Top 7 mistakes of HBO’s Chernobyl TV-series

Here are some facts HBO depicted wrong

"Second nuclear explosion of the reactor". It should be understood that such a possibility is excluded even theoretically. The reactor core no longer existed by this time. A hypothetical explosion of molten fuel, when mixed with bubbler water, would not be nuclear, but thermal.


"The air glowed blue." Some of the officials call it "Cherenkov radiation". In fact, Vavilov-Cherenkov radiation is a glow caused in a transparent medium by a charged particle that moves at a speed exceeding the phase velocity of light propagation in this medium. It can be observed, for example, in the water of station pools, but the speed of light in air differs from the speed of light in a vacuum by tenths of a percent. The air in Pripyat could not glow - it did not glow.


"Radiation is greater than in Hiroshima." Greenpeace Senior Nuclear Energy Expert Jan Haverkamp drew attention to the fact that in Hiroshima, human exposure was caused by direct exposure to radiation, and its dose was determined by the distance from the epicenter of the explosion. In Chernobyl, "many radioactive isotopes got into the atmosphere, which spread over a very large area" and affected people for a long period of time. The key inaccuracy is that it wasn’t a nuclear explosion. The nuclear explosion in Hiroshima and the thermal explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant are physically different and incomparable phenomena.


"Suicide divers". We are talking about Anatoly Ananenko, Boris Baranov and Valery Bespalov, who were supposed to prevent the threat of a steam explosion of the bubbler. According to forecasts, molten fuel could have leaked there. The probability was hypothetical, but it was decided to act. “Being knee-deep in radioactive water, we entered the room, found the valves, opened them without any problems, providing water drainage, and returned successfully.” In reality, these people really showed courage, but no one sent them to death. Boris Baranov died 20 years after those events, and Bespalov and Ananenko are still alive.


"The fall of the helicopter." It really happened, but the helicopter did not fall from radiation. The incident did not occur immediately after the explosion, but in November. The helicopter crashed after colliding with one of three 120-meter cranes that were used to build the sarcophagus.


"There are boxes of vodka around, and everyone is drinking." Let us remind you that in those years the Ligachev’s campaign against drunkenness was unfolding in the USSR: at times there was no alcohol even at weddings. Moreover, it could not be in the emergency zone, where there ban took place very strictly.


"Naked Miners". This didn’t happen and it couldn’t. People understood that the main threat to health is radioactive dust, which can be fatal if it gets into the lungs. All participants in the liquidation of the consequences of the accident wore protective clothing and tried not to take off their respirators.

Enterprises of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

In the supposedly deserted Chernobyl zone, in fact, work is constantly in full swing: scientists from all over the world are studying the consequences of the accident. For such work, an appropriate infrastructure is needed.

Robots that participated in the liquidation of the Chernobyl accident

The robot worked in conditions where the radiation had indicators of 3000-10000 R / h. Having worked on the roof for 10 hours, it saved about 1000 people

To those who saved the world
In the city of Chernobyl, along Kirov Street, there is a fire station (PPCh No. 17). This is the third fire brigade that arrived on the night of the accident to extinguish the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Also, near the part there is a monument "To those who saved the world", which was erected on the tenth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.