Chernobyl-2 - "shadow" of the ancient, small and quiet Polesye town of Chernobyl. As it was accepted in the country of victorious socialism, all confidential objects working for providing military tasks, were called as names of the usual cities - neighbors. Possibly, in such simple way military tried to confuse enemy investigation.
"… It passed a small cool bog, was torn through bushes and it appeared on the road, on the old cracked concrete road going to the wood. It approached to an edge of steep, going on concrete plates, and saw rusty, acquired vyyuny farms, the remains of any large trellised construction …"
A. Strugatsky, B. Strugatsky "Inhabited Island"
From everything read by me in Strugatsky, the greatest impression was left "By the tale of the Three". "Inhabited Island" remembered quite recently and having re-read the story - I was surprised to the genius of writers. Surprisingly, but as it is exact and realistic authors managed to reflect in "Inhabited Island" in words a situation and the atmosphere of one of the most surprising places of the modern Chernobyl exclusion zone, one of confidential military facilities of the former Soviet Union - the city of Chernobyl-2.
The modern landscape of-2 territories adjacent to Chernobyl is amazingly close to "Inhabited Island" descriptions. The communications same thrown and grown with young wood vegetation and roads. Sites of the old pine wood are littered by the fallen-down branches and the failed dead trees. Among the wood remains of the thrown equipment meet. Not far from confidential object is, once confidential, and now thrown, an air defense system. Now on a place of a dislocation of a missile system of near radius of action it is possible to find the remains of rocket tractors and the thrown buildings and constructions. Especially intriguingly the rocket caponier - a big arch construction with massive steel gate looks.
The decision on creation of the over-the-horizon radar-tracking system the Arch N 1 (near.Chernobyl) it was accepted on the basis of government resolutions of January 18, 1972 and on April 14, 1975.
In 1976 the ZGRLS main radar hub of Chernobyl-2 was mounted. The general designer of ZG RLS in Chernobyl-2 I was Scientifically - research institute of a distant radio communication (NIIDAR). Franz Kusminski was the chief designer and the inspirer of idea of ZGRLS.
The first tests of a radar by the State commission were executed in 1979. As experts" … in the course of preparation … tests note it was necessary to solve a number of the practical problems caused by that circumstance that means …" was entered absolutely new, unique, not having analogs in world practice.
According to some sources -" … during tests detection of starts of ballistic missiles and carrier rockets from East rocket range of the USA is carried out, an inspection of adequacy of models by results of detection of passing start-up of ballistic missiles and rockets of carriers of the USA which validated the chosen model representations" is carried out.
At the same time system shortcomings which consisted in lack of high-quality definition of the single purposes and small groups of the purposes were found also. High-quality work of ZGRLS was reached only for conditions of massive attacks of ballistic missiles of the probable opponent.
Despite some functional restrictions in 1982 of ZGLRS in Chernobyl-2, according to the Government resolution (of May 31, 1982), it was accepted in trial operation. On the occasion of acceptance in RLS "Arch" operation (in Chernobyl-2 soldiers so called station), developers of a complex received the state awards - Vasenev V. N., Danilov B. M., Dubrovsky N. F., Krokunov Yu.M. etc.
Twenty five years ago it was absolutely confidential object - a pearl of space investigation and dream of the military, allowing to watch movement of all types of the elevated purposes not only over Europe, but also gave the chance "to see" start-up of rockets of the potential opponent on North - the American continent. By means of the most powerful and ultramodern (for that time) a radar military could, literally words to glance for the horizon. It is obvious that thanks to such abilities this complex received the name - over-the-horizon radar stations (ZGRLS) or "the Arch-1" (the Radio center of a long-distance communication Chernobyl-2). In the Soviet Union only three such radar - in Nikolaev, Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Chernobyl was created.
