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The three men who swam through Chernobyl's radioactive waters to stop a nuclear meltdown

Thursday, March 29, 2018
In 1986, a sudden surge of power during a reactor systems test destroyed Unit 4 of Chernobyl's nuclear power plant, spewing massive amounts of deadly radioactive material into the environment. The death toll was unknown and rumored to be anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand.
While many perished, three clean-up volunteers – Alexi Ananenko, Valeri Bezpoalov and Boris Baronov – willingly met their fate.
During the well-documented disaster, a pool of water used for emergencies in case of a break in the cooling pumps or steam pipes became flooded with a highly radioactive liquid that was in danger of blowing up. These three men suited up in scuba gear and swam into the radioactive waters of the flooded chamber, knowing full well they would die as a result. They opened up a gate valve, which allowed the contaminated water to drain out.
Days after reaching the surface all three men succumbed to radiation poisoning and were buried in lead coffins. If not for the bravery of the “Chernobyl Suicide Squad” a thermal explosion would have taken place resulting in unfathomable disaster.