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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 01, 1984

REPORT TO M. Z. BANDURISTIY, THE KGB CHIEF OF THE UKRAINIAN SSR IN KIEV AND THE SURROUNDING REGION ON THE EMERGENCY AT THE 3RD AND 4TH UNITS OF THE CHERNOBYL NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

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    This report discusses to violations of reactor designs and the disintegration of load-bearing concrete due to extreme temperatures and improper wall insulation.
    "Report to M. Z. Banduristiy, the KGB Chief of the Ukrainian SSR in Kiev and the surrounding region on the emergency at the 3rd and 4th units of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant," March 01, 1984, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, HDA SBU, f. 11, spr. 991, t. 2. Originally published by the Center for Research into the Liberation Movement (TsDVR) together with the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv at http://avr.org.ua/index.php/viewDoc/24459/. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134293
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March 1, 1984

N 89/363

Secret

Copy # 3

To the Head of the USSR KGB Administration

For the City of Kiev and Kiev Oblast

Lieutenant General

Comrade M.Z. BANDURISTIY

About the emergency situation at the 3rd and 4th energy block of the Chernobyl atomic energy station

                According to available intelligence information obtained from agent “Yuri,” resident “Azis,” trusted individual “F.V.I.,” and what is officially available, it has become known that at the vertical markers for 35.5, 39.0, and 43.0 meters of the Chernobyl atomic energy station’s third block, load-bearing and non-load-bearing elements (wall panels) are being damaged in the premises of the reactor area, specifically fractures in the concrete slabs, the removal of spar pieces and concrete slabs, and the removal of reinforced concrete and ceramic curtain panels.

                Considering the fact that the spar pieces have a design that transfers the load from the slabs and technical equipment on them, including the drum separators, the situation created presents a particular danger for the main building of the third energy block.

                We informed the Administration of the Chernobyl atomic energy station and its Construction Administration about the current issue, after which the departmental commission, composed of Chernobyl’s specialists and a work design group from the S.Ia.Zhuk research design and scientific research institute “Hydroproject”, noted that the process of destruction of spar pieces is actively occurring, as well as fractures in the protective layer that reach a depth of 5 mm and a height of 200 mm for its entire length. In some places, it was revealed that the spar pieces’ protective layer fell up to 50 mm, with a surface area of 400x400 mm. The removal of reinforced concrete and ceramic wall panels occurred from the axis up to a distance of 30 mm.

The observations conducted by the members of the commission show that further decline of concrete slabs with spar pieces has occurred recently (2 or 3 months).

                Initial analysis makes it possible to calculate that the cause of this is the significant overheating of the walls of the drum separators because of ineffective thermal insulation (silicate cotton), which is destroyed by high temperatures and constant radiation.

                According to technical conditions of the use of an atomic energy station of this type, the temperature in the area of the drum separators is maintained at about 270° C, and the inner surface of its reinforced concrete walls, protected by thermal insulation, should have a temperature no higher than 90° C. However, at the present time the temperature of these walls is higher than 160° C, at which temperature concrete begins to disintegrate.

   Currently, with the goal of preventing the destruction of concrete slabs and their collapse, the Administration of the Chernobyl atomic energy station, with the agreement of the "Hydroproject" institute, has taken temporary measures to fortify the load-bearing constructions, but which do not solve the problem that has arisen.

                For the reader's information, we also note that a similar situation is taking place in the 4th energy block of the Chernobyl atomic energy station.

                In consideration of the above, we consider it expedient that high-level authorities and competent specialists re-examine the given information with the goal of determining the true causes of the destruction of load-bearing and other structures, as well as the elimination of circumstances that could lead to a serious accident.

Head of the Pripyat City Department of the Ukr. SSR KGB Administration

For the city of Kiev and the Kiev Oblast

Lieutenant Colonel

[Signature]

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