Unique abilities of a radar are covered in innovative ideas of designers of the designs of masts embodied in the giant sizes and accepting antennas. It is difficult to speak about the ZGLRS exact geometrical sizes. Data of public sources are inconsistent and probably aren't exact. So height of masts of the big antenna makes from 135 to 150 meters, and length from 300 to 500. The second radar is slightly more modest. About 250 meters in length and to 100 meters in height. At such, striking imagination, the sizes - the object is visible almost from any place of the Chernobyl exclusion zone. According to some sources the cost of capital investments made seven billions Soviet rubles (though there is information on 600-700 million rubles). It is twice more expensive to comparison, than construction of the Chernobyl NPP. It is obvious that ZGRLS construction near nuclear power plant speaks in requirement of big power consumption of object. According to available information of ZGRLS I consumed about 10 megawatts.
It is important to note, ZGRLS in Chernobyl-2 intended only for signal reception. For transfer there was other radar - near the city of Lyubech, the Chernigov area that in 60 km from Chernobyl-2. The radar in Lyubeche was less below, its height made 85 meters. At present this radar is destroyed.
Near the radar built around Chernobyl, the garrison where there lived military and their families was created. It should be noted that the garrison settlement except houses, included such social and cultural facilities (! long ago the forgotten word) as school, kindergarten, club, stadium, shops of Voyentorga and even hotel (watch the scheme). In garrison the military unit of delny space communication N 74939 which the colonel Vladimir Musiyets ordered was billeted.
But accident in 1986 changed destiny to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station not only 100 thousand people evacuated from a zone of radioactive infection, but also defined a sad fate of superconfidential object. Chernobyl-2 ceased to keep fighting watch.
The tragic element of a situation with Chernobyl - 2 is aggravated with that ZGRLS was accepted on fighting watch of air defense of the USSR in 1985, and in 1986 the system was completely modernized and started passing the State acceptance. Before modernization, use of ZGRLS was difficult as the part of range of working frequencies coincided with the frequency of work of aviation systems.Some sources claim that after the beginning robots of a Chernobyl radar declared a number of the governments of the western countries inadmissibility of work of this system which interferes with safe work of civil aviation in Europe. Though the ZGRLS developers rejected charges and said that indignation of the governments of the European countries is that the USSR covered with "cap" all air space over Europe and the countries of NATO couldn't provide anything to it. After modernization this problem of coincidence of working frequencies of ZGRLS was solved with frequencies of civil aviation.
Full closing of Chernobyl-2 was carried out not at once - till 1987 it was preserved. But over time it became clear that to exploit her in the conditions of an exclusion zone it is impossible. The main knots of system of ZGRLS were dismantled and taken out in Komsomolk.
Today, it is really real city - a ghost. Thrown by military and almost forgotten by people, the city costs devastated among is radioactive - the polluted, not well-groomed and cluttered-up wood. To the city as in "Inhabited Island" of Strugatsky, the old, forgotten road from concrete plates conducts.
To get to the city and to approach to ZGRLS today rather difficult. The object regime also is under continuous protection of one of the enterprises which works in the Chernobyl zone.
It is possible to tell-2 ruin reigning on Chernobyl and a devastation of civil and other constructions, and also about depth of cast melancholy which you test from contemplation of these places much. It is possible to speak about absorption by the nature of this technogenic monster which consists in "tightening" of concrete coverings of roads and sidewalks an alluvial soil substratum and the gone wrong remains of vegetation much. Some brick structures collapse by means of the trees which have grown on roofs, brick walls of structures.
Yes, it everything is also all this very much impresses.
But the same processes happen on all territory of the Chernobyl exclusion zone. The settlements thrown by the person - a structure, the road and communication collapse under the influence of natural powers. The nature strives for balance and gradually gets rid of "traces" of stay of the person.
Having worked in an exclusion zone rather long time, you get used to it and only from time to time you notice occurring changes, gradual transformation of an urbanistic landscape in a landscape natural.
Chernobyl-2 shakes by another! It is a unique monument of intellectual power of military engineers of the Soviet Union. Chernobyl-2 eloquently and convincingly shows level of the existing at that time scientific, financial and raw potential voyenno - the industrial industry of the state. Examining masts and radar elements, involuntarily you reflect on number of researches, scientific knowledge and technical solutions which accumulated in itself these constructions. Involuntarily you reflect on enormous resources spent for creation of a unique complex. After all even today, in 2008, metal designs look rather reliable and the main thing, they carry out the functional purpose - hold on itself enormous loadings from the elements of a radar (vibrators) mounted on them. The cables bearing masts, vibrators - without considerable corrosion damages.
