiece of the optical dosimeter. - Today, more than once will have ...
- Departure! - ordered Prushinsky. The helicopter "slid" from the central hall and headed for Pripyat.
“Yes, guys, this is the end ...” said the representative of the chief designer of the apparatus Konstantin Polushkin thoughtfully.

After flying around the emergency unit, they took a car in a helicopter and arrived at Bryukhanov’s bunker. Outwardly, Bryukhanov and Fomin are extremely depressed. The first words of Bryukhanov Prushinsky sounded tragic:
- All ... There is no block ... - the voice is depressed.
And in the ears of Prushinsky there was still the night voice of Bryukhanov, who reported on the state of emergency:
“The emergency water CPS tank exploded. The tent of the central hall is partially destroyed. The reactor is intact. Serving water ... "
“So is the reactor intact or not?” Prushinsky asked himself the question.
They got into the car with Bryukhanov and once again drove around and examined the destroyed block ...

Testifies Lyubov Nikolaevna Akimova (wife of Alexander Akimov):
“My husband was a very nice, sociable person. Easily converged with people, but without familiarity. Generally cheerful, obligatory person. Active public man. He was a member of the Pripyat city committee. He loved his sons very much. Caring was. I was keen on hunting, especially when I started working on the unit and we bought a car.
After all, we arrived in Pripyat in 1976 after graduating from the Moscow Power Engineering Institute. Work-whether at the beginning of the working group design Hydroproject. In 1979, my husband went to work on the operation. He worked as a senior turbine control engineer, senior unit control engineer, shift manager of the turbine shop, deputy shift manager of the unit. In January, 1986 of the year became the head of the shift unit. In this position, he found an accident ...
On the morning of April 26, he did not return home from work. I called his PCB-4, but the phone did not answer. I called Bryukhanov, Fomin, Dyatlov. But the phones did not answer. Much later, I found out that the phones were disconnected. I was very nervous. She ran all the first half of the day, asked everyone, looked for her husband. Everyone already knew that there was an accident, and I was even more worried. I ran in the city executive committee to Voloshka, in the town committee of the party to Gamanyuk. Finally, after asking many, I learned that he was in the medical unit. I rushed there. But they didn't let me in to him. They said that he is now on a drip. I did not leave, went to the window of his house. Soon he went to the window. The face is brown-brown. Seeing me, he laughed, was over-excited, reassured me, asked through the glass about his sons. It seemed to me that at that time he was somehow especially glad that he had sons. He told me not to let them out. He was even cheerful, and I calmed down a bit ... "

Testifies L. A. Kharitonov:
“By the evening of April 26, someone spread a rumor that anyone who wants can evacuate on their cars. Many left their cars on the same day to different parts of the country. (Carrying away radioactive dirt on clothes and on wheels of cars. - G. M.)
But we evacuated 26 on April evening in the Khmelnitsky-Moscow train. At the station Yanov patrolled by the military. There were so many women with small children. Everyone was a little confused, but they were calm, because patrols and police were calm. People looked inquiringly into the eyes of the military, as if they were looking for fear or anxiety there. But the military was calm, friendly, smiling. But just over Jan passed a radioactive cloud. There was a very big activity. And on the ground, and in the trees, on everything. But no one then knew about it. Outwardly, everything is normal. But I still felt the new time. And when the train approached, it seemed to me already different, as if it had come from that pure era, to our era, the Chernobyl, dirty ...
In the car conductor heated water. The girl was washed. They put the clothes in a plastic bag and put them in a suitcase. And we went. All the way, up to Moscow, did a wet tidy. And further and further from Pripyat, anxiety and pain were carried away in the soul ... ”

Testifies G. N. Petrov - former head of the equipment department of Yuzhatomenergomontazh:
“I woke up at ten in the morning of April 26. Day as day. On the floor there are warm sunbeams, in the windows there is a blue sky. On the soul is good, I came home, rest. Out on the balcony for a smoke. The street is already full of guys. Kids play in the sand, build houses, make cakes. Older - chase the greats. Young mothers walk with baby strollers. Life is like life. And suddenly he remembered the night, when he drove up to the block. Anxiety and fear felt. I remember the bewilderment. How can it be? Everything is usually and at the same time - everything is scary radioactive. Late disgust in the soul to the invisible dirt, because normal life. The eyes see: everything is clean, but in fact everything is dirty. Mind does not fit.
By dinner, was a cheerful mood. And the air began to feel sharper. The metal is not metal in the air, but something sharp, and in the mouth near the teeth it is sour, as if you are trying a battery with a weak tongue ...
Our neighbor, Mikhail Vasilyevich Metelev, an electrician with a Hydro-Electrical installation, climbed on the roof at eleven o'clock and went to sunbathe there in swimming trunks. Then he went down to drink once, he said that tan is great today, just like never before. From the skin immediately, he says, the smell of burning. And it is very invigorating, as if I missed stoparik. He invited me, but I did not go. He says no beach is needed. And you can clearly see how the reactor is burning, clearly so against the blue sky ...
And in the air at that time, as I later learned, it was already up to a thousand millibar per hour. And plutonium, and cesium, and strontium. And so the iodine-131-th most, and in the thyroid gland he crammed tight in the evening. In all: in children, in adults ...
But then we did not know anything. We lived a normal and, now I understand, joyful human life.
By evening, a neighbor who sunbathed on the roof began to vomit and was taken to the medical unit. And then, it seems, to Moscow. Or to Kiev. I do not know for sure. But it was perceived as if separately. Because the usual summer day, the sun, blue sky, warm. It happens: someone got sick, someone was taken by the ambulance ...
And so it was an ordinary day. Later, when everyone said, I remembered that night when I drove up to the block. Potholes on the road in the headlights remembered a cement plant covered with cement dust. I remember for some reason. And I think: strange, this pothole is radioactive, the usual pothole, and this whole concrete plant, and everything — everything: the sky, and the blood, and the brain, and human thoughts. Everything…"

Meanwhile, in Moscow, at the airport "Bykovo" members of the Government Commission were preparing for departure. The special flight was scheduled for 11.00, but people gathered slowly, and the departure was postponed twice. First on the 14 clock, then on the 16.00.

