When hubris meets nuclear fission: A Chernobyl liquidator’s warning to humanity

In 1986, Alexander Kalantyrsky volunteered to help build the sarcophagus over the exploded reactor. 6 years later, he made aliya. His life story holds lessons for us all

„Alexander Kalantyrsky volunteered to help try to save the world from an ongoing nuclear disaster in May 1986.

A construction engineer working at Moscow’s Kurchatov Institute, whose director had taken credit for designing the Soviet Union’s inherently unstable RBMK nuclear energy reactors, he had learned about the explosive destruction of Chernobyl’s Reactor 4 just a few hours after it happened on April 26. But he was only informed of it officially 18 days later, when Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev publicly acknowledged to his nation for the first time that Reactor 4 had blown up and was pumping some of the most dangerous substances known to man into the open skies of the Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and ever further across much of the Northern Hemisphere.“ (…)