Anatoly Dyatlov

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Anatoly Dyatlov
Анатолий Дятлов
Anatoly Dyatlov.jpg
Dyatlov in 1987
Anatoly Stepanovich Dyatlov

(1931-03-03)3 March 1931
Died13 December 1995(1995-12-13) (aged 64)
CitizenshipSoviet, Ukrainian
Alma materMoscow Engineering Physics Institute
Known forDeputy chief-engineer of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
Criminal charge(s)Gross violation of safety regulations
Criminal penaltySentenced to 10 years in prison (released in 1989-90 because of his health condition)

Anatoly Stepanovich Dyatlov (Russian: Анатолий Степанович Дятлов, Ukrainian: Анатолій Степанович Дятлов; 3 March 1931 – 13 December 1995) was deputy chief engineer of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. He supervised the safety test which resulted in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, for which he served time in prison as he was blamed for not following the safety protocols. He was released as part of a general amnesty in 1990.


Dyatlov was born in 1931 in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. His parents were poor individuals who lived near the Yenisei River and the penal settlements of Krasnoyarsk.[1] He ran away from home at the age of 14.[2] He first studied in a vocational school, at the electrical engineering department of the Mining and Metallurgical Technical School in Norilsk,[3] and worked three years as an electrician before he was admitted at the Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute where he graduated in 1959 with honors.[1]

After graduation, he worked in a shipbuilding plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, in Lab 23 where reactors were installed into submarines. During a nuclear accident there, Dyatlov received a radiation dose of 200 rem (2.0 Sv), a dose which typically causes mild radiation sickness, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and reduction in resistance to infections.[4]


In 1973, he moved to Pripyat, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, to work at the newly constructed Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. His fourteen-year experience working on naval reactors in the Soviet Far East made Dyatlov one of the three most senior managers at the Chernobyl station.[1] He was in charge of the Units Three and Four.[1]

On 26 April 1986, Dyatlov supervised a test at Reactor 4 of the nuclear plant, which resulted in the worst nuclear plant accident in history. During the accident, Dyatlov was exposed to a radiation dose of 390 rem (3.9 Sv), which causes death in 50% of affected persons after 30 days, but he survived.[4] Together with Nikolai Fomin and Viktor Bryukhanov, Dyatlov was tried for failure to follow safety regulations.[5] In 1987, all three were found guilty of gross violation of safety regulations leading to an explosion and were sentenced to ten years in prison.[6] He was granted amnesty in late 1990.[3][7]

He wrote a paper published in Nuclear Engineering International in 1991[8] and a book in which he claimed that poor plant design, rather than plant personnel, was primarily responsible for the accident.[9] IAEA's Report by their International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group from 1992 supports Dyatlov's evaluation about the RBMK reactor's design flaws,[10][11] but also criticises the lack of a safety culture in the Soviet nuclear industry.

Dyatlov died of heart failure in 1995.[12]

In media[edit]

Dyatlov was portrayed by Igor Slavinskiy in the 2004 series Zero Hour: Disaster At Chernobyl, by Roger Alborough in 2006 BBC production Surviving Disaster: Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster and by Paul Ritter in the 2019 HBO miniseries Chernobyl.[13]

Dyatlov's memoirs were recorded in 1994, a year before his death. The recording was made by an unknown operator and appeared on YouTube in 2016.[14] A version with English subtitles was provided in 2019.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Higginbotham, Adam (2019). Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 76. ISBN 9781501134616.
  2. ^ Amazing World (2018-09-13), Zero Hour - Chernobyl - 1986, retrieved 2019-06-15
  3. ^ a b Zubacheva, Ksenia (2019-06-17). "The truth about Anatoly Dyatlov, the man blamed for Chernobyl". Russia Beyond. TV-Novosti. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
  4. ^ a b Nolan, Dennis P. Loss Prevention and Safety Control: Terms and Definitions, CRC Press, LLC (2016); Boca Raton, Florida; p. 225.
  5. ^ Burgan, Michael (2018). Chernobyl Explosion: How a Deadly Nuclear Accident Frightened the World. th Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone. p. 47. ISBN 9780756557447.
  6. ^ Worley, N.; Lewins, J. (2003-08-29). The Chernobyl Accident and Its Implications for the United Kingdom: Watt Committee: Report. Routledge. ISBN 9781135382926.
  7. ^ "As Seen On The HBO Series, Justice Wasn't Necessarily Served At The Chernobyl Trials". Bustle. Retrieved 2019-12-28.
  8. ^ Dyatlov, Anatoly (November 1991). "How it was: an operator's perspective". Nuclear Engineering International. Retrieved 2020-01-12.
  9. ^ Anatoly Dyatlov, "Chernobyl. How it happened", 1995 (in Russian)
  10. ^ Dobbs, Michael (27 April 1992). "Chernobyl's 'Shameless Lies'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  11. ^ INSAG-7 (November 1992). The Chernobyl Accident: Updating of INSAG-1 (PDF). Vienna: IAEA. p. 23. ISBN 92-0-104692-8. The accident is now seen to have been the result of the concurrence of the following major factors: specific physical characteristics of the reactor; specific design features of the reactor control elements; and the fact that the reactor was brought to a state not specified by procedures or investigated by an independent safety body. Most importantly, the physical characteristics of the reactor made possible its unstable behaviour.
  12. ^ Dyatlov A.S. Chernobyl: How it was, 1995; Brief biography, page 3 (in Russian)
  13. ^ "Chernobyl: Full Cast and Crew". Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Чернобыльская авария А.С.Дятлов - воспоминания - YouTube (in Russian)". Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  15. ^ "Chernobyl Anatoly Dyatlov's real interview (English) - YouTube". Retrieved 2021-01-07.

External links[edit]