Testifies Mikhail Stepanovich Tsvirko - Head of the All-Union construction and assembly association Soyuzatomenergostroy:
“On the morning of April 26, 1986, I had increased pressure, had a headache, and I went to the clinic of the 4-th Main Directorate under the USSR Ministry of Health.
Somewhere around 11 in the morning I called for work, to find out how things were going on the construction sites of the association. Led on the main technical department Eremeeva Lydia Vsevolodovna. She said she didn’t convey the usual reports. The chief engineer or dispatcher told her that they had an accident there, and he let the people of Kizim leave the 5 unit for home.
Eremeeva also said that Minister Mayorets was looking for me.
I called the assistant minister. He excitedly told me that he could not find me either at home or at work, and that I urgently collected things and went to the airport Bykovo. From there fly to Chernobyl. Gathered came to "Bykovo". And there, Deputy Minister Alexander Nikolaevich Semenov was already walking around. He told me that four trusses of the overlap of the 4 block of the machine hall collapsed in Chernobyl.
- Is there dirt? - I asked.
“No dirt,” he said. - Everything is clear.
I already began to speculate what cranes to fit in order to put the trusses in place, but V. V. Marin, head of the CPSU Central Committee sector, arrived and said that not only the turbine hall farms but also the tent above the reactor had collapsed.
- Do you have any dirt? - I asked.
“Surprisingly, there is no dirt,” said Maryin. - And most importantly - the reactor is intact. Great reactor! Clever Dollezhal, designed such a machine!
The task became more complicated, and I began to think - how to approach the central hall with cranes ... "
Here I will interrupt the testimony of M. S. Tsvirko, with whom I worked side by side at Soyuzatomenergostroy for four years.
Experienced, tenacious, businesslike, who had built factories for other ministries for decades, the former head of Glavzavodspetsstroy, Mikhail Stepanovich Tsvirko, was literally forced into the chair of Soyuzatomenergostroy, who had not steadfastly fulfilled the planned indicators. To its credit, Tsvirko must be said that he fiercely resisted, saying that he did not know atomic stations that the matter was alien and incomprehensible to him. But the Central Committee and the minister nevertheless ordered, and he obeyed.
The bosses Tsvirko not only respected, he was anxiously afraid of him, which he did not hide.
Since Zvirko did not know the device of the NPP, he took up the planned indicators. He was able to count money. We, his subordinates, dealt with thematic tasks and taught the atomic wisdom of our new boss on the go.
A short, thick, if not fat, boxer in the distant past with a flattened nose pressed in battles, wide-eyed, bald, with tightly clenched jaws (boxing habit), with slightly slanting intelligent blue eyes of the Tatar bogdykhan - this man for a year brought the union into plan limits ...
But fear owned it all the time. Others laughed at him for the eyes, but I thought that Zvirko was suffering not so much from the fear of superiors, but from remorse of conscience. His conscience tormented him that we work badly. At that time, he often told me if there was a breakdown of a particular thematic task:
“They will kill us!” They will kill us! Nobody will listen to the explanations ...
He also admitted that he fears radiation most of all because he does not understand anything in it.
And now he was in "Bykovo" ...
We flew a special flight to Kiev in 16.00. Onboard the Yak-40 were: Yu. N. Shadrin, Senior Assistant to the Prosecutor General of the USSR, A. I. Maorets, Minister of Energy and Electrification of the USSR, A. V. Mayoren, Head of the CPSU Central Committee V. V. Marin, Deputy Minister of Energy A. N. Semenov, First Deputy A. G. Meshkov, Minister of Medium Machine Building, M. S. Tsvirko, Head of Soyuzatomenergostroi, V. N. Shishkin, Deputy Head of Soyuzielektromontazh, V. A. Shevelkin, Deputy Head of Soyuzenergomontazh, L. Scherbina, Assistant B. Assistant, L. P. Drach, Deputy Minister USSR Health Ministry EI Vorobiev, kneading rer 3-Chief of the Main Directorate at the Ministry of Health of the USSR VD Turov and others.
In the cabin, the Yak-40 sat down on the opposite red couches. Vladimir Vasilyevich Marin, Head of the Atomic Energy Sector of the CPSU Central Committee (Bryukhanov phoned him home at three o'clock in the morning), shared his thoughts with the members of the Government Commission again and again.
- The main thing that made me happy: the explosion of the CPS tank withstood the atomic reactor. Well done academic Dollezhal! Under his leadership, created an excellent nuclear reactor. Bryukhanov woke me up by his call at three in the morning and said: “A terrible accident, but the reactor is intact. We supply continuously cooling water ... "
- I think, Vladimir Vasilyevich, - Minister Mayorets, who knew well only the device of the transformer, joined the conversation, was a completely random person in the whirlwind of atomic events, - we will not sit in Pripyat for long ...
The same idea was repeated by AI Mayorets in an hour and a half in the AN-2 aircraft, in which members of the Government Commission flew from the Zhulyany Airport to Pripyat. The Minister of Energy of the Ukrainian SSR VF Sklyarov flew with them from Kiev. Hearing the optimistic reasoning of the Mayor’s relatively brief stay in Pripyat, he corrected his patron:
- I think, Anatoly Ivanovich, we will not manage in two days ...
“Do not scare us, Comrade Sklyarov,” Mayorets snapped. - Ours, and together with us your main task is to restore the destroyed power unit in the shortest possible time and turn it on in the power system ...

