April 26, 1986 was the day when the history of human civilization was divided into ‘before’ and ‘after’. Before that, people believed that they received a source of unlimited energy, harnessed the atom and defeated nature. Only after, they realized how deeply they were mistaken. Today excursions to Chernobyl are considered to be extreme. If we do not change our attitude to nature, then tomorrow our house may already be uninhabited…
On April 26, a turbine generator was tested at the nuclear power plant. The management received the task to find out how long the system will run ‘idle’. The operators turned off the cooling system, turned off the equipment and were about to record the readings, when suddenly something went wrong. At 01.23 the roof of reactor 4 flew into the air. People did not believe their ears and eyes, because before that, many emergencies had already occurred at the station (this became known from the KGB documents, declassified in the 2000s).
Interesting! The accident killed 31 people. But it is not possible to find out how many Ukrainians have lost their health. Book an excursion to the Chernobyl Zone, and the guide will tell you a lot more about the liquidation of the accident!
The station staff did not escape that night. They perfectly understood the danger, but still continued to do their job. These people, as well as the firefighters who were called to the crash site, managed to prevent further collapse of the system. Later, more than 500 thousand people were mobilized to eliminate the accident.
The liquidators faced a lot of tasks, including the three most important ones:
The working conditions were very difficult. Imagine: it’s July, but because of the increased radiation, it seems that it’s not just hot outside, but hot as in hell. You cannot climb into the river; you cannot take off heavy work clothes either. You cannot even sit on a stump left after a cut red tree, although people who are tired of round-the-clock work do not feel their legs or arms… They just continue to do their job. Just because they have to.
During the fire at the fourth unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, radioactive substances got into the environment, which will pose a danger for hundreds and thousands of years. Nevertheless, the Ukrainians were not immediately informed about the accident. Only a few months later they started talking openly about the disaster, because it was already impossible to hide it. At the same time, foreigners were still assured ‘We are keeping the situation under control.’ Today, on an excursion to Chernobyl (prices from ‘Trips-to-chernobyl’ are available even to students), you can see the consequences of those events.
On December 14, 1986, the newspaper Pravda published a report that the Shelter sarcophagus had been commissioned. This day became a holiday for all liquidators. Time does not stand still, and so many events happen every day that we often forget about important dates.
If you have acquaintances who participated in the liquidation of the disaster, do not forget to say ‘Thank you’ to them on this day! If not for their efforts, then perhaps the world today would be very different. Well, tours to Chernobyl and Pripyat are a great opportunity to pay tribute to the people, thanks to whom the consequences of the disaster were minimized.