Talk:Deaths due to the Chernobyl disaster

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missing sources[edit]

The "Deaths due to the Chernobyl disaster" page is dreadful and does not have a meaningful number for the number of deaths, world organisations estimated only 4000 deaths and were criticised for the number being biased and too low. DELETE IT or merge some of it elsewhere. Kie 2015

Ummm, perhaps that's because there is no universally agreed upon number, even by experts? You have read the comments here explaining how difficult it is to determine the causes of deaths? Does that mean we are to leave the rest of posterity ignorant of the issues?
As for "dreadful", get down to examples and/or essay fixes if that's what you think it needs.
Also, a tip: instead of signing your comment in your own inimitable way, use four tilde characters; that will leave ways to communicate with you on your talk page, provide a time stamp - don't forget that "posterity" mentioned above. :) SkoreKeep (talk) 00:07, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

The death toll total from this list doesn't agree with the official count, and many of these individuals aren't sourced properly. I'm going to give an editor some time to clean this up before I delete any of the unsourced material. Thanks. Fell Gleaming(talk) 19:32, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

If other editors feel this article should more properly include those who survived Chernobyl, they should nominate it for renaming. I myself don't see the value of such an article. How exactly do we define a "survivor"? Where do we draw the line? 600,000 people were evacuated, and received at least a very minor dose. Do we include them also? Fell Gleaming(talk) 00:17, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
Whoever was in the plant or in its significant vicinity at the moment it went kaboom and couple hours before and after potentially deserves a mention. Same for the first responders. There are several official counts, depending who is or is not included. Names of the survivors are important to locate many difficult-to-find resources about the event (hence the importance of the cyrillic spelling column in the table), as many are quoted in later published materials. Many of the unsourced people were either sourced in the section before (from underneath this table was yanked); some of the unlisted ones are mentioned in the Medvedev's book. Should be easy to find in original Russian/Ukrainian sources. When I created the table (it is pretty much purely my work), I wanted it to be a resource for looking up more details, and a beginning for a collaboration about putting up together the little scattered pieces of the event as it happened, who was where and what they did, including where different sources disagree. --Shaddack (talk) 05:15, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that "significant vicinity" has no clear cut definition. One editor will say it ends 50 meters outside the plant, another will say it ends 500 km away. What is the firm criteria by which people are included in this list? Is the guy who fished in the cooling pond right outside eligible? What about a worker in the city of Chernobyl? Or Pripyat? Or someone who got thyroid cancer from it in Kiev?
Of course they should be added, if they died or were injured on that day. On that matter, the increased rates of death and permanent evacuation numbers should be mentioned, if not the names. People in the towns nearby still were injured or died, after all. If we don't know their names we should mention that they were affected. (talk) 21:13, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
In any case, opinions differ. If you believe the article should be moved, simply put it through the movereq process and see what people think. Fell Gleaming(talk) 05:36, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
There are no firm criteria and the line is blurry. The fishermen belong there as their reports are quoted in a number of sources. The people on the night shift in the blocks 3/4 are certain to be included. The next shift that handled the initial cleanup as well. The previous shift, the people who were preparing the test or should've run it themselves, too. The first responders as well. Plant management important for the event (Fomin, etc.) too. Some random workers whose names are not mentioned anywhere or are involved only tangentially and indirectly (your mentioned cancer in Kiev) fall on the other side of the blurred line. Essentially, if the relevant literature, reports or movies mention - or even interview! - them, and their name can serve as a keyword for finding another piece of the puzzle with further research, they should be listed. (And please no lawyering about "relevant".) Can you please link me to the req process, as I never did such bureaucracy before? --Shaddack (talk) 06:05, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

It seems to me that the list should include, at a minimum, the 56 official deaths mentioned in the Chernobyl Forum's 2005 report. That includes the personnel in the helicopter accident, 28 emergency workers from ARS, 2 immediate deaths, 1 possible heart attack, and 19 others who died from 1987 through 2004, including 9 from thyroid cancer, I believe. Perhaps an additional column to indicate that they are on that list. SkoreKeep (talk) 11:01, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

"Deaths due to the Chernobyl disaster" should presumably include not just people who died "on that day", but those who died of acute radiation sickness in the weeks and months following, and also mention the large numbers of early deaths due to cancer (although it is of course impossible to conclusively attribute every case to radiation poisoning). It should also mention the large number of miscarriages in places like the Ukraine and Belarus, etc., etc. We shouldn't limit it to deaths "on that day", because the Chernobyl disaster was not a one day event. (Disaster's over! You can all move back to Pripyat!) Some of these figures are controversial, and the article should explain the controversy in a neutral manner. Fuzzypeg 12:08, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Name Change?[edit]

Since the article contains the names of those injured, it shouldn't be titled "Deaths" due to etc.געגאנגען/Gegangen (talk) 10:19, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

  • I have to agree. That doesn't make sense. One of the people listed near the top is a guy arrested and sent to jail with no mention of any injuries even. Either retitle this article, or strip out those who are not dead. (talk) 17:01, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
My personal preference would probably be a renaming of the article, with the current name given to the first table, and those survivors who are deemed notable in a second table below.
What do others deem the most appropriate? A F K When Needed 23:51, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree with your idea of splitting the table. The name of the article definitely has to be changed as death is not apparent with all cases. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:25, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Rephrasing of helicopter crash deaths[edit]

Regarding the death of Hanzhuk, Mykola Oleksandrovych which was added recently. The phrasing: "the helicopter flew into the radiation cloud, malfunctioned and crashed;" needs work. At 30 seconds you'll see the crash here: it is plain as day that the helicopter's rotor cuts into the metal crane wires, damaging both, and causing the crash. I don't think linking what is essentially a snuff video is a good idea, does someone know of a good text reference source that can confirm or clarify what exactly caused the crash? SirShill (talk) 13:46, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

