By Piers Paul Read
On twenty sixth April 1986 the nuclear reactor of the fourth unit of the V.I. Lenin power-station at Chernobyl exploded. It used to be a disaster of historical proportions - many hundreds of thousands suffered, and endured to endure, from the implications. To chronicle this catastrophe and its aftermath, Piers Paul learn interviewed the engineers and operators who have been undertaking the fateful try out at the evening of twenty fifth April; he talked to the director of the power-station, serving a ten-year sentence for negligence; and he went to the hitherto top-secret institutes as soon as run by means of Beria's Ministry for Medium desktop development - the Kurchatov Institute, Moscow's clinic No 6, and the once-closed urban of Obninsk. during this account, learn takes benefit of the declassification of nuclear details within the former Soviet Union and the loosening of tongues that the failure of the coup in 1991. He additionally received entry to the trial transcripts, the protocol of the hitherto mystery scientific fee, and different private reviews. the result's not just the tale of the disaster, but additionally a parable approximately totalitarianism and its cave in.
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Additional info for Ablaze: Story of Chernobyl
The research had been classified: the Americans were developing a nuclear bomb. He at once wrote a letter to Stalin similar in tone to that which Albert Einstein had written to Roosevelt in 1939. Flerov warned his leader of the theoretical potential for mass destruction inherent in an atomic weapon and urged him to seek the advice of the nation’s most distinguished physicists. Stalin heeded his warning, deciding that the Soviet Union too must develop a nuclear bomb. The scientist he chose to supervise the project was Igor Kurchatov, who in the 1930s, at the Leningrad Physical Technical Institute, had been the first Soviet physicist to achieve nuclear fission.
I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station at Chernobyl Victor Brukhanov Director Vasili Kizima Head of construction Nikolai Fomin Chief engineer Anatoli Dyatlov Deputy chief engineer, 3rd and 4th units Mikhail Lyutov Scientific deputy chief engineer The early morning shift on 26 April Boris Rogozhkin Chief of shift, 3rd and 4th unit Alexander Akimov Shift foreman, 4th unit Leonid Toptunov Senior reactor control engineer Piotr Stolyarchuk Senior unit control engineer Igor Kirschenbaum Senior turbine control engineer Yuri Tregub Shift foreman prior to Akimov Valeri Shift foreman, equipment Perevozchenko maintenance department, 3rd and 4th units Victor Proskuriakov Engineer under Perevozchenko Sasha Yuvchenko Proskuriakov’s replacement Alexander Kudriatsev Engineer Gennady Metlenko Engineer from Donenergo Alexander Lelechenko Head of the electrical workshop Razim Davletbayev Deputy head of the turbine section Piotr Palamarchuk Director of the start-up enterprise The engineers from Komsomolsk Anatoli Sitnikov Deputy chief engineer, 1st and 2nd units Vladimir Chugunov Head of the reactor workshop, 1st and 2nd units Vadim Grishenka Deputy chief engineer, 5th block (under construction) PRIPYAT Vladimir Voloshko Secretary of the city committee A.
Unaware of what had happened, the operators in the control room shut off the emergency cooling system, which had automatically come into operation. Water in the core of the reactor began to boil; the uranium fuel rods overheated and finally ruptured. When this critical situation was discovered two hours later, water was pumped into the reactor to restore core cooling. By the time the operators regained control of the reactor, the core was badly damaged, in part melted and slumped down, and the cooling water was highly radioactive.
Ablaze: Story of Chernobyl by Piers Paul Read