What was Anatoly Dyatlov (Part -1)

Little-known facts about A.S. Dyatlov

Little is known about Anatoly Dyatlov's youth. He was born in the small village of Atamanovo and grew up in a simple family of a housewife and a buoy keeper who earned a disability during the First World War. Dyatlov studied seven classes and went to the Norilsk Technical School of Mining Metallurgy at the electrical department, which he graduated with honors. After three years of work at a local enterprise, he went to MEPhI, where he received the qualification of an engineer-physicist with a degree in automation and electronics.

After that, Anatoly Dyatlov was assigned to work at the Lenin Komsomol shipyard in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. In 1973, for family reasons, he was transferred to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant under construction, although he was more of a theoretical physicist and had never worked with a nuclear power plant before. For thirteen years of work on it, Dyatlov rose to the rank of deputy chief engineer of the station for operation and earned two awards: the Badge of Honor and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.

In this article, we will share the memories of colleagues and comrades of Anatoly Stepanovich Dyatlov. Was Dyatlov's character really the way he was shown in the HBO series, judge you.



I would like to highlight a short period of our life with Dyatlov, study and work in the city ​​of Norilsk. There, at the end of the 40s, the Mining and Metallurgical Technical School of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs was opened, at the electrical engineering department of which I first met Tolya in 1946 . During a break between classes, he was the first to come up to me to get acquainted. I was very surprised at this, because I considered myself already an adult (I was 19 years old, although my height was only 165 cm), and four years of work in a locomotive depot among prisoners weaned myself from being too sociable. We met. I looked a little rough, other guys got interested and also came up to get acquainted. Supervised this action, as I later learned, the head of the group, a front-line soldier. Among these guys were respectable people - participants in the war. In comparison with them, my first acquaintance Tolya Dyatlov looked quite young at 15, although he was tall and broad-shouldered. Nevertheless, among other adults, he somehow did not get lost, did not feel embarrassed. I liked him for his openness, the confidence of a Siberian.           

How he liked me, and how the friendship began, I don't know. At first, we tried to surpass each other in studies, often became excellent students (the scholarship was 25% higher), then for six months, then for a year. But for a year he succeeded more often, the spring session usually let me down. We lived together in hostels. I especially remember the last two courses of the technical school, when we lived in the same room. As in any student environment, there were arguments, quarrels, and fights. But we did not have any quarrels or fights with him , although there were disputes. I think the point is as follows. Unspoiled by fate (since 1944 he lived on his own, leaving his stepmother, when my father was mobilized), I suddenly felt that he seemed to take care of me, making sure that I was not offended. Although I was older and more experienced than him in life matters, here I succumbed to such care, mentally calling him "my protector." In general, I was not a good guy, sometimes I flashed like gunpowder and a scandal, it seemed, was inevitable. But Tolya somehow determined the right moment, appeared out of nowhere and, putting his hand on the shoulder of my opponent, asked: "Why are we making noise, men?" His height and build allowed him to be condescending, made the right impression and the quarrel stopped. After graduating from the technical school, Tolya and I began to work in the post box , to receive "heavy water". Then he went to study at MEPhI, but our friendship continued. After graduation, Anatoly was in the Far East, and I to the west in the city of Obninsk, where after the end of the evening department of Moscow Engineering Physics Institute worked for many years on the bench for the test reactors for nuclear submarines (NPS), here we prepared the first crews for submarines. Anatoly came to our stands several times. I would like to point out one important circumstance. For all the years of almost 50-year friendship “until the days of the last donuts”, I did not see from Tolya a single dishonest act towards me, my relatives or friends. I liked him for his directness, dedication, courage, intelligence and kindness to people. Throughout his life, he confirmed these qualities.    
Former Art. Engineer of the Office of the Nuclear Submarine Test Stand P.V. Vyrodov

* * *

“There is nothing secret that does not become apparent;
nor the secret that would not become known and would not be revealed " (Gospel of Luke, 8-27) 

