These calendar pages originate from Hospital No. 126 in Pripyat and are from the same year as the nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Hospital No. 126 in Pripyat on Druzhby Naradov street (Friendship of the People street) is where operators, firemen and first responders who had received fatal doses of radiation were taken before being taken to Kiev and flown to the Hospital No. 6 in Moscow.
The health officials at the hospital in Pripyat would’ve been some of the first to realize the severity of the accident after the hospital began receiving the first casualties and over-exposures from the disaster, but there is no record that they informed the city population.*
After the accident police encircled the hospital and restricted access to only ambulances.
Before the accident the hospital generally served the employees of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and their families and could accommodate over 400 patients. The hospital complex is made up of five 6-story buildings.
In the basement of the hospital you can still find the extremely contaminated suits and boots worn by firemen who responded to the accident after the explosion.
*Some documentaries have even interviewed former Pripyat residents who claimed that the health officers had even told some inquisitive residents that an accident hadn’t even occurred.
This historic artifact is an original graphite brick from the reserve supply that was used to construct the Chicago Piles (CP-1, CP-2, and CP-3) which were one of the most important milestones of the Manhattan Project. Unlike a piece owned by Carl Willis, this piece was a moderator unit and did not contain uranium slugs. This is one of the non-radioactive artifacts in my collection with no detectable alpha, beta or gamma radiation.
The physical size of this specimen in inches is 12 x 4.5 x 4.5 and the total weight is 4,400 grams.
It is nearly impossible for me to put a value to such an important and unique piece of nuclear history. In all of my years of collecting I have never seen another graphite block from any of the Chicago Piles for sale.
I would love to hear from you if you also own a piece of the CP-1, CP-2, or CP-3 reactor piles.
The CP-1, CP-2 and CP-3 piles were a 24′ wide, 24′ long and 19′ high stacked pile of machined graphite blocks and uranium slugs erected on a wooden frame. The blocks loaded with uranium slugs were placed in alternate layers of graphite separated by solid graphite blocks to form what is called a lattice structure. The CP-1 reactor pile contained 385.5 tons of graphite (771,000 pounds) and 46.5 tons of uranium metal and oxides (80,590 pounds of uranium oxide and 12,400 pounds of uranium metal) produced by Mallinckrodt Chemical Works in St. Louis, Missouri.
The graphite blocks had to be cut exactly to fit snugly together. Some blocks had holes drilled in them to fit lumps of uranium inside. Other blocks had holes drilled through them to fit 14-foot control rods made out of cadmium which were used to control the neutron multiplication in the reactor pile.