Chernobyl. How it was: Memories of liquidators

Чернобыль. Как это было: Воспоминания ликвидаторов

In 1986, a year has passed, as Viktor Zakharchenko was appointed head of the regional Department of the State fire protection service of Transcarpathia. Then about the accident at Chernobyl informed about how mediocre the fire. Burned, burned… Oh, and Only subsequently, having been there, Viktor will understand what to do.

Fire protection in the area on a rotational basis carried out a combined unit, which consisted of firefighters from different regions of Ukraine. 13 June 1987 turn to lead came up to Victor Petrovich.

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– The first days of my service in Chernobyl began with a fire at the station, recalls the liquidator. – While on the subject intensively repair work was carried out. On the third block from the metal structures had to saw off. One of the workers, to accelerate the process, decided to use the blowtorch. The result – in spartaneli burned out the cables (as thick as a fist), which provided food for the whole hardware unit. After this incident, every production meeting began with review and resolution of issues relating to fire safety.

Our next guard that was guarding the station, then served directly in the turbine building of the first unit, where there were also two trucks and two cars of machinery.

– Quite often with me went the physicist. See what?.. The device 125 shows x-rays while the norm is 10-12. On the façade of “concrete rang”. By the way, a kind of “radiation supervisors” in contaminated areas there were insects. Once the x-rays were growing up, flies and mosquitoes are gone, – continues the story of Victor Petrovich.

– However, not everyone in Chernobyl “rang radiation”. People fished, gathered mushrooms. Then collected and brought to the laboratory, where for about ten minutes, they were tested for background radiation. Often he was within normal limits. In fish radiation mainly accumulated in the bones, and the meat was there. Perch on the elbow brought!

Our employees are deeply aware of the seriousness of the situation, put duty above personal interests, realizing that you work with a high risk for health and life. They bravely overcame all difficulties, danger “was extinguished” strong cohesion, care about each other, mutual support and high responsibility for the fate of millions of people. To them sincere thanks.

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Minutes stress of physical and mental effort were filled with all the days of your stay in the area of the accident, during which Victor Petrovich had to put out about twenty fires. Burned houses, peat smoked or burned “red forest”.

– I remember the fire in Pripyat, the plant “Jupiter”, perhaps because it was very difficult, – the veteran tells. Then burned out completely one of the workshops. – It’s a shame, but I must admit that during the liquidation of consequences of the accident not all was so smoothly and seamlessly, as reported by the then media. Then we, the liquidators, faced many failures, which had to overcome on the go.

Чернобыль. Как это было: Воспоминания ликвидаторов

Recall repair work of the roof of the first unit that carried out soldiers. According to the technology, they had the old roofing material and foam packaging in plastic bags and gently pull them down. But it remains just threw the top down, raising columns of radioactive dust. And again ignorance. Before, we had only known about the existence of penetrating radiation (gamma radiation), and that simple technical dust carries a risk of beta particles that can cause radiation burns when radioactive dust gets in and on human skin, and no one had no idea. Personal devices to determine the level of beta radiation was not. Therefore people received large doses of radiation (on average, they exceeded the norm by 200 to 400 times), and of the mortal danger is not even suspected. However, every day, the dosimetrist checked our stuff – hand off scale. Then to the dump was flying mattresses, blankets, pillows, linens, jackets, pants, shoes, belt, shirts and other things pre-owned.

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Later, when he returned to Transcarpathia, Viktor will feel the consequences of Chernobyl radiation are invisible on their own health through unbearable pain in my throat. Twice a week visited Uzhgorod doctors who regularly something cut throat. However, the desired results, the treatment does not. Then he went to seek advice in Kiev, where his examination was sent to the Institute of neurosurgery. It was there and had identified the true degree of exposure of the body – 60 x-rays (this is the first Chernobyl category) rather than three x-rays, as it was written in the card of a liquidator. About their ailments Viktor Petrovich to say many won’t…

Only in Chernobyl Viktor Petrovich Zakharchenko is one to watch (15 days) stayed for three. When the prescribed period has expired, replacement is not found and asked me to stay, then another. And so 45 days without rest.

I often look back on those 45 days and nights spent in the Chernobyl zone. Years pass, and they are not erased from memory – on the contrary, rise above over time. Indeed, although it looms large, says this courageous man, who together with others had to fearlessly go up against a nuclear enemy.

According to the materials of the Antimonopoly of Ukraine in the Transcarpathian region

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