The years 1953-59 were the years of our youth, students. Tolya was five years older than most of us. But then he seemed to us a wise life experience. He has always been an authority and was loved by us. The headman of our group. After graduating from the institute in 1959, some of the boys were assigned to facilities related to nuclear energy, the production and operation of nuclear installations, the Lenin nuclear-powered ship, the cities of Dubna, Sverdlovsk, and Tolya ended up in the Far East. Our group turned out to be wonderful. For 40 years now, we have had regular meetings. In addition to these "boys" (and still and always for us boys) maintain the connection separately as and our flock, "the girls." I remember all the meetings of our group. Particularly memorable was the meeting on the 20th anniversary of graduation from MEPhI. Tolya was so cheerful, energetic, almost never spoke prose, he loved poetry so much. 1979 - more than six years left before the explosion. Our ranks began to melt. Many have gone to another world. And only one was killed. It turned out to be Tolya Dyatlov. How and who killed Anatoly and the young guys - the personnel at the 4th block of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986, how the firefighters who extinguished the fire on the 4th block after the explosion were killed, and many, many in the past, present and future, as well as by whom - it became clear after reading this book. This is the cry of the soul of an offended and ruined life. The book is written in such detail and convincingly, so understandable even for a layman that after reading it there is no doubt. Tolya writes: “April 26, 1986 is an unfortunate day. He divided the lives of many people into before and after. What can I say about my life - it was divided into two completely dissimilar parts by a deep abyss. He was practically healthy and in recent years he spent only three or four days on sick leave - he became disabled. He was a trustworthy law-abiding person - he became a criminal. And finally, he was a free citizen - he became a convicted citizen. " And not just a criminal, but a criminal who was blamed for the most monstrous catastrophe of the 20th century - the explosion of a nuclear reactor with all the ensuing consequences. April 26, 2001 will mark the 15th anniversary of the explosion. The inventor of this reactor, the scientific leader of the theme for its development, while the President of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Academician A.P. Alexandrov, nor the chief designer N.A. Dollezhal, at that time so carefully guarded by our justice. True - about the dead or good or nothing. Therefore, about them, as about the main developers, about the fact that they developed and allowed for operation an unreliable reactor (reactor !!!), about the fact that at one time they ignored the warnings of their own employees V.P. Volkova and V.L. Ivanov about the danger of its use and did nothing, that brought to the explosion and death of people (that's why I say - Tolya was killed), about them we can say only one thing: God is their judge! And about the court and about the same as the court, tendentious commissions said: “With what court you judge, you will be judged; and with what measure you mete, it will be measured to you also. " (Gospel of Matthew 7-2). Almost ten years of life were given to a terminally ill patient who received an exorbitant dose of radiation Tole. Of these, he spent four in prison. Many of his friends, students, co-workers, those who were with him there at the station on April 26, 1986, have long since passed away. And Tolya was still living. He lived with a book, with the hope that it would be published, that people would learn the truth about those who are guilty without guilt and those who are really guilty. I thank God for giving Tolya these years of life, for the fact that these years were enough for him to finish his work. He lived for 64 years. Now he would be 70. He was a very courageous man, strong physically and spiritually. He could still continue to work and enjoy life. And, most importantly, Tolya must be rehabilitated, must be!          