I'll agree that the description needs to be redone; I don't think those are my original words, as it is, from the film, obviously an industrial accident, not mysterious or unusual. Further, there is no "cloud" in evidence, nor was there as the smoke was long gone (this was in August, 4 months after the explosion). However, that movie is pretty iconic of the Chernobyl situation. It implies the problems of trying to stop the outpouring of radioactive material, the three crewmen killed are officially listed among those killed by the disaster (I'm not quite sure who the "official" is, but it was someone in the original Soviet investigation), and the movie was taken by Shevoshenko, who died of ARS complications in March of the next year (I also placed him in the list, though he is not "officially" a member; the chances of getting ARS elsewhere in the USSR were small). I think it is a valuable resource, and evidential in the debate over what happened in the helicopter accident. SkoreKeep (talk) 20:41, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Article title[edit]

I'm thinking that since there seem to be up to 1,000,000 deaths so far from Chernobyl, that the title could better be described as perhaps, "Immediate deaths and injuries due to Chernobyl". What do the other editors think? WriterHound (talk) 02:50, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

I think it's worth having one centralised article where the real human toll is considered. You could have one article for immediate casualties and another for later casualties, and another for trends of likely Chernobyl-related cancers, etc., but all this does is scatter the information most readers would (I believe) be hoping to find in one place. Fuzzypeg 12:15, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
How about Casualties of the Chernobyl disaster? Boneyard90 (talk) 15:04, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Sounds perfect. No other opinions have surfaced yet; so perhaps we should start modifying the article towards a more inclusive approach, and rename it in a couple of days if no other opinions have surfaced. Fuzzypeg 23:37, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
I disagree with the suggested title: "death" is something well-defined. "Casualty" is more vague. I disagree that "immediate" must be a setarate page, because this term is subjective: who will decide what is immediate? It is not like a battle, held from May 14 to May 16, so that we count dead and injured to some precision. Here, people may be slowly dying for years. And I see no difference whether it was because he was a liquidator "immediately" irradiated by hot rods or some granny who tended her geeze when the radioactive cloud descended unto her. Ladnadruk (talk) 00:58, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps "proven" deaths should be the title - all the other deaths are unproven speculation. Which is not what Wikipedia is for. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:52, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Minor issue[edit]

I noticed that the section for Sitnikov, Anatoly Andreyevich describes him as having died of exposure to "1500 roentgens or 15 Sv". The American standard unit corresponding to Sv would be rem, not roentgen. Is this just a typo? I don't want to change it without knowing the source. IDK112 (talk) 03:50, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately, there's a bunch of units and they are not all commensurate:
Raw Radioactive intensity is in roentgens (SI unit); this is the measurement made with a geiger counter or other instrument.
Absorbed dose is radioactive intensity corrected for the absorbing material, such as flesh, water or lead. The RAD (old unit) or Gray (SI unit).
Equivalent dose is radioactivity corrected for equivalence of sources (alpha, beta, gamma, neutron) and equivalent injury potential of different tissues (heart, muscle, brain) is the REM (old units) or Sieverts (SI unit).
Now all three of these classes of units all measure the same thing: radioactive intensity, essentially energy delivered / mass, but the units are not equatable as they have different meanings; therefore the referenced sentence is wrong, as it equates radioactivity to equivalent dose, but which was the original value? It is most certainly a fatal value in any case. I believe that wikipedia should be using all SI units. (talk) 02:56, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
In this particular case, changed the article to read "1500 roentgens" as that is what an original source states. That's not dose,and I don't know how the value was determined, but that's what it says. SkoreKeep (talk) 17:25, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

Sorry; reverted. Problems with the new title:

  1. What is "initial deaths"? First week, first year...?
  2. The article speak of 6000 deaths; which number I doubt may be called "initial".
  3. In fact, there is a section which speaks about deaths related to severe immediate effects; these deaths make sense to call "initial". The remaining 6000 deaths are due to long-term effects and consequences.
  4. Above is another suggestion about article title.

Please discuss. Ladnadruk (talk) 00:37, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Natural Death Rate[edit]

5,722 decontamination workers died within 4 years. In one sense this is an incredibly low rate of deaths. Do the maths. 600,000 workers. Average life expectancy say 70 years. Therefore average natural deaths per year 8,500. Four years average deaths equals 38,000. Of course these workers were probably mostly young servicemen in the prime of life so their average death rate would be nowhere near as high as 38,000. But normality may well have been as high as 5,722. Death rates amongst soldiers etc are surprising high - and not because they tend to get shot or blown up by the enemy; British MOD data shows combat is one of the least common of the multiple 'normal' causes of death amongst service personel which includes such mundane things such as cancers, car crashes and heart attacks. All claims about Chernobyl casualty numbers both hi and lo seem suspect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:00, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Yes, they sure are. Greenpeace claims indirect evidence for a quarter of a million, while the Chernobyl Forum cites 59 (see In the first place, industrial causes (the three who died at the scene, and the helicopter crew), Acute Radiation Sickness (ARS) and radioactive thyroid cancers are about the only deaths that can be definitely attributed to the accident and radiation directly; all other causes from radiation, cancer, leukemia, birth defects, others, are all guesses, as multiple factors are always at play. The best that can be done is in noting a "bump" or increase in these problems from clinical records after the event at the expected onset time. The Chernobyl Forum notes no such bump for any of these. Dyatlov died of a heart attack 10 years after the accident, many ascribe that to his estimated 4 Sv of dose at Chernobyl as well as other exposures before that. Another helicopter pilot at Chernobyl, Anatoly Grishchenko, died in Washington state of leukemia just four years after the accident; was it radiation caused? No one will ever know with assurance. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SkoreKeep (talkcontribs) 21:06, 30 September 2012 (UTC)


This is the English Wikipedia. Is there any good reason to include the Cyrillic versions of the names of the people who died. It makes the chart harder to read while not giving any aid to the vast majority of our readers, who can't read Cyrillic. Create a Russian (or Ukrainian) Wikipedia article on this subject if you want to give the Cyrillic versions. john k (talk) 16:14, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