M. Tsvirko testifies:
“When we arrived in Kiev, the Minister of Energy of Ukraine Sklyarov immediately told us that there was radiation in Pripyat. Personally, it alarmed me. “So, something with a reactor,” I thought then. But Minister Mayorets was calm ...
The most unpleasant thing was that we slept at the Pripyat Hotel for three nights, and there was already terrible dirt there ... ”

At about the same time that the members of the Government Commission arrived in Pripyat, the personal plane of the Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers B. Ye. Shcherbina was on the way from Barnaul to Moscow. Upon arrival in the capital, the deputy chairman will change clothes, have a snack and fly from Vnukovo airport to Kiev. In Pripyat, he will arrive at nine in the evening ...

G.A. Shasharin testifies:
“Mayorets arrived. We sat in the An-2 and flew to Pripyat. On the way from Kiev to Pripyat, I told the Mayor about the need to create working groups at the scene of the accident. I thought of it in advance when I flew from Simferopol to Kiev. In my opinion, such groups were supposed to streamline the work of the Government Commission, to assist in the preparation and decision-making. Here is a list of groups that I offered to the Mayor:
- a group studying the causes of the accident and the safety of nuclear power plants - responsible Shasharin, Meshkov;
- a group studying the real radiation situation around the nuclear power plant - responsible Abagyan, Vorobev, Turovsky;
- a group of emergency restoration works - responsible Semenov, Tsvirko, installers;
- a group assessing the need to evacuate the population of Pripyat and nearby farms and villages - responsible Shasharin, Sidorenko, Legasov;
- the group providing equipment, equipment and materials - responsible Glavenergokomplekt, Glavsnab.

It landed on aerodromchik between the Pripyat and Chernobyl. There were already waiting for the car. They met General Berdov, the secretary of the city committee of the party, Gamanyuk, the chairman of the city executive committee Voloshko and others. Kizima drove up on the "gazike". Marin and I got into the Gazik (Kizima was driving) and asked him to rush to the emergency unit. Mayorets also rushed there, but he was dissuaded, and he and the team went to the city committee of the CPSU. We passed the cordon cordon and turned to the industrial site ... "

I will briefly interrupt the testimony of G. A. Shasharin to characterize the head of the sector of the Central Committee of the CPSU, V. V. Marin.
Vladimir Marin - Education and work experience civil engineer plants.
For a long time, he worked as chief engineer of the construction and installation trust in Voronezh, and participated in the construction of the Novovoronezh NPP. In 1969, he was invited to work in the Central Committee of the CPSU as an instructor of the Central Committee on nuclear energy in the engineering department.
I quite often saw him at the collegiums of the Ministry of Energy of the USSR, at party meetings, on critical analyzes of the work of nuclear power engineers in associations and main departments. Marin took an active part in the start-up headquarters of nuclear construction projects, personally knew the heads of construction departments of all nuclear power plants and directly, bypassing the Ministry of Energy, effectively assisted construction projects in resolving issues of equipment, material, technical and labor resources.
Personally, this man was sympathetic to me with his directness and clarity of thinking. Hard-working, dynamic, hard-working, constantly improve their qualifications engineer. Externally - large, red-haired, with a thunderous bass, strongly myopic, sparkling with thick glasses of horn-rimmed glasses. Marin for all that was primarily a builder and in the operation did not understand the plant.
In the late seventies, working as a department head at Soyuzatomenergo, I often visited him at the Central Committee, where he, at that time the only one in the staff of the Central Committee of the CPSU, worked on nuclear energy issues.
After discussing the case, he usually allowed himself lyrical digressions, complained about the congestion.
- You have ten people in the department, and one of the country's nuclear energy hangs on me ... - and asked: - Help me quickly, arm with materials, information ...
At that time, he often had spasms of brain vessels with loss of consciousness and ambulance ...
At the beginning of the eighties, the atomic energy sector was organized in the Central Committee. Marin led him, and then, finally, assistants appeared. One of them was G. A. Shasharin, an experienced nuclear scientist who had worked for many years in the operation of nuclear power plants, the future deputy minister of energy for the operation of nuclear power plants.
With him, Marin now rode in Kizima's “gaz” to the destroyed block. While they were driving along the Chernobyl –Prypyat highway, they still came across buses and private cars. Self-evacuation has already begun. Some people with families and radioactive junk left Pripyat forever on April 26 in the afternoon, without waiting for the orders of the local authorities ...

