Chernobyl-American Oral History (ChAOH)
ChAOH project includes audio and video interviews with the survivors of the
Chernobyl nuclear disaster (April 26, 1986) who are currently living in the United
States. They were asked about their first thoughts, feelings, and actions related to
the disaster, their experiences of living in a contaminated area, their abilities to
cope with related stress, and their interpretations of the consequences of the disaster
in their lives.
The mission of this project is to increase public awareness of the Chernobyl disaster,
and to find resources for the separation of “radiation from people” and “people from
radiation” in the Chernobyl contaminated area. Chaoh reminds us of the Italian word
for goodbye. By ChAOH project, we would like to find a way to say the final goodbye
to the radiation-contaminated environment in people's lives.
ChAOH was started by Dr. Aleksandr Kronik with the support of AVANTA and the
Institute for International Connections in 1999.
Here you will find the summaries and full transcripts of two interviews conducted in
Russian by Dr. Kronik. The videotapes of these interviews are planned to be published.
Interview with Dr. Nikolai Smirnov, a nuclear specialist,
who, after the Chernobyl Disaster, served as Chief of
the Chernobyl Radiometry Department and now lives in
USA. (Translated into English by Anna Kronick.)
Interview with Mr. Yakov Smertenko, a driver who drove
clean-up workers to Chernobyl and now lives in USA.
(Translated into English.)