I think it's both more respectful and more sobering to the readers. It never hurts to get a brief dip into something completely new; and it shows that they had ;lives of their own; it makes them more human, in my estimation. SkoreKeep (talk) 04:51, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

"Essay" style[edit]

The following editing comment was posted:

(tagging essay - terrible quality article that reads like a blog entry; should be scrapped or at least re-written in an encyclopedic manner free of syn, rhetoric, weasel words and POV statements)

The count of the deaths at Chernobyl is a highly charged topic in the nuclear power debate. As such, it is difficult to keep POV out of the article, or to determine what non-POV demands. I have rewritten the textual part of the article, hopefully to eliminate some of whatever it is that irritates the editor so. Deleting the article is, I don't think, an option - this article is widely cited and copied on the internet; the gathering of the names from various sources has been a difficult and ongoing task, and in the English world at least, unique. There are conflicts in the sources, and I have tried to make that plain; for example, one source says that no one in the general public was hospitalized (while citing the case of the physician), and another tells of the two fishermen who were apparently hospitalized enough that their dosages were cited.

I would invite comments which can lead to a better exposition of the topic. Even more I solicit further sources of data on the deaths and others that may have been overlooked. SkoreKeep (talk) 17:21, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

It's better, but it still needs work. I'll try to find some time to improve this. It really did (and still does to some extent) read like a high school essay, though. I think controversial topics need better care. This needs fewer rambling suppositions and colorful adjectives and more "X claims this; Y claims that; Z disputes that and agrees with Y." It's sufficient to lay out the general consensus if it goes against, for example, something Greenpeace said, without winking at the reader and then calling dissenters some luddite "pressure group." It makes sense to talk about what's generally accepted as a matter of fact, but we don't need Wikipedia's editors' personal feelings on dissenting voices. There's also a lot of problems with grammar and clarity. Still, thanks for trying to address it and sorry for the curt edit summary without much explanation. fi (talk) 22:38, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Alternative opinion of the number of deaths[edit]

Three doctors came up with an estimate of 900,000 deaths from the disaster. I don't see a mention of this opinion. "That bullet did not come from my prove it"--Mark v1.0 (talk) 18:26, 13 May 2014 (UTC) Chernobyl:_Consequences_of_the_Catastrophe_for_People_and_the_Environment

Got a reference? I'll write it up if you supply one. SkoreKeep (talk) 02:31, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
OK, looking into it, I find that the reference is to the NY Academy of Sciences publication of the Yablakov, Nestorenko and Nestorenko paper "Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment", published in English version by the New York Academy of Sciences. The NYAS republished their Russian work in the spirit of "Open Forum"; see their statement on that at The article "does not present new, unpublished work, nor is it a work commissioned by the New York Academy of Sciences".
As it stands, the lede paragraph states:
The scientific consensus on the effects of the disaster has been developed by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). In peer-reviewed publications UNSCEAR has identified fewer than 60 immediate deaths from trauma, acute radiation poisoning and cases of thyroid cancer from an original group of about 4,000 cases of thyroid cancers in the affected area. Other non-governmental organizations, many with staunch positions on the spectrum of the nuclear power debate, have claimed numbers up to a million excess deaths caused by the nuclear disaster. UN and other international agencies such as the Chernobyl Forum and the World Health Organization state that such numbers are wildly over-estimated, stressing a need for hard documentation of deaths. It is thought that the principal long-term adverse health outcomes are anxiety and depression among the general public across Eastern Europe as a result of irresponsible reporting and exaggerated statements by anti-nuclear power activists.

So, in the context of this article, which is stressing known, nameable deaths, the content of the NYAS article is covered. If you want to get more into that article in particular, go to Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment. SkoreKeep (talk) 02:54, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Divers are fictional?[edit]

Comes forth, who removes Ananenko, Baranov and Bespalov, the divers who opened the basement floodgates, with the comment, "(People with fictional personal histories need to be removed from an authoritative site!)". Inasmuch as there is not an immediate citation on them, I will take a look. I think there is rather too much detail in their narrative to be made up, but odder things have happened.

Oh, yes, and he messed up the table formatting in the process. For shame. SkoreKeep (talk) 18:45, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Well, I found them cited in Maples book, so I went back and reverted the change and added the citation. Then I noticed one of them already had a citation on it, a news story from AP, two weeks after the accident, in which the feat was described by TASS, and the AP picked it up a bare 4 days after it happened. The last paragraph reads: "The report did not mention if the men suffered any ill effects." So much for fictional personal histories. SkoreKeep (talk) 19:51, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Mr. tells me that, "(Invented personal histories and inadequate references. In the Soviet Union, each deceased person would have the full personal info with the place of bith and patronyms. Bring forward an original Soviet source, or do not repost!)". Man, what a hard time they must have in that country - you can't even die without full information.
Some points:
- People die all the time, and they don't always give up their middle names and dates to the local news. Even in the USSR.
- The USSR died on 25 December 1991, but left no patronymic, either.
- This is the US version of Wikipedia. What they may do in Russia is of no particular concern to me. There is a discussion above asking whether the Cyrillic names should be removed, presumably with patronymics. Is that what you would prefer?
- What rule requires me to have "an original Soviet source"?
- I presume you aren't arguing with whether their act occurred or not, but rather whether they died. The book says they did. It was a Canadian book written in Toronto; I presume they're not aware of your requirements.
- If you persist, this will be your third reversion, and someone higher up will have to get involved. If you have some overwhelming argument which you wish to acquaint me with, I hope you bring it here instead of just reverting again.
- It would be much more useful, perhaps, if you could verify their deaths, if you can. Or verify they didn't die. I would certainly like the information, even if it results in they having lived. Actually, PARTICULARLY if they lived.
To be taken seriously, you need to show me the place in Wikipedia policy that says death is fictional unless patronymic and dates are given. Other than that your own rules mean nothing. Have you a reference which says the story is untrue, the dives never happened or the men didn't die? You have removed verified information twice, now. Think before doing it again. SkoreKeep (talk) 23:03, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

At least one of the divers (Boris Baranov) was still alive in 2005 and gave an interview to a local newspaper: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:33, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Website defunct as of 10/1/2015. SkoreKeep (talk) 12:41, 2 October 2015 (UTC)


The article should start by discussing the controversy surrounding the wildly differing claims and methods used by various studies and reports.

