The country's top experts are called into action. Vassili Nesterenko was one of them.
At the time, he was working on improving the Soviet Union's intercontinental nuclear missiles.
If the heat managed to crack the cement slab, only 1400 kgs of the uranium and graphite mixture would have had to hit the water to set off a new explosion.
The ensuing chain reaction could set off an explosion comparable to a gigantic atomic bomb.
Our experts studied the possibility and concluded that the explosion would have had a force of 3 to 5 megatons.
Minsk, which is 320 km from Chernobyl, would have been razed, and Europe rendered uninhabitable.
We had to stop the process. If it continued, it would have been an enormous disaster. An enormous nuclear disaster.
我們得阻止情況繼續進展 再持續下去必定會釀成巨禍 一場巨大的核子災變
This second explosion would have been accompanied by a terrible shock wave and a massive rise in radioactivity that would have claimed thousands of lives in a matter of hours.
第二次爆炸將伴隨著驚人的震波 放射量會極度升高 在幾小時內奪走數千條人命
Thank God it didn't happen. There were trains with over a thousand cars in Minsk, Gomel and Kiev, ready to evacuate the population. The situation is critical.
感謝老天這並沒有發生 在明斯科哥麥爾和基輔已備好火車並加掛上千車廂 準備疏散所有居民 情勢非常緊張
In Moscow, the state commission decrees two emergency measures.
First, send in a batallion of firemen to drain the water from under the reactor.
They will later be declared national heroes, but will suffer from radiation sickness the rest of their lives.
Second: Seal the breach more effectively to bring the temperature down once and for all.
In two days, General Antochkin's men will drop 2400 tons of lead into the reactor.
When we started dumping lead in, the temperature went down right away.
It absorbed well and sealed the hole as it melted, so there was less radiation.
But some of this lead melts when it hits the blaze and vaporises into the atmosphere.
Twenty years later, traces of it can be found in the sick children of Chernobyl.
It's highly criticized today, but given the situation, there was no better solution.
And all the people - military or civilians, officers or not - worked selflessly.
所有的人 不論軍民 不論階級全都無私地工作