The Story of Alexei Breus (Part-3)
"We work on schedule"
Through the "golden" corridor I returned from the control room 4 to the control room 3. Walked alone.
I stayed at the control room 3, filled operational journals - my own and the plant’s shift supervisor (draft). Answered the telephone inquiry of the head of the turbine workshop L.A. Khoronzhuk about the work performed, reported by phone to the shift supervisor N.V. Bekeshko.
Again, along the corridor at +9 m, I came from the control room 3 to the control room 4. Walked alone.
I was on the control room 4, controlled filling of deaerators. It seems that I performed the reverse transition on the pumps. At the control room 4, the dosimetry operator Anatoly Varbanets went to measure the radiation situation. Did he tell me the results of measurements, and if I asked about them, I don’t remember. I remember that I was surprised at his appearance, and asked why he was here. He answered calmly and shortly, something like "We are working."
I crossed the "golden" corridor from the control room 4 to the control room 3. I walked alone.
Was on the control room 3.
I crossed the "golden" corridor from the control room 3 to the control room 4. Walked alone.
Was on the control room 4, controlled the filling of deaerators. The water level was approaching sufficient to turn on the emergency feed pump. There was no one at the control room 4.
I returned along the "golden" corridor from the control room 4 to the control room 3. Walked alone.
Was on the control room 3. K.M. Ermakov, Senior Unit Management Engineer of the next shift (shift B-3) came to replace me at 16:00. I told him about the ongoing work. I reported to N.V. Bekeshko about filling deaerators to the required level. I received an order from him to turn on the pump.
I went with K.M. Ermakov along the corridor at a mark of +9 m from the control room 3 to the control room 4.
Together with K.M. Ermakov we were at the control room-4. From there, he again informed N.V. Bekeshko about readiness to turn on the emergency feed pumps and received confirmation to turn on this pump.
Honestly, the idea of turning on the pump and supplying water to the reactor after the reactor had been left without water for a long time seemed to me rather doubtful. Surely, other operators had similar thoughts, but at that time there was a mood to at least do something. Apparently, this is the case when a drowning man grabs even a straw…
I tried to turn on the pumps with my key (control panel), but the pump did not start: from the engine room I could hear only a short sound of an unfolding electric motor, which was accompanied by a throw of the ammeter, then the ammeter indicator was set to zero, it did not start. The remaining two pumps were damaged immediately after the explosion by concrete slabs falling from the roof, so it was impossible to turn on any of the emergency feed pumps. I reported to N.V. Bekeshko.
Together with K.M. Ermakov returned along the "golden" corridor from the control room 4 to the control room 3.
Passed a shift to K.M. Ermakov and reported this to the shift supervisor N.V. Bekeshko. I asked him about the time and place of departure of the bus from the city to the station the next day. N.V. Bekeshko said that time and place are the same.
I left the control room 3 and went towards AB-2. In the sanitary inspection room AB-2 (on the 2nd floor) I took personal clothes from my locker and, putting it in a plastic bag, went along the "golden" corridor to the sanitary inspection room at AB-1 (by order of the Bekeshko had to leave the power plant only through AB -1 and Checkpoint-1).
I washed several times in the shower, but I could not wash my right palm and the front surface of my hips (judging by the signal from the body radiation control installation in the AB-1 sanitary inspection room).
Then I changed into my clothes and went into the lobby of AB-1. The dosimetrist was not there, so the contamination of personal clothing, which I wore in the morning at the nuclear power plant near the destroyed unit, was not checked.
I went to the bus near AB-1 and drove into the city. We went along the route: AB-1 – Fire station 2 - Chernobyl Construction Directorate - Pripyat. I got off the bus at a stop near school number 3, opposite to my house.
I walked around the city. I was in a grocery store opposite the pool (I bought bread), at the post office, at home, near residential buildings on Sportivnaya Street - behind the pool. Around 6 p.m. I met Senior Unit Management Engineer of the night shift B.V. Stolyarchuk (ARS-1). According to him, he was on his way to meet the KGB.
I sent a telegram to my wife in Leningrad by mail so that she canceled the visit to Pripyat planned for the May holidays. She and her friend were going to come to L. Toptunov (ARS - 4), whom she met at our wedding in Pripyat in 1985.
Even at AB-1 I heard from someone that the dose rate in the city is from 2 to 4 R / s.
