Alexander Yuvchenko was on duty at Chernobyl’s reactor number 4 the night it exploded on 26 April 1986. He is one of the few working there that night to have survived. He suffered serious burns and went through many operations to save his life, and he is still ill from the radiation. He recently broke his silence for a documentary to be shown on the Discovery Channel.
>“I began to feel sick. I knew one of the first symptoms of radiation illness was vomiting, but I was thinking, have I eaten something? I was trying to keep the worst thoughts at bay. Half an hour after the explosion I had met a man with a dosimeter, he was fully covered so I don’t know who it was, and I asked him what the reading was. He showed me the counter, which was off the scale. That was a frightening moment. It was impossible to say how much radiation we were taking in, but I knew it was a large dose. I was taken to the local hospital at about 5 am because I was too weak to walk. I was taken to Moscow that evening.”