During the Chernobyl disaster, Alexei Ananenko, Valeri Bezpalov, and Boris Baranov were tasked with preventing a potentially disastrous steam explosion, by opening the sluice gates to drain a bubbler pool. (AP report)

Many sources have the three dying soon after (≈ 2 weeks) to radiation poisoning. Notable among them, the docudrama "Surviving Disaster - Chernobyl Nuclear". Another is: Catastrophe: A Guide to World's Worst Industrial Disasters.

Chernobyl 01:23:40: The Incredible True Story of the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster, on the other hand, claims they didn't die of radiation poisoning, and two of them are alive today (the third dying long after the incident, in 2005). Both the book and wikipedia cite this article from souzchernobyl.org.

So, did they die of radiation poisoning, or not?

1 Answer 1


In April 2018, Bespalov and Ananenko were awarded the Order for Courage by Ukrainian President Poroshenko.

The article states:

The head of state stressed that two of these three brave souls are alive.

Глава государства подчеркнул, что двое из этих трех смельчаков - живы.

It also mentions that Boris Baranov died in 2005.

Here is a photo of Ananenko receiving his award in front of the Chernobyl reactor.

enter image description here

The other photo in the article appears to be Bespalov receiving his award, but it has no explicit caption so I will not post it here.

Here is a photo of Ananenko from 2011, when he was a director of the Ukrainian Nuclear Forum.

Alexey Mikhailovich Ananenko

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