The Chernobyl Story - Album on Imgur The poor firemen who had first battled the flames on the night of the explosion were dying of radiation syndrome one by one. They had been flown to a specialist radiation hospital in Moscow, called Hospital No. 6
The Chernobyl Story - Album on Imgur “Everyone was afraid of one thing: an explosion might happen again, because the reactor was out of control” recalls Viktor Popov, the nuclear physicist in charge of the expedition. “Were conditions inside the reactor such that another catastrophe might occur?”
The Chernobyl Story - Album on Imgur Their most pressing concern was that the reactor core could be still undergoing nuclear fission, and could get so hot that it would melt its way through the entire structure of the building and into the earth below, which may could have triggered a second, far more massive explosion. It was Legasov who suggested using helicopters to drop sand mixed with boronic acid to neutralise the reaction.
The Chernobyl Story - Album on Imgur In December - six months after the accident - the group of scientists finally found some fuel, with the help of remote cameras poking through a long hole drilled into a wall. It was still emitting extreme radioactivity. “It made us treat it with the utmost respect,” remembers Yuri Buzulukov, another expedition scientist. “To approach it meant certain death.”
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Chernobyl: 27 April, 1986: The first photo to be taken of the reactor, at 4pm, 14 hours after the explosion. This was taken from the first helicopter to fly over the disaster zone to evaluate radiation levels. The view is foggy due to radiation, which also explains why the shot was not taken too close to the window.