The first alarm was set 5 minutes after the explosion, 5 minutes later the first firemen were on the scene. They battled the fire wearing the correct protective gear- they poured tonnes of water on the fire but nothing seemed to put the fire out. They were all exposed to lethal amounts of radiation. Two men died that night and 28 men died later on in the coming months, they are the first victims of Chernobyl. For the next 7 months 500,000 men will forge a hand to hand battle with radiation. Thanks to these men they stopped another explosion, being 10x more powerful than Hiroshima that would of taken out half of Europe.
On 27th April, 30 hours after the explosion, the first safety procedures were taking place. Pripyat was being evacuated as well as surrounding villages. The population was given 2 hours to get their personal belongings and to report outside their housing complexes or houses. At 2 o’clock the army announced that the town and surrounding areas should be evacuated. The people of Pripyat had to leave their whole lives behind; the belongings they’d left would never be returned to them. In 3 and a half hours 43,000 people were evacuated from Pripyat and the surrounding area. 48 hours after the explosion the only people left in the city were military personal and a group of top nuclear scientists that were located in the Pripyat hotel. It took a total of 48 hours to get accurate information about what actually happened at the nuclear plant, during that time the population of Pripyat and the surrounding area’s were exposed to high levels of radiation.
At the bottom of reactor number 4, 1,200 tonnes of magma was burning at over 3,000 degrees sending huge amounts of radioactive gas into the atmosphere. On the 28th April a fleet of 80 helicopters were sent from Moscow to fight the fire and put it out. When the General arrived he flew 400 meters above the reactor. Top pilots were flown back from the front line to fly the helicopters that will carry soldiers who will toss 9kg bags of sand into the reactor to try and calm the magma down and help put the fire out. On the first day 110 sorties; the day after 300. The radiation level above the reactor was over 3,000 degrees, many of the pilots made over 30 flights a day to try put out the huge fire. They would receive 5-6 ronjos per flight. After a few missions the soldiers began to get sick.
2nd May, 6,000 tonnes of sand and bororic acid filled the hole but under the layers of sand and acid the magma was still burning [the acid was used to try and neutralise the fire]. At the bottom of the reactor 195 tonnes of radioactive material was still burning and giving off incredible heat- it was beginning to gradually melt the sand. On the surface the lid cracks begin to appear.
The heat was rising and the threat of a second explosion. In the reactor the concrete slab was in danger of cracking and seeping into the water that the firemen poured into the fire at the beginning that had been collected under the reactor- this would of caused a second explosion. Many scientists said that 40 grams of nuclear graphite mixture would have been enough to set off another explosion that would of forced of 5-10 mega tonnes- this would of meant Europe would of been uninhabitable.
4th May, the Russian Government ordered that 20 firemen would be sent into the reactor to try and drain the water and to then seal the hole by dropping 2,200 tonnes of lead into the reactor. After doing so the heat went down in the reactor, it sealed and absorbed the lead really well- this was a success! 10 scientists found out from the blue prints of the nuclear plant that they could make their way to the reactor through the electric gas tunnels as they were lined with thick concrete. When there they blow torched a hole through the wall and put cameras through. What they saw through these cameras was that the magma had cracked the concrete and gone into the empty basin. The needed to…