Ablaze: The Story of the Heroes and Victims of Chernobyl by Piers Paul Read

By Piers Paul Read

A moment-by-moment account of the occasions that instantly preceded and the devastating explosion of the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl describes what has occurred to the survivors and the neighboring nation-state because the catastrophe. 40,000 first printing.

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Additional info for Ablaze: The Story of the Heroes and Victims of Chernobyl

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Beria might be dead, but the empire he had founded remained a state within a state, incorporating the burgeoning defence industries and with loyal allies in the ministry of planning, Gosplan, and the KGB. It could always play the trump card of the ideological imperative: when it became known that the Americans were developing a new type of reactor cooled by water held under pressure so that it could not boil, it was not difficult to persuade the Central Committee that the Soviets must do the same.

Framer of the Chernobyl Law Volodomyr President of the Chernobyl Shovkovshytny Union. People’s deputy in the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet INTRODUCTION When Valeri Legasov, the scientist who took charge after the accident at Chernobyl, first saw the glowing crater of the ruined fourth reactor, he realized that he faced a disaster comparable to the San Francisco earthquake or the destruction of Pompeii. Today, it seems likely that Chernobyl may be more significant than either of these historic catastrophes.

There was also a considerable margin between theory and practice; for example, it took eighteen seconds to lower the control rods into the reactor core, although the physicists had said that it should take three. The enormous size of the active zone of the RBMK-1000 reactors worried Boris Dubowski, the man whom Kurchatov had appointed to head the department of nuclear safety at Obninsk. At a meeting in 1976 called to discuss safety at the RBMK reactor built near Kursk, he suggested that extra boron control rods be installed into the lower part of the reactor.

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