G.A. Shasharin testifies:
“Kizima drove us to the end of the fourth block. We left the car next to the rubble. Without respirators and protective clothing. None of the new arrivals imagined the scale of the disaster, and Bryukhanov and Fomin were not up to us. Breathing was difficult, burned eyes, choked cough, there was some kind of inner fussiness, indistinct desire to drape somewhere. And one more thing - it was a shame to look at everything. It was thought involuntarily: did we really lead to "this"? More on the way here, when in sight of the destroyed unit appeared, Marin became a scream. Like, that's how they lived. This, therefore, and our work, says, in this horror, in one heap with the work of Bryukhanov and Fomin ...
Kizima has already been here since morning. Of course, we did not have any dosimeters. Around littered graphite, wreckage of fuel. One could see the separator drums shifted from their supports gleaming in the sun. Above the floor of the central hall, it seems, near the reactor, there was a fiery halo, like a solar corona. Light black smoke rose from this crown. We thought then that it was burning something on the floor. It did not go to the head that it was a reactor. Marin was beside himself with rage, swearing, kicking in the hearts of the graphite block. At that time we still did not know that two thousand roentgen per hour was “shining” from graphite, and all twenty thousand from the fuel ... The half-crushed CPS emergency tank was clearly visible, so it became clear to me that it was not it that had exploded. Fearless, Kizima walked and, as a master, lamented what they were building, and now walk on the destroyed fruits of his labor. Several times already, says, was here in the morning to check - whether all this is a mirage? It turns out not a mirage. Even pinched himself a couple of times. He says that he did not expect anything else from Bryukhanov’s smash. This, according to Kizima, should have happened sooner or later.
We drove around the station and went down to the bunker. There were Prushinskiy, Ryazantsev and Fomin Bryuhano-vym. Bryukhanov was slowed down, looked somewhere far in front of him, apathy. But the team performed fairly quickly and clearly. Fomin - on the contrary: overexcited, eyes inflamed, glistened with madness, at the breaking point, but did everything quickly. Then there was a breakdown, severe depression. From Kiev I asked Bryukhanov and Fomin whether the pipelines for the supply of water to the reactor, as well as the descending pipelines from separator drums to collectors, are intact. They assured me that the pipelines are intact. Then I had a thought: it is necessary to feed a solution of boric acid into the reactor. I gave the command to Bryukhanov in any way to energize the emergency power unit and cut in the feed pump for supplying water to the reactor. I assumed that at least part of the water would get into the reactor. He asked if they had boric acid at the station. They said - there is, but not enough. I contacted the suppliers in Kiev. We found several tons of boric acid, and promised to deliver in Pripyat in the evening. However, by the evening it became clear that all the pipes are cut off from the reactor and the acid is not necessary. But this was understood only by the evening of April 26. And now ... Sure that the reactor was intact and that water was supplied to the cooling of the core, we with Maryin and Kizima went to the city committee of Pripyat for a meeting of the Government Commission. ”

Testifies Vladimir Nikolaevich Shishkin - Deputy Head of the Union of Electronomontage of the USSR Ministry of Energy, a participant in the meeting in the Pripyat city committee of the CPSU 26 on April 1986:
“Everyone gathered in the office of the first secretary of the city committee, A. S. Gamanyuk. The first to report was G. A. Shasharin. He said that the situation is difficult, but controlled. Cooling water is fed to the reactor. Boric acid is being searched for, and in the near future a solution of boric acid will be poured into the reactor, which will instantly stop burning. There is, however, an assumption that not all the water enters the reactor. Cable floor and switchgear were flooded. Apparently, part of the pipelines is torn. The reactor may be partially damaged. To clarify the situation, Fomin, Prushinsky, and physics specialists from the Atomic Energy Institute went once again to see what was going on with the reactor. We are waiting for their return and report from minute to minute ...
It can be seen, Shasharin already guessed that the reactor was destroyed, he saw graphite on the ground, pieces of fuel, but he did not have enough strength to admit it. Anyway, just like that. Soul, consciousness demanded a kind of smooth internal transition to the comprehension of this terrible, truly disastrous reality.
“A representative of the General Designer was sent there,” continued Shasharin. - Let them look too. Here we need a collective assessment. The fourth block is de-energized. Transformers shut down due to short circuit protection. Flooded cable cellar all the way from the fourth to the first unit. In connection with the flooding of switchgear at minus elevations, he gave the order for electricians to find seven hundred meters of power cable and keep it ready. The team of Fomin and Bryukhanov is also given to divide non-emergency and emergency blocks for power supply, water and other communications. From electricians performs the deputy head of the electrical department Lelechenko ...
- What is this project ?! - indignant Mayorets. - Why is not provided the design dissection of communications?
- Anatoly Ivanovich, I'm talking about the fact ... Why? This is the second question ... In any case, the cable is being sought, water is being fed into the reactor, communications are dissected ... It seems that high radioactivity is everywhere around the fourth block ...
- Anatoly Ivanovich! - thundered in a thunderous bass Shasharina Marin. - We have just been with Gennady Alexandrovich near the fourth block. A terrible picture. It's crazy to think about how they lived. It smells of fumes, and graphite is lying around. I even kicked the graphite block to make sure that he vsamdelishny. Where does graphite come from? So much graphite? ..
“I also think about it,” said Shasharin. “Maybe partly thrown out of the reactor ... Partly ...”
- Bryukhanov ?! - the minister addressed the NPP director. - You reported all day that the radiation situation is normal. What is this graphite?
Bryukhanov, powdered and pale, with red swollen eyelids, languidly stood up, as usual, was silent for a long time. He was always silent for a long time before he said anything. Now it was clearly something to think about. Said in a deaf voice:
- It is difficult to even imagine ... The graphite we received for the fifth power unit under construction is intact, all in place. I thought at first that this is graphite, but it is in place ... In this case, it is possible that the release from the reactor ... Partial ... But then ...
“It seems that high radioactivity is everywhere around the block,” Shasharin emphasized again. - Measurement just can not. There are no radiometers with the desired scale range. The available scale per thousand microroentgen per second, that is, X-ray X-ray per hour. On this range, the barons are everywhere. We assume that the background is very high. There was, however, one radiometer, but it was buried in the rubble ...
- Ugliness! - growled Mayorets. - Why is there no necessary instruments at the station?
- A non-design basis accident has occurred. The unthinkable happened ... We have requested the assistance of civil defense and himvoysk country. Coming soon ...
- What happened? - asked Mayorets. - What is the reason?
“It's still unclear,” Shasharin began to explain. - It happened in 1 hour 26 minutes of the night during the experiment to run out the generator rotor ...
- We must urgently stop the reactor! - said Mayorets. - Why does he work for you?
“The reactor has been shut down, Anatoly Ivanovich,” said Shasharin.
It seemed that everyone who was responsible for the catastrophe wanted to take away as far as possible the difficult moment of full recognition, the arrangement of all points above the "i". I wanted to, as it was used to do before Chernobyl, so that the evil message itself was pronounced, so that the responsibility and the guilt imperceptibly somehow decomposed into everyone and quietly. That is why, mainly, there was a lot of money, when every minute was expensive, when the delay resulted in criminal exposure of the innocent population of the city. When everyone was already thinking, the word "evacuation" was hysterically beating into the skull boxes, but ...
“Moreover, Anatoly Ivanovich,” replied Shasharin, “the reactor is now in the“ iodine pit, ”that is, deeply poisoned ...”

