The breakdown at Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 was a shock for the entire world. The destinies of people who even now suffer from the catastrophe consequences are not so famous as photos of the destroyed reactor. According to different calculations from 600 to 800 thousand people took an active part in breakdown elimination in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. About 4% of them were women. These people are called “liquidators”. The precise number of people is unknown, because of unclear record, and the only register has been made only several years after the breakdown.
Most of the liquidators were young people, who had served in the Soviet army and had been in reserve. People of different professions worked in the exclusion zone – firemen, doctors, chemists, miners, builders, engineers, drivers, cooks and many others. The liquidators were sent to fight with radiation without necessary protective means. For example, they shoveled the debris of the destroyed reactor, because all the special robots which had to do this work failed. The liquidators were called “biorobots” because of conducting such a kind of work.
The works on overcoming Chernobyl NPP breakdown consequences were various. For example, the kilometers of ground were taken down, the houses and transport vehicles were washed, radioactive technical equipment was buried, homeless animals were hunted, the participants of the liquidation works were provided with food.
About 250 thousand of liquidators live in Ukraine now. Many of them have serious health problems due to participation in Chernobyl breakdown elimination and because of the state of health they can't work that is why they live under a poverty line and in social isolation. About one fourth of the liquidators have the status of the Chernobyl with disability.
At the same time, we can fairy call the liquidators –savers of Europe, because without their participation Chernobyl catastrophe could lead to more large-scale consequences. That is why, one of the main aims of Chernobyl History Workshop is to achieve the social recognition of the liquidators. For this, the workshop organizes public events times to the Chernobyl tragedy anniversaries.