As it stands, the article is a pro-nuclear-power puff piece which simply presents the UNSCEAR findings as gospel and not just dismisses any other claims, but actually goes so far as to say that those other findings are responsible for the worst actual effects of the disaster (depression and anxiety).

It is entirely ridiculous. This is not an encyclopedic article at all. -- (talk) 14:57, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

Well, by all means, jump right in. This article has always needed more editors. I, for one, would appreciate your input. SkoreKeep (talk) 17:50, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Nah, as long as POV editors such as yourself are around, it's useless to waste time repairing the damage you're intentionally doing. Same reason I largely gave up on editing Wikipedia in general. It's a boken system that favors POV editors like you at the expense of encyclopedic accuracy. I'll try to repair the article if and only if you promise to stay away from editing the article forever. Deal? -- (talk) 13:50, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Trust is two way, friend, not just your way. SkoreKeep (talk) 15:26, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Wouldn't your version of "neutrality" cause a POV tilt your way? Let's see you take a whack at it. Dkendr (talk) 18:22, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Some additional sources[edit]

Why is this page necessary?[edit]

I don't understand the purpose of this page. "In the list following are 41 people whose deaths are directly attributable to the Chernobyl disaster." But we all know thoiusands deaths after the accident were nonetheless attributable to the disaster, even if they occurred at a time frame distant from the accident. By listing the few names on this page, it somehow suggests that the deaths of these persons were somehow more important than the deaths of the thousands of others, and that the many other deaths were not somehow "directly attributable" to Chernobyl; but that is rubbish. Were it not for the fact that this accident happened, none of the thousands of others would have died.

I propose that this page be deleted unless someone can come up with a better reason why it should be kept.

Princeton wu (talk) 21:59, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

To answer your questions, yes, I think it is as necessary as any other Wikipedia page because it attempts to particularize history, and I'm sorry you don't understand that. It may come as a shock, but no, we (or perhaps only I) don't "all know thoiusands deaths after the accident were nonetheless attributable to the disaster". Another way to express that is, please, document for us anyone - anyone at all - who you feel should be included but is not. I think that keeping the names and bare facts available is important to the history of Chernobyl, and I will add names which can be documented as being directly killed by the Chernobyl disaster. I have gone to considerable lengths to discover more names, but have not been able to do so for more than a handful not on the official lists. For example, the cinematographer Shevchenko, because the evidence was good that he died primarily of ARS, though he is on no official list. I reject your feeling expressed about some "somehow" being more important than others; what we have here are some better known than others. That we can fix. And, no, determining direct attribution, at least in the cases of ARS and thyroid cancer, is not rubbish. The last sentence is simply wishful thinking. I propose the page stay. SkoreKeep (talk) 04:51, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
This page would merit its own heading section in the Chernobyl disaster article, which would be somewhat lengthy and unreadable, so IMO it merits its own page as a "see also"/main article outlink from that page. Dkendr (talk) 14:26, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

The fates of the three divers (myth)[edit]

It seems that there are no reliable sources (correct me if i'm wrong) on the circumstances of death of any of the plant personnel tasked with opening the sluice gates. It is also strange that these people, who were supposed to have died shortly after their mission, never made it to the official list. They had families, friends and coworkers, all of whom would have exposed this glaring omission in an heartbeat. From the talk page I can see that several others also had an issue with the information about on of these three. I intend to show that the info on all three is false. Those referenced below are clearly the divers. It's not possible that had the same names and work histories by pure coincidence. (All referenced pages are in Russian, my native language. You can use machine translation to verify the info.)

  • First background some info on the job these three did, from the Soviet paper "Trud"link:

"Они вызвались сами – начальник смены Чернобыльской станции Б.Баранов, старший инженер управления блоком турбинного цеха номер два В.Беспалов и старший инженер-механик реакторного цеха номер два А.Ананенко. Роли распределились так: Алексей Ананенко знает места задвижек и возьмет на себя одну, вторую покажет Валерию Беспалову. Борис Баранов будет помогать им светом."

Translation: "They volunteered: shift manager B. Baranov; second senior turbine hall engineer V. Bespalov; and senior engineer-mechanic from reactor number 2, A. Ananenko. Their roles were divided as follows: Ananenko knows where to find the gate valves and will take care of one of them; he will point Bespalov to the second valve; Baranov will be in charge of providing lighting."

-- As far as I have been able to find out, Baranov was not a "diver" here, or at least he had far less contact with the water than the other two. Some other sources have been more explicit on this point but, I can't provide the other references without hours of digging. There is also an interesting comment on the divers at the end of the comments section linked here. Clearly states that Baranov was alive in the 1990's. Side note: there is another RS describing the three as "volunteers" here.

Let's find out what happened to each of them:

  • Baranov, Boris (Баранов, Борис)

From a site dedicated to liquidators, an obituary dating from 2005: "На 65 году жизни остановилось сердце Баранова Бориса Александровича [..] Всю свою жизнь Борис Александрович посвятил энергетике. Начинал на Криворожской ТЭЦ. С 1976 года и до конца дней своих работает на Чернобыльской АЕС: СИУТ, ЗНСС, НСС. Таковы ступени его роста, на последней должности он проработал почти 22 года."link

Translation: "Baranov's heart stopped in the 65th year of his life [..] He has devoted much of his life to energy. He started out in Krivishkaya Thermal. [...] He spent his last 22 working years at Chernobyl."