Meanwhile, the reactor was burning. Graphite burned, spewing millions of curies of radioactivity into the sky. But it was not just the reactor that burned, it broke through the long-time hidden abscess of our public life, the abscess of complacency and self-deception, bribery and protectionism, mutual responsibility and regionalism, stinking the corpse of the passing era, the era of lies and the festering melting of true spiritual values ​​...

V.N. Shishkin testifies:
“The general impression is that all the main responsible:
Bryukhanov, Fomin, Meshkov, Kulov and others - downplay what happened, the degree of danger ...
Then the first secretary of the Pripyat town party committee A. S. Gamanyuk reported. At the time of the accident, he was in the medical unit for examination, but in the morning of April 26, having learned about the incident, left the hospital bed and went to work.
“Anatoly Ivanovich,” said Gamanyuk, addressing the Mayor, “despite the difficult and even difficult situation on the emergency unit, the situation in the city of Pripyat is business and calm. No panic and unrest. Normal normal weekend life. Children play in the streets, sports competitions are held, classes are held in schools. Even weddings celebrate. Today sixteen Komsomol youth weddings were celebrated. Krivotolki and ranting stop. There are casualties on the emergency unit. Two operators: Valery Khodhemchuk and Vladimir Shashenok died. Twelve people were taken to the medical unit in serious condition. Another forty people, less severe, were hospitalized later. Victims keep coming. The director of the NPP Bryukhanov gives hourly reports to Kiev and to us that the radiation situation is within the normal range, so we are waiting for instructions from a high commission ...
Then Gennady V. Berdov, a tall, gray-haired, calm Major General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Deputy Minister of the Interior of the Ukrainian SSR reported. He arrived at Pripyat at five in the morning on April 26 in a new, recently stitched uniform. Golden shoulder straps, mosaic of medal slats, badge of the honored worker of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR. But his uniform, gray hair was already terribly dirty, radioactive, since the general spent all the morning hours near the nuclear power plant. Radioactive now had the hair and clothing of all those present, including the Minister Mayorza. Radiation, like death, is not to know who you are - the Minister or a mere mortal. Covers and penetrates all who fall under the arm. But none of those present nevertheless knew about it. No control devices or protective equipment were given to anyone. After all, Bryukhanov reported that the radiation situation is normal. And if everything is fine, then why protection and appliances?
“Anatoly Ivanovich,” reported General Berdov. - At five in the morning I was already in the area of ​​the emergency power unit. Police outfits literally took the baton from the firefighters. They blocked all roads to the nuclear power plant and the village. After all, the vicinity of the station is very picturesque, and people on weekends love to come here. And today is the day off. But the resting places have now become a danger zone, although Comrade Bryukhanov tells us that the radiation situation is normal. Police orders, on my orders, closed the approaches to them, especially to the fishing places on the reservoir of the cooling pond, supply and discharge channels. (It should be noted here that, realizing the danger, General Berdov did not know what it really was, what the image and image of the “enemy” was, how to attack it and how to defend it. Therefore, the police turned out to be without dosimeters and personal protective equipment and everything to one they were overexposed, but instinctively they acted correctly - they sharply reduced access to the supposed danger zone (GM).
An operational headquarters has been formed and operates in the Pripyat police station. To help officers arrived Polesie, Ivankov, and Chornobyl district departments. By seven in the morning, more than a thousand employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs arrived in the accident area. Involved reinforced traffic police at the railway station Yanov. Here, at the time of the explosion, there were trains with the most valuable equipment. Passenger trains came and went according to the schedule, the locomotive crews and passengers of which do not know anything about what happened. It's summer, the open windows of the cars. The railway passes, you know, five hundred meters from the emergency unit. Radiation, I think, reaches the cars. It is necessary to close the movement of trains ... (I would like to once again praise General Berdov. Of all the statesmen who gathered, he was the first to properly assess the situation, although he did not have special knowledge of atomic technology. - GM.) Not only sergeants and sergeants always carry out the guard service, but and police colonels. I personally check posts in the danger zone. No one left his post, there was not a single refusal to serve. A lot of work has been done in the Kiev car fleet. In case of evacuation of the population, one thousand one hundred buses are fitted to Chernobyl and are awaiting instructions from the Government Commission ...
- What are you telling me all about the evacuation ?! - Minister Mayorets exploded. - Panic wanted? We must stop the reactor, and everything will stop. Radiation will return to normal. What's wrong with the reactor, Comrade Shasharin?
“The reactor in the iodine pit, Anatoly Ivanovich,” replied Shasharin, “according to Fomin and Bryukhanov, the operators choked it by pressing the AZ button of the fifth kind. So the reactor is safely plugged ...
Shasharin was right to say so, because he did not know the true state of the reactor. He had not yet risen into the air.
- Where are the operators? Can I invite them? - insisted the minister.
- Operators in the medical unit, Anatoly Ivanovich ... In a very serious condition ...
“I proposed evacuation early in the morning,” Bryukhanov said dully. - Requested Moscow, Comrade Drach. But they told me that, before Shcherbina's arrival, nothing should be done in this direction. And do not allow panic ...
- Who inspected the reactor? - asked Mayorets. - In what condition is it now?
- The inspection of the reactor from a helicopter was made by Prushinsky and a representative of the chief designer of the apparatus, Polushkin. Take pictures. Comrades are about to come ...
- What will the civil defense say? - asked Mayorets.

