Posted on May 30, 2018
Chris Moseley had only been a monitor for 10 months when he said he became the “first person in the English speaking world” to hear about the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Listening to Swedish radio in April 1986, he heard reports of abnormal radiation coming from a nuclear plant in Lithuania. “It then became evident that it was in Ukraine, that it was the Chernobyl reactor,” said Mr Moseley, a monitor for 19 years. It emerged one of four nuclear reactors at the Chernobyl power station had exploded, spewing a cloud of radioactive material that drifted into other parts of the then-USSR, including Russia and Belarus, and northern Europe. Mr Moseley rushed to tell his supervisor about the unfolding events. His swift response meant the BBC reported the disaster two days before the Russians. He says all monitors were trained to recognise significant news and to issue a “flash” typed up on carbon paper summarising what had been heard.