Saturday, July 13, 2019

Chernobyl's power plant managers 'hid' their radiation levels so they could protect cleanup workers

Contrast this to the CEOs who, for the sake of enriching themselves, knowingly sell products that harm and even kill their customers, and who who provide their workers to work in unsafe conditions.

Chernobyl's power plant managers 'hid' their radiation levels so they could protect cleanup workers, according to former deputy director
Aria Bendix
,Business Insider•July 12, 2019

Chernobyl was one of the worst nuclear disasters the world has ever seen, resulting in widespread contamination throughout Europe.

Workers on the cleanup site immediately following the accident had to record their radiation levels using a dosimeter, or device that measures a person's dose of radiation.

The former deputy director of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Alexander Kovalenko, said management officials used to hide their dosimeters in less contaminated areas so they would be permitted to stay on the job site.


The job was so high-stakes, Kovalenko said, that management officials found ways to under-report their levels of radiation in order remain on the job site.

"I was amazed at people's behavior," he said. "No one was waiting for [an] order. ... People worked not from fear, but from conscience. No one thought about punishment or rewards and money."


His personal mission became twofold: to prevent staffers from becoming "burned," or irradiated, and to stick around long enough to finish the cleanup. Because of that, he said, managers at the plant were willing to incur higher levels of radiation to protect their staff.

"We did not want to quit what we started," he said. "I, like almost everyone in management, hid the dosimeter in the 'clean zone,' [an area outside the power plant determined to have safe levels of radiation]." This ensured that Kovalenko's dosimeter showed lower doses of radiation than he was actually receiving.

The trick allowed him to continue working in the contaminated area for about five months, until he was eventually caught by monitors who traced his route.


No comments:

Post a Comment