S.V. Vorob'ev (the same head of the NPP civil defense headquarters, who, in the first two hours after the explosion, used an X-ray radiometer with a single 250 scale, determined the dangerous degree of radiation and reported Bryukhanov. Bryukhanov’s reaction is known to the reader. However, it should be added that Vorobyov duplicated at night, the alarm signal to the Headquarters of the Civil Defense of the Ukrainian Republic, which is commendable (GM). He said that his existing device captures high radiation fields. On the 250 range, x-ray skipping in areas of the dam, machine room, central hall and elsewhere around the unit and inside.
“We need urgent evacuation, Anatoly Ivanovich,” Vorobyov concluded.
“Do not aggravate,” Bryukhanov shouted at his subordinate.
A representative of 3 of the Main Directorate under the USSR Ministry of Public Health VD Turovsky got up.
- Anatoly Ivanovich, urgent evacuation is necessary. What we saw in the medical unit ... I mean the examination of patients ... They are in serious condition, the doses they received by the first superficial estimates are three to five times higher than the lethal ones. Severe external and internal exposure. This brown-brown nuclear tan ... The diffusion of radioactivity over long distances from the power unit is indisputable ...
- And if you are mistaken? - restraining displeasure, Mayotz asked, outwardly always smoothed and inhibited. - We will understand the situation and make the right decision. But I am against evacuation. The danger is clearly exaggerated ...
The meeting interrupted its work. A break was announced. The Minister and Shasharin went out to smoke in the corridor ... ”

The chief engineer at Soyuzatoenergo B. Ya. Prushinsky testifies:
“When we returned from Kostya Polushkin to the city committee of the CPSU, Pripyat, Shasharin and Mayorets were standing in the corridor and smoking. We approached and right there, in the corridor, there was a report to the Minister on the results of the inspection of the 4 block from the air.
Shasharin saw us first and shouted:
- By the way, Prushinsky and Polushkin!
We approached.
- Report what you saw from the helicopter.
Strongly puffed up, in puffs of smoke, already thin and seemingly toy-like at board meetings compared with heavyweights such as Deputy Minister A. N. Semenov, Shasharin is now more leaned on, paler, usually smoothed brown hair now protruding in all directions with feathers . Pale blue eyes behind the huge glasses of imported glasses looked intimidated, not blinking. And we were all hunted and killed at that time. Perhaps that, except for the Mayor. He, as always, neat, with a flat pink parting, looked like a rounded, as usual, with an expressionless face. Or maybe I just didn't understand anything. Rather, it was so.
- Anatoly Ivanovich! - I began cheerfully. “Konstantin Konstantinovich Polushkin and I examined the 4 unit from the air. From a height of 250 meters. The block is destroyed ... That is, the monolithic part of the reactor compartment is mainly destroyed: the rooms of the main circulation pumps, drum separators, the central hall. The upper bioprotection of the reactor is heated to a bright cherry color and lies obliquely on the reactor shaft. It clearly shows fragments of communications of the CCTK (monitoring the integrity of the technological channels) and cooling of the CPS (protection management system). Everywhere: on the roof of “B” block, machine hall, deaerator stand, on the asphalt around the block and even on the territory of switchgears 330 and 750 kilovolts graphite and fragments of fuel assemblies are scattered. It can be assumed that the reactor is destroyed. Cooling is not effective ...
“The lid of the apparatus,” said Polushkin.
- What are you offering? - asked Mayorets.
“And the devil knows, you can't figure it out right away.” Graphite is burning in the reactor. It is necessary to extinguish. This is the first thing ... And how, what ... I suppose ...
All entered the office Hamanyuk. Government Commission continued to work. Shasharin reported on the idea of ​​creating working groups. When the speech touched the restoration work, the representative of the General Designer cried out from his seat:
- It is necessary not to restore, but to bury.
- Do not part in the discussion, Comrade Conviz! - interrupted his Mayorets. - The mentioned groups will start work and within an hour prepare events for the report to Shcherbine. He should drive up in an hour or two ... "

G.A. Shasharin testifies:
“Then we took a helicopter into the air with Marin and deputy chairman of the State Nuclear Power Agency, Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, V. A. Sidorenko. Hanged over the block at a height of 250 – 300 meters. The pilot seemed to have a dosimeter. Although not - radiometer. At this altitude, the "light" X-ray three hundred per hour. The top plate was heated to a bright yellow color, against a bright cherry one, reported by Prushinsky. So, the temperature in the reactor grew. The biosecurity slab lay on the mine not as obliquely as it was when they were throwing sandbags. The cargo unfolded it ... Here it became clear to me finally that the reactor was destroyed. Sidorenko proposed throwing forty tons of lead into the reactor in order to reduce radiation. I strongly opposed. Such a weight, and from a height of two hundred meters - a huge dynamic load. It will pierce through the hole, right up to the Barbater pool, and the entire melted core will flow down into the pool water. Then it will be necessary to run, wherever they look ...
When Shcherbina arrived, I went to him separately, before the meeting, reported the situation and said that the city should be evacuated immediately. He replied with restraint that this could cause panic. And that panic is even worse than radiation ... "

By this time, by about nineteen o'clock, all the water supplies at the NPP had run out, the pumps, which had been so hard to run by the irradiated electricians, had stopped. All the water, as I said earlier, did not get into the reactor, but to the lower levels, flooding the electrical rooms of all the units. Radioactivity is growing rapidly everywhere, the destroyed reactor continues to spew out millions of curies of radioactivity from its red-hot vents. In the air, the entire spectrum of radioactive isotopes, including plutonium, americium, curium. All these isotopes were incorporated (penetrated inside) into the organisms of people, both working at nuclear power plants and residents of Pripyat. During April 26 and 27, until evacuation, the accumulation of radionuclides in human organisms continued, and in addition, they were exposed to external gamma and beta irradiation ...

