Earth Science News  





.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Chernobyl pilots knew risks: commander

by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) April 25, 2011
The pilots who flew over Chernobyl to limit the danger from the destroyed reactor were aware of the risks despite huge radiation doses and inadequate safety precautions, their commander said Monday.

In the 10 days after the world's worst nuclear disaster on April 26, 1986, Soviet pilots carried out 4,000 flights to dump thousands of tons of lead, sand and clay to cover the destroyed reactor four.

In a rare interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily published on the eve of the disaster's 25th anniversary, the then air force chief for the Kiev district General Nikolai Antoshkin gave a chilling insight into the risks.

The pilots received potentially lethal doses of radiation that went completely off the scale of their dosimeters while precautions were as basic as changing uniforms, using cream and taking baths, he said.

"Of course the pilots knew (they were getting high doses) and the consequences," Antoshkin, who was made a Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest award bestowed by the USSR, for his work in liquidating the disaster.

"They said 'comrade general, this is not Afghanistan. There you are shot at but you turn back, land and forget. But here the enemy is invisible. How will this affect me, my children in the future?'"

"But the pilots knew that the reactor needed to be covered as quickly as possible. You'd tell the pilot to leave but he'd come back."

None of the estimated 600 pilots who took part are among the 28 people confirmed to have died of radition exposure in the months after the explosion, although two were killed in a helicopter crash over the reactor.

However the extent of the health effects on the pilots and the half million other so-called "liquidators" remains hugely controversial, with estimates ranging from only a few dozen other deaths attributable to Chernobyl to tens of thousands.

Antoshkin, who was responsible for coordinating the fly-overs in the crucial first 10 days after the explosion, said the teams took the best precautions they could in the circumstances.

"Every day the crews changed their uniforms. They gave us iodine tablets and some kind of nasty anti-radiation cream from Leningrad for those who flew across the reactor.

"We used whatever they proposed. Although we knew they were weak precautions. They forced the pilots to take baths to wash away the radioactive dirt."

He said the extent of the danger was clear from the very first flight to dump sand on the reactor.

"The device for measuring radiation could not cope. It's maximum level was 500 roentgen. I estimated that it would be 1,500 at that height.

"And then I was told 'you deceived your pilots. It's 3,000-3,500 roentgen.' I said: 'What's the difference, whether 1,000 or 3,500, the task needs to be fulfilled'".




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
World remembers Chernobyl, haunted by nuclear fears
Kiev (AFP) April 25, 2011
The world on Tuesday marks a quarter century since the world's worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in Ukraine, haunted by fears over the safety of atomic energy after the Japan earthquake. In the early hours of April 26, 1986, workers at the Chernobyl atomic power station were carrying out a test on reactor four when operating errors and design flaws sparked successive explosions. The ra ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Chernobyl pilots knew risks: commander

World remembers Chernobyl, haunted by nuclear fears

Anti-nuclear protesters in France, Germany mark Chernobyl

Chernobyl 'liquidators' lament poor treatment

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
A scratched coating heals itself

Nintendo announces new console but profit dives

3-D towers of information double data storage areal density

Lightning-fast materials testing using ultrasound

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Japan tsunami devastated Chilean scallop farms

China's water supply at risk

Development in fog harvesting process

Scotland's first marine reserve already producing benefits

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Calling all candidates for Concordia

Melting ice on Arctic islands a major player in sea level rise

ESA-NASA Collaboration Furthers Sea-Ice Research

Melting ice on Arctic islands boosts sea levels: study

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Can biochar help suppress greenhouse gases

Rotten meat doesn't stand a chance

Distribution of British soil bacteria mapped for the first time

Growing threat of wheat rust epidemics worldwide

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
One injured in Indonesian quake

Japan launches new mass search for bodies

Colombia launches major emergency ops after floods

12 dead in torrential Brazil rains: officials

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Burkina Faso president assumes defence post

Work on Sudan split continues

Chinese aid good for Africa: ministers

Military helicopter crashes in Darfur, five dead: army

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Pope urges 'solidarity' with refugees from conflict

Berlusconi, Sarkozy meet over migrants

Walker's World: Europe's frontiers close

Green environments essential for human health


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement