Declasified Soviet Documents Reveal Cover-Ups at Chernobyl
Despite the fact that Kremlin knew the Chernobyl nuclear plant was dangerous it ordered a high-risk experiment that led to the catastrophe.
In the secret decree the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union led by Secretary-General Mikhail Gorbachev ordered the Chernobyl plant to accelerate production of uranium. The order was so secret that even KGB reports describe the experiment but do not discuss its purpose.
The KGB agent codename "Garsia" explained the experiment in the special report to KGB Major Kocherga on February 3, 1987.
On April 5, 1906, the operators of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant decided to carry out the following experiment: reduce the power, cut off the steam supply to the turbine and use the kinetic energy of the alternator to provide electrical power to the reactor cooling pumps for several tens of seconds, the agent reported.
Sudden increase in the power of the reactor at the 4th bloc of the nuclear plant caused the decay of the fuel, uranium oxide. The super heated uranium came into contact with the water in the circuit and caused a steam explosion.
Modern uranium enrichment technique differs from the old Soviet methods. But in the reactors of the Chernobyl plant originally the nuclear chain reaction and power output could increase if cooling water were lost or turned to steam, in contrast to most Western designs.
It is exactly what happened in Chernobyl where under the cover of energy production, the Soviets enriched uranium for the missiles' warheads.
Kremlin knew about the problems with Chernobyl reactors
The declassified documents further show there was a radiation release at the plant in 1982 that was covered up using what a KGB report at the time called measures “to prevent panic and provocative rumours”.
There were separate “emergencies” at the plant in 1984 reported to Moscow.
In 1983, the Moscow leadership received information that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was one of the most dangerous nuclear power plants in the USSR due to lack of safety equipment.
The consequences will be experienced through tens of thousands of years
In the first weeks and months after the catastrophe, the radioactive contamination in some regions exceeded the sometimes thousand times due to the activity of short-lived radionuclides.
Chernobyl radioactive contamination is both dynamic and long term. The dynamic is delineated as follows: First is the natural disintegration of radionuclides so that levels of radioactive contamination in the first days and weeks after the catastrophe were thousands of times higher than those recorded 2 to 3 years later.
Second is the active redistribution of radionuclides in ecosystems.
Third is the contamination that will exist beyond the foreseeable future — not less than 300 years for Cesium-137 and Strontium 90, more than 200,000 years for Pu, and several thousands of years for Am-241.