--Picture of the younger Baranov date 1986 is provided.

  • Bespalov, Valeri (Беспалов, Валерий). You have misspelled his last name as "Безпалов".

From the Корреспондент, dated 2008 (there is also a pdf of their actual print article somewhere, with more information on Bespalov). You need to scroll to the picture of the man with the telephone in the control center. Caption reads:

"Валерий Беспалов, сотрудник с 25-летним стажем, начальник смены первой очереди ЧАЭС. Лично контролирует состояние отработанного топлива в отключенном реакторе первого эторгоблока. Называет себя патриотом станции" link

Translation: "Valery Bespalov: on staff for 25 years, leading manager of the first shift at Chernobyl. Personally charged with controlling the condition of the spent fuel at reactor #1. Calls himself a patriot of the plant."

  • Ananenko, Alexei (Ананенко, Алексей)

"Родился 13 октября 1959 года в г. Инта Коми АССР (Россия). В 1983-м окончил Московский энергетический институт по специальности «Атомные электростанции и установки». С апреля 1983 по октябрь 1989 года работал в реакторном цехе на Чернобыльской АЭС. 1989-1992 гг - инженер Киевского института «Атомэнергопроект» 1992 - 1994гг. - Работал начальником лаборатории Научно-технического центра ядерной и радиационной безопасности. 1994-2010 гг - начальник управления, Государственный комитет ядерного регулирования Украины. 2010-2011гг .- начальник международного отдела, Государственный Научно-технический центр по ядерной и радиационной безопасности. С мая 2011г .- директор по институциональному развитию Ассоциации «Украинский ядерный форум». В 1989г. награжден Орденом Почета за участие в ликвидации последствий аварии на ЧАЭС, в 2005г. - Почетной грамотой Кабинета Министров Украины за значительный личный вклад в создание Государственного комитета ядерного регулирования, развитие и безопасность ядерной энергетики Украины."link

--I won't translate the entire thing, but the gist is that Ananenko worked in the reactor hall (reactor number not noted) from 1983-89. Since 2011 he has been the "Director of Institutional Development" at the Ukraine Nuclear Forum association. He's the one with the moustache, for reference.

So only Baranov, supposedly the guy who lived longest, is known to be dead (died in 2005). The false info about their immediate deaths all seems to come from a single blogpost somewhere, I really doubt this info comes from Marple's book on Chernobyl.

The issue of divers is important not just for its human interest, but also for how the liquidators in general are represented. The current false info feeds the narrative of the liquidators as foolhardy kamikazes, thrown at the radioactive waste by their callous overlords. This crass sensationalism is profoundly dehumanizing and offensive to the liquidators, who were complex, intelligent and courageous individuals. It also disparages their heroic efforts as stupid forced labor; in fact, their efforts were generally the opposite of "stupid" and "forced". And perhaps the radioactivity of the water was a little less ;) than sensational accounts would have you believe. Guccisamsclub (talk) 21:54, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Ok here is the original source of this nonsense: an article in The Scotsman. So much for being "Scotland's leading newspaper". Guccisamsclub (talk) 21:54, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Update on the Divers[edit]

Bespalov, Baranov and Ananenko are named as the divers in most sources. It is also clear none of those three died. However there are two important sources that point to the existence of other/different divers.

From the testimony of G. A Shasharin (pg. 203 from the english language edition of "The Truth About Chernobyl by Grigori Medvedev): "On 4 May, we found the gate valve which had to be opened in order to drain water from the lower part of the suppression pool. There was little water in it. We looked into the upper pool through the hole of the reserve passage and found it empty. I got 2 diving suits and gave them to the soldiers, so that they could go and open the valve. They also used mobile pumps and flexible piping. The new chairman of the government commission, I.S. Silayev, offered a special inducement by promising a car, a dacha, an apartment and benefits for the rest of their lives to the family of anyone killed in this operation who succeeded in opening the valve. Those participating were Ignatenko, Saakov, Bronnikov, Grishchenko, Captain Zborovsky, Lietenant Zlobin, and corporals Oleynik and Navava". Complete Original can be found here
Testimony of Sergei Sobolev, deputy head of the Executive Committee of the Shield of Chernobyl Association, pg. 133 of "Voices from Chernobyl" by Svetlana Alexieich: "There was a moment where there existed the danger of a nuclear explosion, and they had to get the water out from under the reactor, so that a mixture of uranium and graphite wouldn't get into it- with the water they would have formed a critical mass. The explosion would have been between 3 and 5 megatons, rendering a large part of Europe uninhabitable. Here was the task: who would dive in there and open the bolt on the safety valve? They promised them a car, an apartment, a dacha, aid for their families until the end of time. They searched for volunteers, and found them. The boys dove, many times, and they opened that bolt, and the unit was given 7000 rubles. Those people don't exist anymore, just the documents in our museum, with their names. But what if they hadn't done it? In terms of our readiness for self-sacrifice, we have no equals".
So if the divers described in Medvedev and Alexieich are real, and if any of them died shortly after the mission - they should be added to the article. I'll be looking into the issue - seems like there is a possible contradiction between the sources. Guccisamsclub (talk) 18:31, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
There is also recent testimony, cited by Moskovsky Komsomolets, from Yuri Andreev (liquidator and President of "Ukrainian Chernobyl Union") corroborating the Bespalov, Baranov, Ananenko story here. I'll not ethat Moskovsky Komsomolets is a tabloid and known to be unreliable (especially where it has a vested interest). However, I don't think it should be dismissed out of hand on this particular issue either, where testimony from the participants is scarce. But it certainly has less far weight than Grigori Medvedev and other RS'.Guccisamsclub (talk) 21:28, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
and here is a lengthy - apparently fairly recent - testimony from Ananenko himself: старшего инженера-механика реакторного цеха №2 Алексея Ананенка, explaining in detail their whole mission (Annaneko and Bespalov went into the water, while Baranov stayed behind them). The source is the ukraine-based "union of Chernobyl" (probably the same as above), which contains a lot of information, advocacy and testimony from liquidators. Not reliable for everything - but on this issue it should be taken seriously.Guccisamsclub (talk) 23:41, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
More sources: От Чернобыля до Фукусимы (by a physicist who worked at Chernobyl until '89) and technical details on the emptying of the reactor pool Guccisamsclub (talk) 13:16, 30 January 2016 (UTC)