In a complicated manner elevators by means of which, the service personnel rose by high marks look. Elevators equipped everyone, from 15, radar masts. Now elevators stand on the earth with the opened dverka, as though inviting... On the top lift platform, in a support pipe, the door and further lifting, to the very top of a radar is arranged, it was possible to carry out, clambering on a ladder of the mast built in in a support. It is curious, how there - on the top?
Having thrown back the head up, you look at masts going to the sky and where - that there, in height over them slowly is floated by clouds. It seems that time stopped near metal designs and these constructions, arguing over time, can stay yet one ten years.
The unique object as it is simple to guess, demanded also serious measures for protection. The configuration of perimeter of a strict security zone can be seen and now. From outer side of security perimeter the continuous fence over which "prickle" with lighting plafonds is tense is established. In due time the prickle was energized. Now on this fence laconic inscriptions hang, it is probable since 1986, - "Is Stop! infected! ", though signs of radiation hazard it isn't visible.
From the inside, behind a fence, obstacles from a barbed wire and near them paths for patrol are established. On corners of a security zone observation towers are established. Small, stocky constructions from metal and a tree - against violence of the surrounding nature look sadly. Near towers "gribochka" (pickets) for sentries are arranged. Some are equipped with special intercoms.Devices look very rare and that is surprising, aren't touched by marauders - all wires and even a tube on a place …
Very few people know, but except huge masts of a radar of ZGRLS were equipped also with unique system of satellite communication. This object is well looked through on aerial photographs (see an aerial photograph). For example, on the satellite image presented the Internet - a source "Wikipedia" it is specified, how "Satellite communicative center". According to other sources it is specified is Vozvratno's station - Inclined Sounding of the Ionosphere, which main task - the purpose index for a big radar of ZGRLS.
What wouldn't be mission of this ZGRLS element, for the inhabitant it looks unusually. It is a platform in the form of a circle, with a diameter of 300 meters. On perimeter intricate elements (vibrators) covered with chrome or another, korrozionno - resistant metal are established. Gleaming on the sun, and being partially hidden in vegetation thickets, these elements look a little mysteriously.
In the middle of "Circle" there is a stocky, one-storeyed building. Possibly, it also was the ZGLRS important element. The building, judging by the remains of metal designs inside, "to a ceiling was filled" by electronics and other equipment. Today the building is devastated and forgotten.
In the conclusion of this reporting it would be desirable to avoid banal words about admiration from seen, unforgettable impressions which you test after visit, etc. This is clear, I hope, and without explanations. Leaving Chernobyl-2, I wasn't left by feeling of disappointment and bitterness. The reasons of isolation of this object from the public are absolutely unclear. After all for today Chernobyl-2 is unique. It is unique that is the only object which lived up to our time. Other similar objects (in Nikolaev and Komsomolsk-on-Amur) don't exist any more! Chernobyl-2 is the last, escaped military monster of the USSR who has glanced for the horizon. Sverkhgosudarstvo broke up, having left us for memory a noncorrosive skeleton of a wreath of the military power. So why we, instead of memory and simple human respect betrayed to an oblivion unique object and people who created it!
Recently there was a message in mass media that Fedor Bondarchuk tries to shield "Inhabited Island" of Strugatsky. What a pity that for shooting Chernobyl-2 wasn't involved! This unique object and now could remind of itself, serve people - but already in other, especially peace purposes …
Short historical information:
Designers and ZGRLS developers - E. Shtyren, V. Shamshin, Franz Kusminski, E. Shustov
Date and site of the first ZGRLS: 1975. City of Komsomolsk-on-Amur
First skilled inclusion of ZGRLS of Chernobyl-2: 1980.
Design institute: NIIDAR (Scientifically - Research Institute of the Distant Radio communication - http://www.niidar-rts.ru/)
P.S. Technical information stated in the reporting was received from open and public sources.