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Address by Acting President of Energoatom Petro Kotin on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Chornobyl accident

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26.04.2021

Dear Friends, Colleagues, Partners,

Today the world commemorates the 35th anniversary of the Chornobyl accident.

April 26, 1986, became a tragic date for the whole world, fatally changing the course of history. A massive explosion at the Chornobyl NPP power unit 4 destroyed part of the reactor block and turbine hall. Firefighters heroically battled the blaze flaming over the power unit 4 and spreading to the roof of the power unit 3. But the fire inside power unit 4 continued. Neither the firefighters themselves nor the power plant workers, soldiers and all the others who saved Ukraine and the world from the Chornobyl accident and its consequences in those days, did not yet know that nothing secures from radiation.

Feats are performed by ordinary people. It was the efforts of many thousands of ordinary people, who will later be called Chornobyl liquidators that gradually managed to localize the accident and significantly limit its consequences. Dozens of them lost their lives while thousands undermined their health…

Since 1991, taking into account all the mistakes of Chornobyl, Ukrainian nuclear workers have started to develop nuclear power generation in already independent Ukraine. First of all, it had to be safe, so in October 1996 the State Enterprise «National Nuclear Energy Generating Company «Energoatom» was established, which became the operator of all domestic nuclear power plants. Since then, the Company's specialists have taken care of the safety and security of nuclear facilities with 24/7 availability. Their knowledge and professional skills meet the highest international standards, so I say with all responsibility: today Ukraine's nuclear power industry is the safest and cleanest type of generation.

Nuclear workers are incredible people.  They are strong, hardy, and responsible. When a newcomer starts to work at a nuclear power plant, the first thing he realizes is that safety has a priority. That is self-evident for every nuclear worker at Ukrainian NPPs. The lesson of Chornobyl has been learned, it can't happen again!

 On this day, I cannot fail to recall the first victims of the Chornobyl disaster. According to official data, 134 cases of acute radiation sickness were registered among the Chornobyl accident liquidators. Immediately upon the disaster, 31 people died, whereas 600,000 liquidators involved in flame extinction and clearing received high doses of radiation. During 1986, 28 people died of radiation sickness. And then more and more...

They gave their lives and future for us and the future of the entire planet Earth. We bow down before all the Chornobyl heroes! We are deeply in their debt. So let’s remember those who died and take care of those who are alive and with us now!