General Nikolai Tarakanov: It's not humbling, it's humiliating. Why is the core still exposed to the air? Why have we not already covered it up?
Legasov: We want to, but we can't get close enough. The debris on the roof is graphite from the core itself. Until we can push it off the roof back into the reactor, it'll kill anyone who gets near it. You see the roof is in three levels. We've named them. The small one here is Katya, one thousand roentgen per hour. Presume two hours of exposure is fatal. The one on the side, Nina, two thousand roentgen. One hour, fatal.
Tarakanov: We used remote-controlled bulldozers in Afghanistan.
Shcherbina: Too heavy. They'd fall right through.
Tarakanov: So then...?
Legasov: Moon rovers. Lunokhod STR-1s. They're light. And if we line them with lead, they can withstand the radiation.
Shcherbina: We couldn't put a man on the Moon. At least we can keep a man off the roof.
Legasov: That is the most important thing, General. Under no circumstances can men go up there.
Tarakanov: What about this large section here?
Shcherbina: [grimly] Masha.
Legasov: Twelve thousand roentgen. If you were to stand there in full protective gear head-to-toe for two minutes, your life expectancy would be cut in half. By three minutes, you're dead within months. Even our lunar rovers won't work on Masha. That amount of gamma radiation penetrates everything. The particles literally shred the circuits in microchips apart. If it's more complicated than a light switch, Masha will destroy it.
Shcherbina: It would be fair to say that that piece of roof is the most dangerous place on Earth.
Tarakanov: [sits in stunned silence for a moment, before taking a draw from his cigarette] So... what do we do?
Shcherbina: That's what we wanted to ask you.”
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