In Chernobyl, there were two pages missing from the instruction manual, due to which workers were unable to perform last-minute things that may have prevented the meltdown. Why were the two pages not there? Who benefitted from removing them?

  • 1
    It may have just been an oversight when putting the manual together?
    – HorusKol
    Jan 15, 2023 at 21:40
  • 2
    Wrong. Not a manual. A report on an almost-disaster. Watch the show and pay attention.
    – BCdotWEB
    Jan 16, 2023 at 0:22
  • 4
    @BCdotWEB That sounds like it could be turned into an answer, with the proper backup of course. Jan 16, 2023 at 19:49
  • A non authoritative source... reddit.com/r/ChernobylTV/comments/lxgu4z/… Jan 16, 2023 at 20:18

1 Answer 1


You probably got mixed up there, as BCdotWEB already pointed out.

There is an instruction manual, containing instructions on how to perform the safety test (that ultimately causes the disaster), with some instructions being crossed out, leaving the reactor operators puzzled (episode 5, "Vichnaya Pamyat").

Then, there is a report on an incident that happened in 1975 at the nuclear power plant in Leningrad, written by a colleague of Legasov, named Volkov (presumably also employed at the Kurchatov Institute). This report is discovered by Khomyuk at a library in Moscow. However, it has been censored by the KGB - two pages have been redacted, which apparently describe a serious design flaw (*) of the RBMK reactor. The report was censored to prevent the flaw from becoming common knowledge, as "[...] there must be no doubt about the supremacy of the Soviet nuclear industry" (episode 4, "The Happiness Of All Mankind").

(*) In short: positive void coefficient + control rods with graphite tips -> nuclear reaction rises briefly when control rods are (re-)inserted, which can be problematic under certain conditions (like the ones that lead to the disaster).

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