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 "Nuclear explosion could be 40 times more powerful than Hiroshima’s one. Nuclear blast wave could reach Paris," Chornobyl disaster through eyes of its liquidators. PHOTOS

Journalists have gathered the memories of those who were among the first to eliminate the consequences of the disaster at the Chornobyl NPP.

The article by 24tv.ua describes the Chornobyl disaster through eyes of its liquidators, Censor.NET reports.

Valerii Repeta, the fourth reactor's chemical plant operator:

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"Thank God, I did not lose consciousness after the explosion. I looked up, where the roof had to be, and saw the stars in the sky. My first impression was that a nuclear war has started. The explosion was so powerful that the thick walls crumbled into dust. When I was running to the control panel that has survived I saw a piece of red-hot graphite. Then I realized that the nuclear reactor core was destroyed. I failed to measure the radiation background level near the control panel as the equipment was reading off scale."

Oleksandr Nemyrovskyi, fire brigade commander:

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"Thousands tons of water gathered under the reactor. If the radioactive elements reacted with this water, the nuclear explosion could have been 40 times more powerful than the one in Hiroshima. The nuclear blast wave could have reached Paris. Our task was to pump the water out of the reactor. We did not have protection so many of us received radiation burns. Only two fire brigade members out of five survived the disaster.

"Once we realized that the explosion was highly possible, the authorities took a decision to evacuate Kyiv. A fleet of freight cars - a sort of cattle-boxes - was deployed around Kyiv for this purpose. Transport planes in Zhuliany and Boryspil airports were ready to evacuate people somewhere, even in other countries. Water was pumped out for two days. Everyone was waiting for the explosion all this time."

Serhii Myrnyi, Chornobyl radiation reconnaissance platoon commander:

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"We visited the most contaminated sites to carry out reconnaissance. The crews of our scouts often were the last to come to measure the radiation background level in a village. It was called the objective control. It took place in the remote areas. When we made a measurement and saw that contamination level acceded 0.7 micro-roentgens per hour, the village residents were to be evacuated. For example, there was a village, where the residents of several already evacuated villages were sometimes living in. And, let's say, someone would come to them tomorrow and say: "You must leave all your belongings forever, slaughter your animals, and get out of here." I can imagine what an outrage it would prompt among the village residents... It's an enormous human suffering that was the main source of my stress and the one of many liquidators. One was unable to help but still felt awful."

Hanna Hubarieva, oncologist of the National Cancer Institute:

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"The patients were brought to one of the radiation pathology departments. The soldiers were not brought to us. We treated only those who witnessed the explosion, those who were at the nuclear power plant during the explosion, basically - the NPP employees and firefighters who extinguished the fire."

"We faced such health problems for the first time. But we were trying to save them. We used different treatment than the doctors in Moscow did. The patients were immediately washed. They were not just stripped and placed into the shower. They were also decontaminated internally - given IVs around the clock. We gave them drugs containing iodine on the first day, especially children. This saved them a lot of trouble with the thyroid gland. More than a thousand people were treated in the in-patient facility. The acute radiation sickness was detected with 115 people. Only 52 of them required bone marrow transplantation. The others received bone marrow by intravenous administration. We invented and implemented all these measures at the initial stages and they survived having their sickness cured."

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One of the first pictures of Chornobyl NPP after explosion on April 26, 1986. Photo py Ukrinform

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This is how the fourth nuclear unit looks like nowadays. Photo by Reuters.
 
 
 
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