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  1. V.ic 6 May 2017 06: 57 New
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    Scary stuff ...
  2. parusnik 6 May 2017 07: 38 New
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    Thanks to the author ... look forward to continuing ...
  3. Olgovich 6 May 2017 08: 10 New
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    Scary ...

    Because of the mess.

    The behavior of the authorities after the accident is the same as when planning and conducting the "experiment"
    1. Mordvin 3 6 May 2017 08: 56 New
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      Quote: Olgovich
      Because of the mess.

      At the Institute of Atomic Energy, nobody knew about this “experiment” at all.
  4. Petrol cutter 6 May 2017 09: 49 New
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    Thank God, it was enough to stop the construction of the station in Shchelkino. Although, again, swell so much dough and quit ... Wasting is our everything! Although, clever thought comes after.
  5. APASUS 6 May 2017 10: 02 New
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    So no one answered the question with the experiment, why such things happen at the station operating on the network, there are not enough experimental reactors, mathematical models, which made the station to be destroyed, what is the benefit of this experiment
    1. Petrol cutter 6 May 2017 10: 20 New
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      By the way, this question is also categorically not clear to me. If you picked up the 230th grinder and started cutting it, then you need to cut, not experiment. When experimenting, we’ll stay without hands.
      1. Mordvin 3 6 May 2017 11: 18 New
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        Quote: Benzorez
        By the way, this question is also categorically not clear to me.

        Amateur performances, it seems. At the same time, the emergency reactor cooling system was turned off. And away we go ...
        1. Al_Nevz_Com 5 May 2019 23: 53 New
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          Quote: mordvin xnumx
          Quote: Benzorez
          By the way, this question is also categorically not clear to me.

          Amateur performances, it seems. At the same time, the emergency reactor cooling system was turned off. And away we go ...


          1. SAOR could be turned off, with the permission of the GIS, according to the Technology Regulations.

          "The shutdown of SAOR at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in principle, was not
          prohibited by normal use regulations. INSAG
          understands that this was a test schedule requirement, and in
          in accordance with the rules from the Chief Engineer was received
          special permission for such a shutdown.
          INSAG believes that the shutdown did not affect the occurrence of the accident, but was evidence of a low level of safety culture. (INSAG-7, p. 23.)

          2. The shutdown of the SAOR was envisaged by the program.

          "Close the manual valves to prevent water being thrown into the KMPTs by RC-2 to all three SAOR 4PV-3/2, 1, 4, 5 subsystems; 4PV-53, 54, 63, 64, 73, 74;
          4PV-25, 26, 35, 36, 45, 46; 4PV-83, 84
          To place people in control of the opened valves and triggered mechanisms of SAOR "
          (WORKING PROGRAM for testing the turbogenerator No. 8 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant
          in modes of joint coasting with a load of own needs. P. 2.15.)


          3. What guided the Woodpeckers, by no means amateur performances, about shutting down the SAOR, that's for sure.
          Firstly, it is allowed; secondly, it is technically sound.

          From the testimony of Dyatlov at the Court:

          "Now, why did we find it possible to turn off the SAOR.
          1. In accordance with the project, SAOR is designed to cool the core at MPA, which is calculated by the designers with a probability of 10 ^ -6 events per year for
          reactor. Suppose we turned off the SAOR for 12 hours, then the probability of MPA in this period leaves 10 ^ -9 events per year per block. This is an extremely low probability.
          2. In addition, the PTE permits (§29, 29A) the operation of the reactor at power, by order of GIS, without SAOR. When connecting the MPA button, it is difficult to take into account all the nuances of the bypass chain or personnel errors, we were afraid of casting cold water into the hot reactor. Are we reasonably afraid of this event? Yes. In the new list of initiating events for accidents, the unauthorized inclusion of SAOR is included. I considered these reasons sufficient to shut off the ECCS.
          Now on the MPA button. It is said that there was no documentation on it. The button was temporary, the terminals were indicated where to connect it. In addition, talking about the MPA button when the SAOR system is turned off is completely unnecessary. "(N.V. Karpan" Revenge of the Peaceful Atom "p. 445-446)

          4. Even if SAOR turned on, it could not have prevented anything, because at that moment when it should have worked, there was already nothing to emergency cool.
  6. Operator 6 May 2017 11: 46 New
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    The article is a disa - translation of shooters into exploiters.

    Four years before the accident, a researcher at the Institute of Atomic Energy of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR Volkov submitted a memorandum to the director of the institute, academician Aleksandrov (scientific supervisor of the development of the RBMK reactor), regarding the structural flaw of the RBMK reactor, namely, when the reactor goes into thermal explosion if emergency protection is used to eliminate this the most explosion.

    The explosive nature of the reactor operation arose at reduced power when AZ rods were lowered down due to their design - graphite inserts were installed at the ends of the rods, which had a much lower neutron absorption effect than the cooling reactor water and boron, from which the rest of the AZ rods were made.

    Aleksandrov, instead of considering the report, put it under the cloth and forced Volkov to leave the institute. The chief designer of RBMK reactors, their operator and the supervisor in the field of nuclear energy were not informed of such a danger.

    Moreover, when in the 1986 year the Institute of Atomic Energy of the USSR Academy of Sciences received for approval a draft program for testing at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the institute management did not inform the nuclear power plant of the danger of putting the reactor into low power mode with the reactor emergency cooling system turned off (which was required to verify the idea of ​​supplying cooling water due to the energy of the run-out of the turbogenerator).

