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six days after the Chernobyl disaster, three people sacrificed their lives to prevent an even greater accident.
a 26 April 1986, at a location near the prosperous city of Prypiat, took place one of the biggest disasters that humanidada remembers the explosion of reactor number four type RBMK-1000 nuclear power plant owned by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. That explosion, the result of uncontrolled Soviet experiments, maintained a large portion of Europe’s population under the effects of the dreaded radiation for a period of time, a situation that endangered thousands of lives.
The tragedy of Chernobyl, which is recognized as the aforementioned incident, left thousands of deaths and injuries . Since the scientists themselves who worked at the nuclear power plant the night of the explosion to the thousands of workers who decided to work a few hours after the accident, which was subjected to high levels of radiation while trying to seal the fiery and deadly core.
from these operators can listen to thousands of different stories , but Alexei Ananenko, Boris Baranov and Valeri Bezpalov is undoubtedly one of the most heroic that happened in 1986.
European population at risk
After the initial explosion of reactor number four of the NPP Vladimir Ilich Lenin, the workers and first responders trying to put out the fire from . the reactor while sealed with heavy materials the core of it the goal was relatively simple. block beam focus and fire in which the reactor had become
However, for the task of blocking the engineers in charge of research and management at Chernobyl, they detected a complication. the reactor had a series of ” pools “and ducts just below the same levels. These pools designed to cool the reactor and evacuating the steam from the same emergency, containing excessive levels of water due to emergency work performed by firefighters , which tried to put out the fire using water reactor.
There was danger of a new explosion expand radiation across Europe in the reactor, located just a few meters above these pools, various radioactive materials were melting at elevated temperatures (about 1,660 degrees Celsius). The combination of these resulted in a material known as Corio , radioactive and lava-like properties. This material, as time passed, came dangerously close to the pools of water, which posed a high risk.
From contact both fluids, a steam explosion would originate that send large amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere and groundwater , expanding radioactive contamination throughout the European continent. In addition, this steam explosion could affect the stability of the next reactors, causing an explosion even more devastating and dangerous than that produced in the early hours of April 26, 1986 chain.
After evaluating this high risk, the engineers responsible for the management of the disaster concluded that it was necessary to evacuate the underground pools so controlled to avoid this possible steam explosion and therefore a catastrophe larger caliber than that at the time appreciated.
the evacuation pools technically was easy. The gates that allow the execution of this task could be easily controlled from Skala, the officer in charge of measuring and executing all processes of RBMK-1000 reactor. However, burst same damaged all the electronic systems of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant , leaving a single-ahead: send a group of people to open the gates and, therefore, evacuate pool water.
A journey of no return
the water in the pools suffered high levels of radioactive contamination as a result of the proximity to centers of radioactive material (such as the reactor core, located a few meters from them). In the upcoming to the reactor core regions, they were recorded between 5,000 and 10,000 roentgens / hour (lethal dose for a human being is around 400 roentgens / hour), so that people will get into the pools would be sentenced serious consequences and in the worst cases, death.
However, Alexei Ananenko Valery Baranov Boris Bezpalov and accepted the mission after being consulted by their heads. The three were well aware of the risk of the mission and the consequences of entering into this radioactive pool.
“How could I refuse if it was the only one who knew the location of the valves?”
the nuclear engineer Alexei Ananenko was involved in the development of complex Chernobyl, where one of the few men who knew the exact location of the valves to allow the evacuation of the pools. He was married and had a son.
The three men died after successfully completing the mission Valeri Bezpalov (also an engineer), who accompanied Alexei Ananenko, he was married three children. Boris Baranov, however, had no family. The latter volunteered to accompany Alexei Ananenko and Valeri Bezpalov, although, unlike the latter two, Boris Baranov not delved into the radioactive pools ; he just enlighten with an underwater lamp. However, the intense radiation in the area also left its mark on your body.
A few minutes later, the water level of both pools started down . Divers Valeri Bezpalov and Alexei Ananenko successfully managed to open the valves, despite the intense radiation that suffered during those minutes. As he reported Associated Press in 1986, it was a heroic act that prevented a possible catastrophe larger that occurred on April 26, 1986.
The three men died from the radioactivity . According to contemporary reports, the three made it out of the depths of Chernobyl and even being interviewed by media Soviets, but the radioactivity had already affected their bodies, condemning them to death days later.
February 7, 2016
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