I'll take WP:CRACKPOT for $400, Alex... Dkendr (talk) 15:42, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
Is that supposed to mean something? gucci81.171.71.36 (talk) 19:53, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
Content-free mumblings and WP:PAs
The following discussion has been closed by JFG. Please do not modify it.
You're free to reach your own conclusions. Dkendr (talk) 06:58, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
So are you. You are also free to get banned for trolling (talk) 08:38, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
Bring it. Calling WP:CRACKPOT on someone is hardly trolling, especially when that "someone" is hiding behind an IP. Dkendr (talk) 06:25, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
User:Guccisamsclub - all IP edits. Aside from that You're just fuming and throwing insults, and you can't even explain why you you're doing it - not that I want to hear your reasoning at this point. -gucci81.88.116.27 (talk) 10:10, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Then why not sign in? Unless you're banned under a different user name. Just sayin'... and that IP's user page shows some funny business in its history... and the fact that you threatened me with a block and are now walking back said threat while dismissing me as irrelevant... WP:CRACKPOT. Dkendr (talk) 14:59, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
The answer to your question is Javascript "wikibreak enforcer" - though obviously it hasn't worked too well. But I really can't continue responding to these irrelevant and idiotic insinuations. Consider this your last warning. (talk) 15:50, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
My last warning toward what? I called WP:CRACKPOT on your lengthy post which is both WP:PATENT and WP:FRINGE. If any of your claims held water they'd have been put in the article or as an adjunct to it, but no, you posted it in the talk pages, where it was fair game for review and commentary. My comment was that it was the product of a WP:CRACKPOT and conspiracy nut. You responded by calling me a troll, telling me I was irrelevant, and then threatening me, each time stating I was beneath your contempt. So again I call WP:CRACKPOT on this escalating pattern of behavior. Dkendr (talk) 22:32, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
You can "call" it "WP:LEMONADE" for all I care. Either you are here discuss the topic - or you her to ... I don't even know what the hell youre tryin to do here. Have you even read the post you're responding to? BTW - I did correct the article and removed the erroneous information about the divers some time ago. The purpose of the "lengthy" post on the talk page was to present all the relevant source material and to explain the reason for the proposed edit. The target audience was editors with an elementary level of reading comprehension. Why do I even .... are you sure on you're in the right place? -Guccisamscub (talk) 23:44, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
You targeted elementary-level editors; however, anyone above that level knows WP:CRACKPOT when they see it. In case you couldn't tell, some of your Russian-language sources are of dubious authenticity. You're also trying to convince me that you want to take a break... but just can't stay away. Do I need to get an order of protection? Dkendr (talk) 18:07, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
Yeah - I can't tell they are of dubious authenticity. But what do I know? I've only read them in the original and translated them for the benefit of people who can read English. Alright, yawn. I suggest you find somebody else to pester, because I'm exhausted from this bizarre exchange and don't think I'll be able to keep replying for much longer. (talk) 18:40, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
You could read The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in its original and translate it to English and it would be no more authentic. And your missing that point is proof you're in a WP:CRACKPOT fog. You have now threatened, bloviated, pounded your desk, complained you're above it, complained it's beneath you, and whined about me. The fact of the matter is that you have yet to discuss the legitimacy of your conspiracy theory, its connection to anything, and whether or not it's really encyclopediac... and of course you're doing it on a talk page so it won't get deleted for the crap it is. Dkendr (talk) 20:27, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
You can't just call something is a "conspiracy theory", "nonsense", "crackpot", "analogous to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion". You have to SHOW that is those things, using reliable sources and logic. This is how people usually determine what's true and what's false, at least in the ideal. Is this clear enough for you? But I see on your page that youre both a "professional comedian" and "insane". If you're just having a laugh, you might as well come clean about it cause the joke is getting old. (talk) 21:11, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes I can, and yes I did, largely because a) you're a crackpot, b) you're spewing drivel, c) it doesn't make sense, and d) there is no credible explanation of why the divers' fates were misrepresented. What I did not do was compare your bloviation to Protocols, just said that your use of original crackpot evidence in its original language carried no more weight than if you read it in English. Try to up your reading comprehension. Lastly, whether I'm having a joke is irrelevant; you are complaining that my notes on your silly and overlong post signifying nothing were somehow against Wikipedia policy because <unexplained> and I should be banned, tarred, feathered, transferred to some sort of state institution for slow adults, or otherwise castigated for daring to knock your tin foil hat askew. Did I miss anything? Dkendr (talk) 16:26, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
The divers' fates were misrepresented in one short sentence in one short article from the Scotsman, from a just a few years back - the article was not even a proper news story (breaking news, sources, research, interviews etc), and was probably never even printed - and on a few blogs. Hardly a "conspiracy" - more like a boo-boo in a couple of less-than-serious sources. That's all the sources (reliable or otherwise) I could find - and I looked, unlike you apparently. You know - not everything you read on the internet is true. Well anyhow - you have any more abuse you want to throw my way or are you tired? (talk) 18:00, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
So, all of this to correct one perceived slight in one sentence of one article? If we don't already have WP:QUIXOTRY to go along with WP:CRACKPOT we need to invent one, stat. Dkendr (talk) 21:38, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes that's what it takes. If an article (on the Scotsman website, which is an RS) claims something it true, you need to present evidence to the contrary to prove it false and remove the erroneous claim. I think it's important to get facts regarding the life and death of liquidators right. (talk) 22:40, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
So what this all comes down to is that someone claimed three guys dived into a pool under the plant, received enough radiation that their ancestors climbed out of their graves glowing in the dark, somehow didn't die themselves until at least 2005, and yet only one of them is on the official death roll. So based on that, you are presenting evidence that they did not in fact die, but have been managing a 7-11 in Minsk for the past 20-odd years? Why isn't this in a "disputed deaths" section on the article itself? Why is this an enormous blather on a talk page? Could it be because there's no story here and someone invented a conspiracy to make three guys who should be dead look like heroes? WP:CRACKPOT. Dkendr (talk) 16:33, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
Well apparently none of them were on the official death roll. if you have a source contradicting this - cite it. the rest i cant respond to because it makes no sense. (talk) 22:30, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
Baranov's in the article to which this talk page is attached, on the official list, and footnoted. I didn't care enough to research the other two, because, WP:CRACKPOT. Dkendr (talk) 16:24, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
Ah finally a verifiable claim from you, but it's WRONG. That's Anatoly Baranov - not Boris Baranov the diver. But you could have checked that yourself, if you actually cared about the topic of the article. Again - this is the wrong place for you - go away. (talk) 17:05, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
You don't get to erase article talk pages whether you think I'm a troll or not - that's vandalism, and you're now warned accordingly. Dkendr (talk) 21:05, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Has there been a consensus on the divers? --Liberaler Humanist (talk) 01:00, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

