Anatoly Dyatlov

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Anatoly Dyatlov
Native name
Анатолий Степанович Дятлов
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 chargeGross violation of safety regulations
Criminal penaltySentenced to 10 years in prison (served three years)

Anatoly Stepanovich Dyatlov (Russian: Анатолий Степанович Дятлов; 3 March 1931 – 13 December 1995) was deputy chief-engineer of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, and the supervisor of the catastrophic safety test which resulted in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, for which he served time in prison, being 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 peasants 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 and worked as an electrician before he was admitted at the Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute where he graduated in 1959.[1]

After graduation, he worked in a shipbuilding plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, installing reactors into submarines. During a nuclear accident there, Dyatlov received a radiation dose of 200 rem, a dose which typically causes mild radiation sickness, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and reduction in resistance to infections.[3]


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 after three years.[7]

He wrote a book in which he claimed that poor plant design, rather than plant personnel, was primarily responsible for the accident.[8] In later reports it was found that Dyatlov threatened some power plant workers with job terminations if they did not proceed with the test that night in Chernobyl.[9] Anatoly Dyatlov died of heart failure in 1995.[10]

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,[11] and by Paul Ritter in the 2019 HBO Miniseries Chernobyl.[12]

Dyatlov's memoirs were recorded shortly before his death. The recording was made by an unknown operator and appeared on YouTube in 2016.[13]

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. p. 76. ISBN 9781501134616.
  2. ^ Amazing World (2018-09-13), Zero Hour - Chernobyl - 1986, retrieved 2019-06-15
  3. ^ Nolan, Dennis P. Loss Prevention and Safety Control: Terms and Definitions, CRC Press, LLC (2016); Boca Raton, Florida; p. 225.
  4. ^ Nolan, p. 225.
  5. ^ NorBurgan, 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. ^ Dobbs, Michael (27 April 1992). "Chernobyl's 'Shameless Lies'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  8. ^ Anatoly Dyatlov, "Chernobyl. How it happened" (in Russian)
  9. ^ Higginbotham, Adam (February 12, 2019). Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. pp. 80–82. ISBN 9781501134647.CS1 maint: Date and year (link)
  10. ^ [1] (in Russian)
  11. ^ IMBD entry for Surviving Disaster: Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
  12. ^ "Chernobyl: Full Cast and Crew". Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  13. ^ "YouTube inteview - English subtitles".