T. Pokrovskaya

* * *

I first met Anatoly Stepanovich Dyatlov in the city ​​of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, when I arrived in 1967 as a young specialist in distribution after graduating from TEM at the Plant named after Lenin Komsomol (ZLK). Rather, I didn’t even get to know him, but learned about him in absentia from those around him, with whom I had to work in "Service 22" - that was the name of the division where the plant's personnel department sent me to work. At that time, ZLK was a closed factory, it worked for defense. Not surprisingly, everything was shrouded in secrecy. Any questions that were not related to direct activity could arouse some interest of the relevant authorities. And yet, after a while, without undue curiosity, I learned about the existence of "laboratory 23", which was part of "Service 22". The head of this laboratory was A.S. Dyatlov. Later, when on duty I had to participate in months of testing of "orders", I got to know the guys from "laboratory 23" and their boss better. It was a group of specialists in the management of power plant orders. When studying order systems, while working in commissioning teams, I was repeatedly convinced of the highest qualifications of "managers". They could get an answer to almost any question related to power plants, of course, within their competence. One of the main reasons for such an attitude to business was the high exactingness of the leader of the management group. Anatoly Stepanovich enjoyed indisputable authority among his subordinates, tk. he himself was devoted to his task to the point of fanaticism, knew it perfectly and demanded the same from his subordinates. There was no "show" in him and he himself did not accept anything fake or far-fetched. In conditions of total secrecy, "laboratory 23" lived its own life, closed from outsiders. We, who worked in other divisions of the testing department, in fact did not know anything about the internal relationships, the internal life of the laboratory. One episode comes to mind. Everyone who lived in those years remembers well the systematic spring subbotniks dedicated to the birthday of V.I. Lenin, May 1, etc. Under the leadership of the party committee of the plant, party organizations of subdivisions, many days before the next subbotnik, all-round preparations for its holding began. The composition of the participants was determined, the work was planned in advance. It was desirable that this was a noticeable job, so the engineers, as a rule, worked on cleaning the territory. On one of these subbotniks, the entire testing department, as always, worked in the plant's culture park, we had our own corner there, where every spring we shoveled leaves and rubbish into a heap . And "laboratory 23" was supposed to work on the territory of the plant - it was necessary to scatter a bunch of land, which was brought in a few days before the cleanup. After the subbotnik it turned out that "laboratory 23" had thwarted the subbotnik. It turned out that the day before the subbotnik, Anatoly Stepanovich, not really caring about the ritual component of the work planned for the subbotnik, asked the bulldozer driver who worked nearby to level the “subbotnik” pile of land at the same time . When the program of large-scale construction of nuclear power plants in the European part of the USSR began to be implemented, Dyatlov moved to the village. Pripyat to work in the management of the ChNPP under construction. Komsomol members followed him, who worked together with Anatoly Stepanovich in "laboratory 23", in the ZLK testing department. Moreover, A.S. Dyatlov, as far as I know, did not invite anyone himself. Each of the Pripyat Komsomol members at one time turned to Anatoly Stepanovich with a request to accept the application documents and, if possible, send a call. So it happened with me. At the ChNPP A.S. Dyatlov, working as a deputy. the head of the reactor-turbine shop for the reactor department, and then deputy. the head of the reactor shop (RC) for operation, did not change his principles - to know the assigned business thoroughly. During the installation of equipment and systems, the RC studied "to the last suspension" the equipment and systems of the reactor plant. And then the staffing of shifts began. It was necessary to prepare the workplaces of operating personnel, complete them with operational documentation. Several "creative teams" were formed from the operators to create a set of operational schemes for the reactor department. Anatoly Stepanovich set the task: the diagram should be as clear as possible. And then many times he returned to the alteration schemes that did not correspond to this principle, without really explaining anything, he simply said: "The scheme is bad - think!" As a result , an excellent set of operational diagrams was created in the RC, to which only current changes were later made, without altering their structure.                 
After the commissioning of the 1st and then the 2nd power units of the Chernobyl NPP, everyday life began. A.S. Dyatlov was a demanding, one might say, a tough leader. Remembering that time (I then worked as a senior mechanical engineer, and then as a shift supervisor at the RC), I can confidently say that there were no problems with A.S. from those operators who conscientiously, with full dedication to their work. Sometimes it was necessary to use ingenuity to complete a shift task - to pump out water without a pump, to warm up frozen pipes without heaters ... Those who worked at the RBMK-1000 know what kind of project it was. Those who tried to cheat, “crawl away” from the task, hide behind far-fetched reasons, and even more so hide the violation of instructions, Dyatlov “calculated” instantly. And then get what you deserve. Many were indignant, offended, understanding in their hearts the fairness of the assessment. As the construction of the 3rd unit of the Chernobyl NPP proceeded, the formation of operational divisions of the II stage began. A.S. was appointed the head of the RC-2. Dyatlov, who, in turn, has already begun the selection of personnel for the future RC-2. Naturally, the backbone of the new workshop was specialists from RC-1, who already had experience in both commissioning and operational work at the existing power unit. It so happened that Anatoly Stepanovich also suggested that I go to the RC-2 as a deputy for operation. I agreed and have already begun to study the systems of the second stage, to delve into the problems of the block under construction. But after a while A.S. called me aside (then they were still in RC-1) and said that there was a hitch with my transition to RC-2. As he then said: “I cannot convince the party committee of the station. They stubbornly "push" their candidacy. The main complaint is that I was non-partisan. Stepanovich then said: “Sorry, it doesn't work out as planned. Let then will not by - their language and . Not in my opinion " And he proposed another candidate that met the formal requirements of the station's party committee.            

