The Three Unsung Heroes Of Chernobyl (3/30)



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If not for these three men in the picture - Alexei Ananenko (second left) and soldiers Valeri Bezpalov (center) and Boris Baranov (far right) - millions of lives would have been lost during the catastrophe of Chernobyl. Ten days after the meltdown, the plant's water-cooling system had failed, and a pool had formed directly under the highly radioactive reactor. Without cooling, the lava-like substance could easily melt through the remaining barriers, dropping the reactor's core into the pool. If this would have happened - it might have set off steam explosions, firing radiation high and wide into the sky, spreading across parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. In the photograph, engineer Alexei together with Valeri and Boris are fitted with protective gear after they volunteered to dive down into the waters and drain the fluid near the reactor during the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster in Pripyat, Ukraine in 1986. The mission was successful and while the damage was still vile, the three heroes prevented what could have been a much more devastating event. Surprisingly and luckily enough, all of the three men survived.


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