Five unknown facts about Chernobyl in Ukraine. Shocking photos of animal mutants.
On the night of April 25-26, 1986, in Ukraine on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which was put into operation in 1977, just several kilometers from city of Pripyat, an explosion occurred. It destroyed the reactor of the fourth power unit, and deprived many liquidators of their lives and health. The situation caused criticism of the Soviet authorities by the Western world, gave rise to the classification of data on what happened, and was followed by belated reaction of Moscow.
We collected five facts about the tragedy of 31 years ago the authorities hid.
1. Technical Flaws of Construction
Even before the accident, the Chernobyl nuclear power station, built in great hurry and rush, caused concern among experts and engineers. According to the former director of the archives of the Security Service of Ukraine, historian Vladimir Vyatrovich, two years after the commissioning of the first of four power units, KGB started receiving reports about the technical flaws in the newly constructed power station.
“In some sections of the second block of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, facts of abandonment of projects and violation of the technology of construction and installation works are found; it can lead to accidents,” Vyatrovich quoted KGB report dated January 17, 1979.
According to the data from the archives of the SBU that was declassified in 2006, only from 1983 to 1985, due to poor construction and installation works, violation of technological discipline and radiation safety rules, 5 accidents and 63 equipment failures occurred at the power plant. The last such message is dated February 1986.
2. Reactor Power
Explosion at the fourth power unit, which was put to design capacity for three months before the scheduled time, occurred at 1:23 on 26 April 1986. The accident occurred during the experiment to study the possibility of using the inertia of the rotor of a turbo generator to generate any amount of electricity, in the event that in the future the reactor crashes abruptly.
The experiment was to be carried out at a reactor capacity of 700 MW, but before it began, its level fell to 30 MW. The operator tried to restore power and began the experiment at 1:23:04 with 200 MW, which was definitely lower than planned. After a few seconds, the reactor power began to rise and at 1:23:40 the operator pressed the emergency protection button.
Later, these actions taken within these several tens of seconds will become the official version of the causes of the accident. However, according to Anatoliy Dyatlov, the deputy chief engineer of the operation station, who was at the moment of the accident in the control room of the power unit, all the operator’s actions were previously provided security rules and were performed in normal (and not emergency) mode for shutting down the reactor.
3. How the Explosion happened
After pressing the emergency button, two explosions occurred with an interval of several seconds; the reactor was completely destroyed. Later the deputy chief engineer Dyatlov was named one of the perpetrators of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and, having received a dose of 550 rem and suffering from a serious illness, was sentenced to ten years in a general-regime colony.
The position of laying the blame solely on the personnel of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was taken by the State Commission, formed in the USSR to investigate the causes of the disaster, the court, as well as the KGB of the USSR, conducting its own investigation. Even the IAEA in the 1986 report generally supported this point of view.
Almost 20 years later, the IAEA in the new report recognized the erroneousness of the statements of the previous report on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. In it, the organization confirmed that most of the actions of operators, which the Soviet authorities had earlier described as violations, in fact corresponded to the rules adopted at that time, or did not affect the development of the accident. Moreover, nuclear safety specialists noted an extremely low “safety culture” at the exploded nuclear power plant in the Ukrainian SSR.
4. Staff was not Aware of the Dangers
In general, the “updated” 1993 IAEA report states that on the day before the accident, the fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant worked with a number of changed indicators – the reactor emergency cooling system shut down and the reduced operational reactivity reserve (ORR).
In addition, experts say, the Chernobyl NPP staff was not aware of the dangers of working in changed conditions. Before the moment of the accident, ORR was less than the allowed value; however, the operators did not know the current value of the ORR and, therefore, did not know that they violated the regulations.
After the accident, liquidators and firefighters were not notified of the danger of working in the power unit building. “When I heard about the explosion, no one told us that the level of radiation was life-threatening. This was the times of the former Soviet Union, and the authorities hid information about the danger. The radiation level where I worked was already very dangerous. I was in a group of 20 people and only six of us are still alive, “- later told Valery Zabayaka, station employee, who became a liquidator.
5. KGB case
Nevertheless, only 20 minutes after the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, KGB officers from Pripyat were at the scene of the event. “I called the chief of the department, General Bykov, reported the situation, and at 2 am he knew the situation. After that, it is necessary that the block stopped and left the iodine pit, and they did not do it. It shall be done within 48 hours. They started to lift the power plant unit – that is one of the reasons,”- said Viktor Kolochko, former head of the Pripyat city department of the KGB of the Ukrainian SSR.
According to the KGB officers, immediately after the accident, any documents about the incident were classified so that there was no panic. On April 27, two days after the accident, the first two shots of the destroyed reactor were made: one of the copies was given to Mikhail Gorbachev, the second remained in the Ukrainian committee.
On April 27 at lunchtime, residents of Pripyat were informed on the radio that they had to take their first necessity belongings and temporary evacuate. 50 thousand people left the city almost without things, being convinced that they would soon return home. At this time, helicopters began to fill the destroyed reactor with absorbing materials.
On April 28, USSR information program Vremya (“time” in Russian) announcer read the first official TASS message: “An accident occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant; one of the reactors was damaged. Measures are being taken to eliminate the consequences of the incident. The victims received the necessary assistance. A government commission has been set up to investigate what happened.”
When on May 1 the Kievites, reassured by the Soviet media, went to the May Day demonstration on Khreshchatyk Street, one of the peaks of radioactivity was recorded in the capital.
The consequences of radiation are appalling
Mutant plants, two-meter-long catfish and unidentified creatures… What else can be found in Chernobyl?
This led to horrific consequences – oncological diseases, radiation sickness and mutations.
According to the International Conference of Genetics, mutations due to the explosion at Chernobyl nuclear power plants will last 800 years.
The epicenter of radiation was the Red Forest and the Pripyat River, the most harmful substances got there. It is there that you can meet mutants, both among plants and among animals.
These places are most often visited by those who want to see something unusual, and the fishermen are happy to share photos of their giant catch.
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