April 27, 1986
From the stop opposite the Lazurny pool, I took a bus to the nuclear power station. Arrived at AB-1. I don’t remember the route. I came to work in accordance with the shift work schedule at that time, which so far has not been changed or canceled.
By order of the head of the turbine workshop L.A. Khoronzhuk was on AB-1 in the room of engineering and technical workers (engineers) of the turbine workshop. There were N. Myagkov (ARS-2), A. Radko and others.
I was at the control room 3, pooled the shutdown of the third reactor - it seems, by order of the shift supervisor of the turbine workshop V.G. Bychenko. Cooling went worse than usual, slowly.
At the control room 3, besides me, there was a shift supervisor K. Fashchevsky.
Washing in the shower at AB-1, dressing in personal clothes. In the sanitary inspection room, I noticed a beautiful light bronze tan all over my body (it disappeared in 3-4 days). A little later, I began to feel the dryness of the skin on my body, there was a feeling of a tightened chest, which did not allow me to take a deep and normal breath (it disappeared in 3-4 days).
Came out in the lobby AB-1. After the dosimeter checked the contamination of my personal clothes, I returned to the sanitary inspection room to replace it with clean clothes. I took off my sweater, shirt and shoes, but left my jeans on (I was in the same clothes at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26). In the sanitary inspection room, I received black boots with rivets (special shoes) and a blue HB jacket (overall), which I put on my naked body.
After another dosimetric control, I left the AB-1 lobby. By bus from AB-1 I returned to the city. I don’t remember the route. Of those traveling on the bus I remember P. Zhuchkov.
The mood was very depressed, so I got off the bus at the very first stop in the city - at the "ring" (road junction at the entrance to Pripyat). I went on foot along the route: st. Lenin - st. Kurchatov - st. Lazareva - st. Sportivnaya, house 17-a.
On Lenin Street there were a lot of empty buses, standing in a column one after another - the buses remained unnecessary after the evacuation of the population of Pripyat on that day.
On the way met L.M. Kana, V.I. Goiman. The Chernobyl operational staff was not evacuated and left in the city until further notice; advised to "get together", to not live alone.
In the evening I was in the Olympia canteen, at home, in the third microdistrict.
April 28, 1986
Till 1 p.m. I was at AB-1 - by order of the head of the turbine workshop L.A. Khoronzhuk or his deputy V.G. Khimacha.
Was on the control room 3. Together with V.S. Vakhrushin led the cooldown of the third block.
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
I was in the engineering room of the turbine workshop at AB-1.
Left by bus to the city. I don’t remember the route. I got off the bus at school number 3, near my house.
In the evening I was at home, at the post office (30 - 40 minutes), on the st. Heroes of Stalingrad (about an hour), at home.
At the post office, which no longer worked, the large table in the hall was littered with telegrams, mainly from evacuated families who informed the operators who remained in the city of their whereabouts. I helped someone from my acquaintances to find a telegram from his family.
However, there were telegrams not only from the evacuated. I found a telegram from my wife, who reported that tickets had already been bought, and that she would come to Pripyat. In another telegram, one of my colleagues who received a large dose of radiation wrote from a hospital in Moscow to his wife, so that she would not leave the city by car, because the gearbox was not in order...
April 29, 1986
A.I. Korol (senior mechanical engineer, arrived from the plant, was in white uniform), who lived in my house on the same floor as me, and then V.I. Goiman. They reported the evacuation of Chernobyl personnel from Pripyat. A.I. Korol also said that the dose rate in some parts of the city reaches 1 Rontgen per hour.
I left the house with S.D. Pronenko, we went to a bus stop near the Raduga store (in the center of Pripyat).
Near the store "Raduga" we boarded the bus. For a very long time, until 3:10 we stayed on the bus, waiting for those who could still come. Someone on the bus had a wristwatch that started showing a weird time (like 78:93), which we rated as evidence of strong ionization of the air due to the high level of radiation in the city.
The bus drove away from the stop, left the city.
We arrived at the "Skazochniy" pioneer camp near the village of Ilovnitsa in the Chernobyl region. On the way, the bus stopped because someone was feeling bad.
After that, I did not work on the units of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Although, in accordance with the decrees of the government at that time, for some period that I needed to look for a new job, I was still listed as a senior engineer of the block management (without receiving a salary). Considering the increased dose of radiation, I received, I also retained some benefits regarding the calculation of labor with the decrees of seniority at that time.
The background photo shows the work of Alexei Breus, "The Death of the Chernobyl Titanic."
© Breus A.A.
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