So far, there has not been a real dispute. You can ignore the exchange above, since it has no bearing on the facts of the case. In any case - I've already edited the article to expunge (what I consider to be) the myth. I've collected all the source info I could find on this - here is a quick run through:
  • the vast majority of sources agree that the "divers" were Baranov, Bespalov and Ananenko. A few of these sources say they died. These sources are wrong: every bit of evidence points to the divers being alive in the 2000's. That evidence includes a multi-page interview with Ananenko, wherein he describes the whole operation in detail.
  • Two sources (G. Medvedev + Alexieich's "Voice of Chernobyl" ) cite testimony to the effect that the "divers" were soldiers. The Alexeivich source is so vague it's worthless (if you read the a few pages, you will know what I talking about). Furthemore it seems that the testimony in Alexeich takes its facts from Medvedev. It does not have much weight. However G. Medvedev is a much more serious primary source. But it is the ONLY source which makes this claim, and it is short on details. Ananenko's recent testimony and Karpan's book "From Chernobyl to Fukushima" provide exhaustively detiled accounts of what happened. Both Ananenko and Karpan were engineers who worked at Chernobyl for years. Karpan also notes that there was initially a plan - which was never realized - to use soldiers for the mission. This may explain why Medvedev's source believed that soldiers were involved. Medvedev's source was also military - and the military was all too eager to take credit for every aspect of the liquidation effort.
  • Also, soldiers along with firemen were involved in pumping much of the water out of the reservoir - which enabled the "divers" to access the valves. (this is all in the sources I posted). Might be something to look into.
  • The three "divers" never actually dove - two went knee-thigh deep into water that was less radioactive than people imagine (ananenko interview) and one stayed behind.
The current article no longer contains the dubious info on the deaths of divers. But that info is still present in Chernobyl disaster. I've been to lazy to remove it.
Anyhow - I'd welcome any input from you. Have a look at the sources I posted.Guccisamsclub (talk) 01:37, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
@Gucci. I tried to read this discussion, but get confused. Are you the same person as IP: or someone else? My very best wishes (talk) 21:26, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Yes that was me, unfortunately. Please disregard that acrimonious exchange. I am not proud of baiting, then feeding the troll. Found it too tempting, I guess. That aside - I'd welcome your input. Guccisamsclub (talk) 22:28, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Actually, I would suggest to make the Table a separate page - a "list" of people who died in Chernobyl disaster (although I suspect such list would be deleted at AfD), but expand the section about estimates of the number of deaths by various organizations. The estimated numbers of deaths and sicknesses from long-term consequences of the radiation are actually very high (see things like Chernobyl Heart). My very best wishes (talk) 16:38, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
Well, I don't think the names table should be moved. The information about specific deaths at the site is clearly notable and directly relevant to the topic. The formatting is pretty awful - some columns need smaller text and compact headings. Other estimates can be added, but they should not be used to crowd out the mainstream scientific ones. Citing documentaries is not necessarily a good idea - it depends what they are being cited for.Guccisamsclub (talk) 17:23, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

I just want to say that while Voice from Chernobyl is a great book, don't think it can be held up as a perfect factual representation, because it's entirely Alexeivich's interviews with (supposed) first hand witnesses, but they were recorded in the early-mid 90's, almost a decade after the events (and after the collapse of the USSR and many other things). If the consesus is that the divers didn't die shouldn't their mention be removed from the main Chernobyl Disaster page as well? Legomationer (talk) 23:32, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

That's largely correct. Alexeivich's book is a mix of anecdotes, personal reflection and momoir - unredacted. And some of the stories there, when taken literally, just sound wierd. For example there is a story about a liquidator who wanted to throw away the highly contaminated hat he wore on site, but then gave it to his young son to wear (!) because his son really really wanted it. It is not an authoritative account on the "divers" or any other particular event, nor is it meant to be. Futhermore, if you ask random people without making any attemt to verify their accounts you will get some tall tales. People are people: when given an opportunity to make up interesting stories they will do so. Some people will even pretend to have "been there" - there are documented cases of this as well. Thanks for reminding me to change the main Chernobyl Disaster page. Although one can be certain that the three divers did not die, I still need to assemble a coherent and complete account of what did happen. Guccisamsclub (talk) 09:55, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

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The helicopter crew[edit]


I've noticed that someone had changed the description of the four helicopter crewmen who died in a crash. However from what I see the descriptions are misleading: first of all, the helicopter was not flying to extinguish the reactor fire, as the accident happened in October, months after the fire was put down. Igor Kostin ("Confessions of a Reporter") states that on October 1st 1986. there was a helicopter flight attempting to hang a Soviet banner on top of the ChNPP chimney, but it was unsuccesful due to high winds. After the flight cpt. Vorobyov, the pilot, approached him and asked him to take a picture of his crew, as they served in Afghanistan together, but brought no pictures from there. The crash occured the next day, but I can't tell if they had actually flown such a mission again. The flag was eventually erected by workers climbing the chimney.