Then we parted ways. Anatoly Stepanovich worked at the second stage of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant as the head of the RC-2, and then as deputy. the chief engineer of the station for operation of the second stage. And we “crossed” already on the day of the accident, April 26, 1986. True, I did not meet Dyatlov directly at the station on the day of the accident . When we, i.e. help group from RC-1, consisting of: Art. mechanical engineer of shift No. 5 А.А. Nekhaev, Art. Operations Engineer RC-1 A.G. Uskov and I arrived at the emergency block on April 26, Anatoly Stepanovich was no longer at the block - his health ran out. And we met in the medical unit of Pripyat in the evening of the same day. Then there was the road to the 6th clinical hospital in Moscow and long-term treatment. Chernobyl victims were placed on all floors of the hospital. Anatoly Stepanovich was accommodated in a ward on the 4th floor of the hospital, and I ended up on the 6th floor. But this did not prevent all of us, Chernobyl victims, sometimes, as a rule, in the evenings to meet on the staircase between floors and ardently discuss the events that took place, who did what, what saw what happened, what might be the reasons. Then everyone was still alive - there was a period, as the doctors said, of imaginary well-being. We did not yet know the true causes of the accident, there were many different versions. There was simply no necessary information, but the fact that the reason was already laid down in the station's design, that we, it turns out, worked at an explosive enterprise (!!!) - this, of course, none of us could even imagine. Then there was an investigation. Court. I was not present at any court session, although I received an official invitation as a victim. I just didn't want to be present at that farce, the final result of which was predetermined in advance by the official version of the causes of the accident. There was a large-scale campaign to evade responsibility of the true culprits of the accident. The mass media purposefully formed public opinion about the fault of the plant personnel, who allegedly brought out all the protections and blockages with almost the sole purpose of blowing up the reactor (!!!). Many nimble "writers and poets" capitalized on this popularity, on the wave of which they ultimately significantly improved their well-being. And behind all this, the true culprits of the accident were hidden, those who, in violation of all norms and rules, designed an explosive reactor, who, after the accident, investigated the causes of the accident and, of course, did everything in order to shift the blame onto the plant personnel. As it became known later, the real causes of the accident were known to the designers already in May, but all this was for internal use. The real technical cause of the accident for the specialists of NPPs with RBMK, including the Chernobyl NPP, became clear from a set of measures that were urgently implemented at RBMK units. Of course, we did not know all the details of the events at the control room-4 and the 4th power unit. But somehow it was hard to believe that Dyatlov, whom we knew as a boss, as a specialist who always strictly, punctually demanded the execution of instructions, suddenly allowed in his presence to make violations that are attributed to the staff, and even more so he ordered to recklessly violate the instructions. And none of the guys - the operators of the 4th block - eyewitnesses of the events (many of them were still alive then), when communicating in the 6th hospital, did not talk about anything like that. Of course, during the discussions, there were statements that it was not necessary to do this or that operation, for example, to rise after a power failure , etc., but this is all reasoning from the series “I should have thrown straws where I would fall”. The bottom line is that the staff did only what they had the right to do according to the instructions in force at that time, and this is no violation. During the investigation, in isolation and lack of health, Anatoly Stepanovich conducted his own investigation into the causes of the accident. We, those who were at liberty, were often amazed at the questions that he passed from the remand prison through his wife Isabella Ivanovna. He asked in his notes, for example, to inform the exact wording of a specific paragraph of the Nuclear Safety Rules. When it quoted almost word for word the first two paragraphs of this paragraph and in the main are committed to the latter, the full version of which, and asked to report to him. Whoever does not understand what this means, let him try to read at least one page of the Rules, and then quote it. This was the whole Dyatlov. We visited Stepanovich several times when he was serving time in a "prison", as he himself said. And then, during these meetings, the conversation continued about the details of the accident. Once Isabella Ivanovna reported that Stepanovich was finally released. It was necessary to pick him up no later than 16 o'clock. Time was running out, and the path was not close. We arrived at 15:30. Stepanovich appeared on the threshold of the checkpoint after 4 pm. He had some things in his hands. At this time, a detachment of prisoners entered the gates of the colony, probably returning to the zone after work. Several voices from the column shouted farewell to Stepanovich. He raised his hand and answered something. It was felt that , and here he is respected. We returned to Kiev at night. PS: After his release, Anatoly Stepanovich did not stop destroying the official version of the causes of the accident, continued to apply to various departments up to the IAEA. And this began to give its results, although high organizations, including foreign ones, which at one time propagated the version of personnel violations, cannot admit their mistake and now, already defending "the honor of their uniform," stubbornly continue to multiply lies.                       


V.A. Orlov


End of the first part


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