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[–] cstoli 0 points 15 points (+15|-0) ago 

How does someone make the decision to not only give up their life, but knowingly in an intensely painful manner. I just can't comprehend it.

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[–] RedSocks157 1 points 28 points (+29|-1) ago 

Because they believed in something more important than their life or their pain.

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[–] JamesAQuintero 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

They understood that they would be saving the lives of countless others, and they knew how important that was. It reminds me of the group in Japan who stayed to keep the nuclear power plants damaged in the 2011 tsunami from exploding.

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[–] coldacid 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

Spock said it best: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

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[–] cstoli 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Yeah, but he was a tad more logical than your typical human. :)

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[–] neonneophyte 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

You can be sure none of the few that sacrificed themselves were rich/powerful or actually held any responsibility for the danger. Where were those people?

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[–] Oknatora 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

I think one factor is not knowing the pain itself.

You hear stories all the time, but it's the same as listening to a wise man when you're younger. You understand they are serious and know it's a bad decision you're making, but you don't fully comprehend the situation until after it happens.

Also, fear works as well. You coward out and let many people die, you will be shunned from society and that may be far worse than dying.

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[–] cstoli 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

The average Soviet solder probably couldn't quite comprehend the suffering, but I am betting that the tech knew exactly what to expect. Can you imagine the thoughts that would go through your head?

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[–] WellThatsWeird 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I remember seeing somewhere else that a lot of those in Chernobyl weren't even informed about the magnitude when they were trying to clean up the place. Kind of like being sacrificed under the 'utilitarianism' USSR. I'll try and pull the article if I can find it.

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[–] GlipGlops 0 points 10 points (+10|-0) ago 

There was never a chance of a thermonuclear explosion, and your link never mentions it.

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[–] Alopix 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I think it's a confusion of terminology. The article uses the words "nuclear explosion", but is talking about a BLEVE that would occur if the reactor melted down into the flooded rooms. But OP read "nuclear explosion" and, as most of us do, made the connection to "thermonuclear."

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[–] Chuck_Testa [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Yes poor wording on my part, I should have just stated "nuclear explosion".

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[–] Chuck_Testa [S] 1 points 1 points (+2|-1) ago 

From the article "The damaged reactor was sinking and burning through its strengthened floor and was in danger of collapsing into rooms flooded with water. This would trigger a nuclear explosion"

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[–] GlipGlops 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Nuclear explosion != thermonuclear explosion

[–] [deleted] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] acheron2012 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago 

The amount of lies and disinformation surrounding anything nuclear is just staggering. I'm not one to believe in conspiracies but this sort of thing doesn't just happen without planning and intent. Governments, ESPECIALLY the US government has a deep interest in people being ignorant of everything nuclear. I believe this is because nuclear weapons violate the first postulate of war: War is old men talking and young men dying. Nuclear weapons let you bring the fun home. It's all well and good to send other people's children to die in some God forsaken wasteland. It is quite another matter when someone starts dropping 100K ton warheads on your own lawn.

But no nuclear power plant of any design ever conceived can achieve critical mass from any possible failure mode or intentional act. Period. Or put another way, it simply cannot have a "nuclear explosion" any more than a bottle of beer can.

(This really is one of my major peeves)

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[–] kjelle 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

There should be some kind of monument for these people.

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[–] 924268 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

It looks like there already is: http://www.foccwestlothian.com/chernobyl.html

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[–] LittleBobbyTables 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Later, in hospital, Akimov tried to stand and the skin fell off his leg like a sock.

That...is just horrible to imagine. What's more unfortunate is that I've never heard of these individuals or this incident in my 30+ yrs (I suppose 29 of them are the only relevant ones with respect to this disaster), and I am no stranger to the Chernobyl Incident. At any rate it seems that these individuals' names should be memorialized to such an extent that they're among the first things anyone thinks about when they recall the disaster at Chernobyl - doing what they did is an unbelievable act of selflessness and heroism that I can't imagine most people would be able to willing to make.

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[–] tokyobanana 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

I wonder if their families were rewarded like the article mentions. Honestly, though, if I were in the families' shoes, in a totally selfish way, I'd rather have my husband than to be rich. He's my rock and I don't know what I'd do without him. It makes me feel sad and alone just thinking about it. :(

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[–] Chuck_Testa [S] 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

"Beneath them was the graphite "moderator", 2,500 tonnes of radioactive carbon, which was ablaze and if unchecked would burn for the next three months, sending more radioactive material into the atmosphere with each passing hour. The damaged reactor was sinking and burning through its strengthened floor and was in danger of collapsing into rooms flooded with water. This would trigger a nuclear explosion that, so Soviet physicists calculated, would vaporise the fuel in the three other reactors, level 200 square kilometres, destroy Kiev, contaminate the water supply used by 30 million people and render northern Ukraine uninhabitable for more than a century." --

Edit: From the article.

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[–] standardgirl 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Alexei Ananenko, Valeri Bezpalov and Boris Baranov. The article lists only Alexei as an engineer but I recall an article I read that stated both Alexei and Valeri worked as engineers and Boris was just the average every day worker. He volunteered for the job of holding the lamp for the engineers. All are heroes but something about Boris really resonates with me.

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[–] 924347 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Very interesting article, thanks for sharing.

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