Chronicle of the Dead City (Part - 2)

Memories of Alexander Esaulov
Part two


And then there was the famous party meeting, held on April 26 at 10 am. The presidium included members of the bureau of the city committee and the second secretary of the Kiev regional party committee V.G. Little man. The floor was given to the chairman of the executive committee V.P. Voloshko.

The message was unexpectedly short, just a few sentences. It was said that at 1.30 am there was an accident at the fourth block with a partial collapse of the structures of the fourth block. The reasons and dimensions are being investigated. That's all. Of course, such brevity did not eliminate the questions, but gave rise to them even more. They asked what to do with weddings, whether to conduct classes in schools, what to do with competitions ... Little man. He said that the radiation situation in the city is normal, there is no danger, and in this regard, the main task is to prevent panic, all measures must be carried out on schedule. From that moment on, everything that was done by any leader, his every instruction, every step, action, was viewed primarily through the prism of the question of the possibility of panic in the city.

I don’t know how anyone, but I reacted to the words of V.G. Little husband with full confidence. Before the accident, he enjoyed authority as a competent, objective leader, as a person who makes informed decisions, why should it be different now? Since the second secretary of the regional party committee says that there is no danger, why should there be doubts about this? In addition, his words were supported by the authority of the organization he represented, and, of course, by party discipline, which no one canceled either.

Did V.G. Little man when making such a decision? It is difficult to imagine that, having visited the station and saw everything with his own eyes, he did not report what he saw to the first secretary of the regional party committee G.I. Revenko. And to whom did Grigory Ivanovich report? With whom did he consult? Was he or V.G. Do you have little expert opinion? I do not know. However, in spite of everything, in the actions of V.G. Malomuzha clearly discerned the face of our well-known and thrice damned reinsurance, only, unfortunately, it was aimed not at taking care of the health of the population, but at maintaining the purity of the regional uniform. After all, it is one thing when an accident of a local, so to speak, order occurred on the territory of the region, which can be eliminated without much publicity, as it was, for example, in 1981, when the first power unit was standing for a long time due to a rupture of one of the fuel elements. Who knew about this accident? Except for the station workers, almost no one, and everything went quietly and peacefully. Only the chief engineer of the station, Akinfiev, seemed to be unexpectedly removed and new asphalt was laid on Lenin Street (which made the road worse, to be honest). The Ministry of Energy corrected the plan, the station fulfilled it, everyone received their due, and the station was presented to the Order of Lenin at the end of the five-year plan, which, in fact, after the accident, was immediately shyly silenced. But the corresponding Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR was expected from day to day. But this is not weak: these are orders and medals, and maybe even golden hero stars. And so, you live well, cross everything out? To cross out the glory of one of the best stations in the Union? Hand over all positions without a fight? Well, I do not! We must try to do everything without noise and dust, because we succeeded in 1981, why can't we now? Maybe this is not the main reason why V.P. Bryukhanov provided data with deliberately low levels of infection in the city, why V.G. The little man tried to the last to make a good face in a bad game, but this is not the last reason.

But it’s not enough to say that this or that was done wrong, the most important thing is to take measures so that in similar situations that may arise in the future, erroneous actions are not repeated. What has been done for this? How much was the experience gained during the Chernobyl accident at such a high price taken into account? Let those concerned ask themselves this question. I know one thing - no one questioned me, no one asked me questions about the experience that I received by participating in these events, nowhere is it taken into account and no one needs it. Take the following. There were only 167 buses and 533 trucks in the city, of which 266 could be adapted for the transportation of people. According to the civil defense plan, the population had to gather at prefabricated evacuation points, some of them were located in transport, and some of them would move on foot towards Polesskoe ... What actually happened? Gathering people at prefabricated evacuation centers means keeping people outdoors and exposing them to unnecessary radiation. All cars were in the infected zone. Something was later washed, but mostly they remained buried in the zone. Leading people on foot in the direction of Polessky - everyone now understands that this is nonsense. Ultimately, 1,100 buses had to be driven from Kiev to evacuate the population. Has this experience been incorporated into modern civil defense plans?

My wife's relatives live in the 30-kilometer zone of the Khmelnytsky nuclear power plant. I asked if iodine preparations had been given to them. How Pripyat was provided with these drugs, the conversation is ahead. But now we know (although experts knew before, but now they know EVERYTHING!) That iodine preparations must be taken immediately, after a few hours it is useless! It's too late, Fedya, to drink Borjomi if the liver has flown off! In a few hours, the thyroid gland picks up radioactive iodine instead of normal iodine. This is a direct path to her illness up to cancer. So, no one gave out anything anywhere! We have already stepped on this rake! Already got it in the forehead! We have only five nuclear power plants (including the closed Chernobyl one), is it really so expensive? And what high cost can justify concern for people's health?

There are many such questions. Having no idea how to protect ourselves from the raging peaceful atom, we entered the atomic era. Got. This is clear. So let's learn, if not from the mistakes of others, then at least from our own!

After the party asset V.P. Voloshko sent me to MSCh-126.
“You never know what can happen there,” he said, “and there are people. Be there until I call.
In the direction of MSCh-126, three of us walked: the secretary of the party organization of the medical unit (it seems his last name was Belkov), secretary of the party committee of the ChNPP Construction Department F.I. Shevtsov and me. Shevtsov said excitedly:
-… I drove right up to ABK-2 (administrative building), to the entrance, well, from the side of the dining room, and there was such a blockage! Pieces of concrete are scattered, reinforcement with a thumb torn as thick as rotten threads! Well, the strengths! Then I look closely - my mother! Is it graphite? Came closer - for sure! How I gave a tear from there - I thought my heart would jump out!
- What kind of graphite? I did not understand.
- What are you crazy, Yuryevich? The same inside of the reactor fell out! This is a complete sh...t !!!
It was a wonderful April day, there was not a cloud in the sky, the wind was absolute zero, the first little sticky leaves were on the trees. Many townspeople poured into the streets: mothers walked with strollers, people went to the recently opened large city shopping center, to the pier, to the Avtolyubitel garage cooperative (the closest point in the city to the station), in general, everything was as usual. Somehow, all this did not fit with what Shevtsov was saying, I simply could not believe it, it was somehow unreal, distant, frivolous. Well, the accident is, well, serious. There are victims, it's bad, of course, well, where to go, since this happened ... Medicine at our level will help. What could be the consequences? Well, the weekend has gone down the drain, again the block will stand for six months, which means that all annual plans for the production and sale of products are also flying, now take the rap everywhere - where it is needed and not needed (and such thoughts then came to mind - who will believe it now ?). The only thing that didn’t occur to me, and I’m ready to swear to it like anything, is that this accident is of a planetary nature. Who then could have guessed that in a few days the word "Chernobyl" would become known to the whole world? It was Chernobyl, and not Pripyat, because in the first months after the accident our city was called in the press nothing but “the village of power engineers”, out of modesty, I suppose. And the fact that 50 thousand people lived in this village, while in Chernobyl there were about 16 or 18 thousand, I don't remember exactly, that this is a city of regional subordination, everyone was silent. As we were not at all. For information: Pripyat was separated from the station by three kilometers of flat, like a table, land. Chernobyl - sixteen, partially forested.

Much later, in November 1988, Yu.N. Shcherbak, the author of the documentary story "Chernobyl", will show me diagrams from some foreign magazine, how radioactive contamination spread across the planet. On April 26, it was a small point, then this point will take on outlines similar to a cross, and the cross will already begin to spread around the world, like metastases of a cancerous tumor, capturing Europe, China, Japan, America, and practically the whole world, and on the 26th ...


End of the second part.


© A. Esaulov

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