    During the test, the turbogenerator could not generate the right amount of energy, the pumps could not provide the right amount of water, it boiled, water vapor could not completely absorb the neutron flux, and lowering the AZ rods with graphite tips only accelerated the explosion.

    Immediately after the disaster, Volkov sent his materials to the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the CPSU, after which his conclusions were recognized as true and all the reactors of the RBMK were modernized.

    The main culprit of the Chernobyl disaster, Academician Aleksandrov, was never prosecuted under the article on criminal negligence.
  7. Falcon5555 15 May 2017 22: 11 New
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    An interesting description, but the impression that post-knowledge somehow mixed up with what the actors there knew then. Why did they press the button AZ, if they knew that it could not be pressed? Or they were not informed about it? belay
    "Emergency Protection" ... which itself creates an accident? belay
    In the uranium reactor exploded ... hydrogen, Carl. fool
  8. sailor52 16 May 2017 23: 53 New
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    Quote: Falcon5555
    An interesting description, but the impression that post-knowledge somehow mixed up with what the actors there knew then. Why did they press the button AZ, if they knew that it could not be pressed? Or they were not informed about it? belay
    "Emergency Protection" ... which itself creates an accident? belay
    In the uranium reactor exploded ... hydrogen, Carl. fool



    Here it is necessary to clarify to the reader that the hydraulic resistance of the core and the circuit of forced circulation is directly dependent on the power of the reactor. And since the power of the reactor was small (total 200 MW of thermal), the hydraulic resistance of the core was also low. All eight main circulating pumps were in operation, the total water flow through the reactor increased to 60 thousand cubic meters per hour, with the standard 45 thousand cubic meters per hour, which is a gross violation of operating regulations. With this mode of operation, the pumps can disrupt the flow, possibly causing vibration of the pipelines of the circuit due to cavitation (boiling water with strong water hammer).
    A sharp increase in the flow rate of water through the reactor led to a decrease in vaporization, a drop in the vapor pressure in the drum separators, where the steam-water mixture from the reactor enters, to an undesirable change in other parameters.
    Leonid Toptunov, a senior reactor control engineer, Alexander Akimov, the head of the block shift, and Boris Stolyarchuk, a senior block control engineer, tried to manually maintain the reactor parameters: steam pressure and water level in separator drums, but could not fully do it. At this time dips in steam pressure at 5 – 6 atmospheres and dips in the water level below the alarm set point were observed in the drum separators. A. Akimov, with the consent of A. S. Dyatlov, ordered to block emergency protection signals by these parameters.
  9. Xroft12 26 October 2017 09: 17 New
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    Thank. Great story ...
    1. Al_Nevz_Com 6 May 2019 00: 04 New
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      Quote: Xroft12
      Thank. Great story ...


      That's exactly the "STORY"
      Notice how Comrade Medvedev is engaged in manipulation. He takes the testimony of eyewitnesses in quotation marks, and inserts his speculation between the testimonies of eyewitnesses.
  10. Severok 30 June 2018 17: 54 New
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    Since the Chernobyl accident, little has changed. Just as the authorities are afraid to face the truth, they are also afraid to take responsibility for decisions and consequences. The same tyranny on the ground and the ignorance of bosses in positions requiring special knowledge and skills. And yet, no one in Russia among the bosses bears REAL responsibility. This is the trouble and the problem of our time. All very quickly became "professional" economists and managers, never became creators and creators.
  11. kunstkammer 22 July 2018 20: 21 New
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    Everything is very interesting. However, no one will ever know the truth.
    At that time everyone "sang" that radioactive iodine instantly came out and after a couple of weeks it no longer existed ... We, in mid-August, after a trip to the station, removed the "petal" respirators and found small yellow crystals on the rim on the rim . Iodine.
    And where did he come from a few months after the accident?
    1. Vladimir_R 19 August 2018 01: 31 New
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      Quote: kunstkammer
      But in mid-August, after a trip to the station, we removed the “petal” respirators and found small yellow crystals on the rim inside. Iodine.


      It was not iodine.
      I admit honestly, I don’t remember what material the inner layer of the respirator was made of (but it looked like it was not a “petal,” by the way), but in any case you wouldn’t notice the crystals if you noticed something - the crystals would be dark -brown, and if they were there - you would be dead right now (this whole story about iodine has to do with the thyroid gland in terms of radiation).
      Let me ask you, but at the time of "liquidation", where exactly were you? If it does not bother you, name the place (you can even use slang) where were you at that moment?
  12. Al_Nevz_Com 5 May 2019 22: 59 New
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    Quote: APASUS
    So no one answered the question with the experiment, why such things happen at the station operating on the network, there are not enough experimental reactors, mathematical models, which made the station to be destroyed, what is the benefit of this experiment


    In theory, this "experiment" was supposed to take place on a shutdown reactor, that is, we turn off the reactor, then we cut down the TG, for some reason Akimov slowed down by pressing AZ-5 ....
    But this did not play a role, if he had clicked the button earlier, the explosion would have happened earlier.
  13. Al_Nevz_Com 6 May 2019 00: 10 New
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    Quote: mordvin xnumx
    Quote: Olgovich
    Because of the mess.

    At the Institute of Atomic Energy, nobody knew about this “experiment” at all.


    And you should have known?


    << Program Coordination. Here is how the commission of the State Atomic Energy Agency in 1991 writes:
    "Such tests shall qualify as complex tests.
    block, and the program of their implementation, it was advisable to coordinate with
    General Designer, Chief Designer, Scientific Advisor and
    state supervisory authority. However, ABY-04-74 and
    OPB-82 did not require the management of nuclear power plants to coordinate
    such kind of programs with the above organizations. ">> (A.S. Dyatlov" Chernobyl. As it was)