Documents reveal that problems occurred at the nuclear plant long before the tragedy
The Ukrainian Security Service has posted several documents about the meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear-power station (among other things) on its webpage on the threshold of the commemoration of the 17th anniversary of the tragedy. One hundred and twenty-one documents in total have been posted. In addition, the site contains recollections of people who participated in the cleanup after the disaster. These materials and documents have been published before in a special magazine, although it was not made available to a wide public because of its very small - thousand-copy - circulation.
The documents show that problems started at the Chernobyl nuclear-power plant long before the explosion at the fourth power-generating unit. In addition, the KGB had informed the Party leadership of mistakes that had taken place during the construction of the plant. In particular, in 1984, the KGB came to the conclusion that the third and the fourth units of the Chernobyl nuclear plant had serious construction flaws, which had caused cracks in the block domes. Secret reports mention an emergency situation at the plant in 1982 as well.
The majority of these documents on the site of the Ukrainian Security Service were not exposed to the public eye during the Soviet era. For example, the first message from the Ukrainian KGB to Moscow about the catastrophe runs as follows:
“From Kiev, Ukrainian division of the KGB, April 26, 1986.
“RE: The explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear-power plant.
“An explosion occurred in the fourth power-generating unit of the Chernobyl nuclear-power plant on April 26, 1986, at 1:25 a.m. The explosion happened at a moment when it was being prepared for scheduled repairs. The blast resulted in fire, which was soon extinguished. The blast demolished the dome of the reactor hall and the roof of the third energy block. The third energy block was then shut down for emergency reasons. The fire on the roof of the third energy block was extinguished by 6 a.m.
"Seventeen shift personnel members were present in the hall of the fourth energy block during the moment of the explosion. Nine people were hospitalized: Three of them are in serious condition, and one person is deceased, Shashenok V.N. (born in 1951). In addition, 112 people are undergoing medical examinations. The chief operator of the reactor compartment, Khodemchuk V.I. (born in 1951), is missing.
"As of 3 p.m., April 26, the radiation environment at the site of the breakdown is characterized with 1,000 microroentgens per second in the immediate proximity of the center of the accident, and with 100 microroentgens per second on the territory of the nuclear-power plant.
"Attempts have been made to stop traffic on roads and restrict the movement of private cars. A session has been conducted with Party leaders regarding how to explain the situation to the population. Construction work on the fifth and the sixth blocks has been suspended. April 26, Saturday, was announced as a day off. The first and the second blocks are working normally. Investigative groups of the Ukrainian KGB are working on the site of the accident. High-frequency communication is being established for the work of the governmental committee. Regional divisions of the Ukrainian KGB have intensified control over the situation at functioning nuclear power plants. We control the situation at the nuclear plant in the town of Pripyati, and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine has been informed.
”Lieutenant General Mukha S.N.
The security services also stated that the cleanup of the consequences of the explosion was not properly organized. Other materials that have been posted on the website include information pertaining to drawbacks in treating people who suffered as a result of the explosion and even the information about the unstable moral and psychological situation amid the employees of the construction department of the Chernobyl plant. There is no doubt that the publication of these documents on the Internet may be of use to many people.