In 1972 there was a discussion in Kiev about the type of nuclear plant to be built at Chernobyl. Chernobyl's director, Bryukhanov, supported construction of Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs). He informed the Ukraine Minister of Energy, Aleksei Makukhin, that an RBMK releases forty times more radiation than a PWR. However, the scientist Alekzandrov opposed this, saying that the RBMK-1000 was not only the safest reactor, it produced the cheapest electricity as well. For this reason it was decided to build the RBMK pressure tube reactors.
Febr-March: according to data in the possession of the KGB, design deviations and violations of construction and assembly technology are occurring at various places in the construction of the 2nd generating unit, and these could lead to mishaps and accidents. Similar report on Unit 1. (both units are in operation, at the time)
December - The construction of Unit 4 at Chernobyl was completed by December 1983. On 21 December a press report was released which stated that the previous day the nuclear power plant had become operational. This news was reported by the media on 22 December, a festive day for workers in the energy industry. In the Soviet Union it is customary for all sections of public employment to have their own special day, when they receive public acclaim for their work and are given extra bonuses. [...read more]
In April 2003, secret KGB documents released in Ukraine show that there were problems with the Chernobyl nuclear plant. One 1984 document notes deficiencies in the third and fourth block, and also of poor quality of some equipment sent from Yugoslav companies.
April - The Minister of Energy, Anatoly Mayorets, decreed that information on any adverse effects caused by the functioning of the energy industry on employees, inhabitants and environment, were not suitable for publication by newspapers, radio or television. On 18 July 1986, shortly after the Chernobyl accident, this same minister forbade his civil servants from telling the truth about Chernobyl to the media.
February - Vitali Sklyarov, Minister of Power and Electrification of Ukraine, in reference to the nuclear reactors in Ukraine, is quoted in Soviet Life magazine as saying: “The odds of a meltdown are one in 10,000 years.”
27 March - Literaturna Ukraina (Ukrainian Literature) publishes an article written by Ms Lyubov Kovalevska (believed to be a senior manager at Chernobyl NPPP) in which she writes that substandard construction, workmanship and concrete, along with thefts and bureaucratic incompetence are creating a time bomb “The failures here will be repaid, repaid over the decades to come.”