Second, the description might suggest that the helicopter fell into the reactor building, which is untrue. The Mi-8T type helicopter crashed next to the power plant, and one of its rotor blades was later used for a monument dedicated to the victims of the crash.

TL:DR version: the helicopter was not flying a firefighting mission, and it did not crash "above the reactor", but next to its building.

I suggest that someone with Wikipedia account reverts those changes or edits the sections to be less misleading, and furthermore I suggest that this article is only open for editing to those with a Wikipedia account to avoid such changes in the future.

~WhiskyBravo — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:24, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

According to «Повезло, что вертолет упал не на реактор». 30 лет катастрофе вертолета Ми-8 над Чернобыльской атомной станцией. Павел Котляр, 02.10.2016, 10:09, this helicopter mission was part of the cleanup efforts.
Original: Чем занимались? Заливали крыши клеем ПВА. Ведь после взрыва четвертого реактора радиоактивная пыль распространилась на все — на третий реактор, на второй, на все вокруг [...]
Translated: We filled roofs with PVA glue. After the explosion of the fourth reactor, radioactive dust spread to everything - the third reactor, the second, all around. This dust could not be collected by either a broom or a vacuum cleaner. Therefore, we hung a barrel for 2.5 tons with PVA glue on the external suspension of the helicopter and poured glue onto the roofs of the buildings. Then the glue set and it was cut into rolls and taken to waste [...] And it was already about 17 hours, at sunset, and we went in just against the sun, which blinded us. There were three cranes and we were complaining from the morning that they were interfering with us. Previously, a rail hung on the cable, and then it was removed, and there was only the cable, and without a rail it was no longer visible. And Vovka got into it; he just did not notice the cable because the sun blinded his eyes.
--Jvs (talk) 14:48, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

Eliminating tags[edit]

I've done some re-arranging and a tad of editing to eliminate the tags on the text. I removed tags for sections (by adding one section - minimal, but the text doesn't seem to support much more), over large lede section, and Weasel words. The latter refers to a vague reference to NGOs with varying opinions about nuclear power. In a later paragraph in the same section there is mention of Greenpeace's proposed ultimate death count, and UNSCEAR's is mentioned several times. More could be added, and I'll look into that. I also removed two tags about Shevchenko, the photographer who died a year after the disaster, copying the reference in the Description column to the Cause of death column. Finally, I removed a dubious and a huh tag from the causes of Dyatlov's death 9 years after the accident from heart failure. Formerly heart failure was not recognized as a death caused by radiation, but more lately the radiation inflicted scarring of tissue causing weakness is recognized as a possible cause of later deaths. I don't think the word "delayed" needs explanation in this context. SkoreKeep (talk) 16:24, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Added a couple more NGO death estimates. SkoreKeep (talk) 21:12, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Possible deaths due to evacuation?[edit]

Channel 4's 'Our Guy in Russia' had an episode on Chernobyl, in which it at least seemed to be stating that a study had found that evacuees lived 10 years less than those who stayed behind. (I don't know how reliable that programme was - they seemed to imply there were only about 200 non-evacuees left in the entire evacuation zone, whereas our article on the city of Chernobyl says its population was still 690 in 2017, though some of them have moved into the area to deal with consequences of the disaster, etc; neither that article nor the Channel 4 programme seem to mention that about 15 years after the disaster the population of Chernobyl city was reported to still be about 9,000, though official efforts were reportedly being made to try to reduce it). I was wondering if the Channel 4 reported study was a real study, or one misquoted by them, and/or misunderstood by me, but I couldn't find anything saying that here, although I think one of our many other Chernobyl articles (I'm not sure which one) mentions a study claiming evacuees' life expectancy is down from 65 to 58 but without comparing this to those who were not evacuated, nor to the rest of the population in the area and/or across the former Soviet Union generally (where my understanding is that economic and other problems due to the breakup of the USSR led to significant falls in life expectancy, at least initially). Is any of this something worth pursuing and adding to the article, or is it just yet more nonsense that should be ignored? Incidentally, one or more of the sources used in Effects of the Chernobyl disaster (der Spiegel and maybe also NYT) claims the Fukushima evacuation may have unnecessarily cost many lives. Tlhslobus (talk) 21:08, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

That 690 population at Chernobyl is unreferenced. It's also incorrect. No one permanently inhabits Chernobyl town, it is well within the central Exclusion Zone, where resettlement is mandatory. That 690 figure (I would guess) relates to those who live in the Zone on a temporary basis, often working in shifts (e.g. only three days a week). These individuals are mostly employees of the relvant Ministry, or of the power plant, and are involved in the ongoing decommissioning of the plant, or monitoring of the Zone etc. There are a handful (a few hundred, of which not many are left alive) 'returnees', but they do not live in Chernobyl, they live in the outlying villages. If there is a comparison to be made, it is between the returnees and those who were evacuated and are of the same age bracket as those who were allowed to return. (Only the elderly; those beyond reproductive age who would likely die from old age or other conditions before the effect of chronic exposure). It is entirely plausible that those evacuated died earlier, they were often removed to urban areas, whilst those who returned didn't have to deal with the stress of forced evacuation, and often live on their own small holdings. However, I know of no such study that has measured this. Moreover, we are talking very few numbers, only a few hundred were ever allowed to return.Cooper42(Talk)(Contr) 18:33, 21 August 2018 (UTC)