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《切尔诺贝利》第5集剧本-英文原版

2019-6-17 22:32| 发布者: 小白兔| 查看: 58| 评论: 0

摘要: CHERNOBYLEpisode 5 - "Vichnaya Pamyat"Written byCraig MazinAugust 3, 2018Copyright© 2018 Home Box Office, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDNO PORTION OF THIS SCRIPT MAY BE PERFORMED, PUBLISHED,REPRO ...
CHERNOBYL
Episode 5 - "Vichnaya Pamyat"
Written by
Craig Mazin
August 3, 2018
Copyright© 2018 Home Box Office, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
NO PORTION OF THIS SCRIPT MAY BE PERFORMED, PUBLISHED,
REPRODUCED, EXHIBITED, SOLD OR DISTRIBUTED BY ANY MEANS, OR
QUOTED OR PUBLISHED IN ANY MEDIUM, INCLUDING ON ANY
WEBSITE, WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF HOME BOX OFFICE,
INC. THIS MATERIAL IS THE PROPERTY OF HOME BOX OFFICE, INC.
AND IS INTENDED FOR AND RESTRICTED TO USE BY HOME BOX
OFFICE, INC. ONLY. DISTRIBUTION OR DISCLOSURE OF THIS
MATERIAL TO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS IS PROHIBITED.
501 EXT. PRIPYAT - DAY 501
The iconic "PRIPYAT 1970" sign on the outskirts of town.
Crisp and white. Colorful flowers planted at its base.
MUSIC: score, recalling memories of glory, or perhaps a
dream of a glory that never was.
502 EXT. PRIPYAT - VARIOUS - DAY 502
Even a planned Soviet city can look beautiful on a day like
this. Alive. Someone's dream of home...
SITNIKOV (who went to the roof) takes a stroll with his
wife. They hold hands. Their DAUGHTER, 4, toddles along in
front of them with their DOG.
OLD WOMEN sit together on a bench, gossiping and arguing as
they do each day.
YUVCHENKO (who held the reactor door open) - pulls his 2-
year old SON along in a little WAGON.
CITIZENS swim slowly across the community pool.
LYUDMILLA is in a shop with OKSANA. She looks out through
the shop window to the street, where she sees VASILY
standing with MIKHAIL, who holds his baby.
Mikhail offers to let Vasily hold the baby, and he does.
Lyudmilla watches her husband cradling the infant. Vasily
turns and sees her watching. He smiles at her. Pure love.
And she smiles back. Her husband. Her life. One day it will
be their baby. One day.
A figure passes behind Vasily in the background.
CLOSE ON - SHOES walking with purpose. We pull back to
reveal - ANATOLY DYATLOV.
Lunch sack in his hand. Cigarette in his mouth. Walking as
he does every single day. Walking to work. Ahead of him, up
and off in the distance... the CHERNOBYL POWER PLANT.
CUT TO TITLES
END TITLES, CUT TO:
1.
503 INT. BRYUKHANOV'S OFFICE - DAY 503
TITLE:
APRIL 25, 1986
2:00 PM
FOMIN sits patiently across from Bryukhanov's desk. DYATLOV
sits in the other guest seat. Glances at Fomin. Casually
disdainful of him. Silence.
Then, finally:
FOMIN
I hear they might promote
Bryukhanov. This little problem we
have with the safety test? If it's
completed successfully... yes, I
think a promotion is very likely.
Who knows, maybe Moscow.
Dyatlov's eyes narrow.
FOMIN
Naturally they'll put me in charge
once he's gone. And then I'll need
someone to take my old job. I could
pick Sitnikov...
It takes a moment for Dyatlov to swallow his pride. Then:
DYATLOV
I would like to be considered.
FOMIN
I'll keep that in mind.
The door opens, and BRYUKHANOV enters. Fomin rises, but
Bryukhanov gives him an annoyed wave to sit the fuck down.
Then he starts opening desk drawers. Looking for something.
FOMIN
Viktor Petrovich, preparations for
the test have gone smoothly. Comrade
Dyatlov has been working per my
instructions, and Reactor 4 output
has been reduced to 1600 megawatts.
With your approval, we're ready to
continue lowering power to--
BRYUKHANOV
We have to wait.
2.
Fomin and Dyatlov weren't expecting that. Not good.
FOMIN
Is there-- ?
BRYUKHANOV
You're going to ask me if there's a
problem, Nikolai? You can't read a
fucking face?
He's found a pack of cigarettes. Lights one. Tosses the
lighter down on his desk.
BRYUKHANOV
Three years I've been trying to
finish this test. Three years!
(beat)
I just got a call from the grid
controller in Kiev. He says we can't
lower power any further. Not for
another ten hours.
DYATLOV
A grid controller? Where does he get
off telling us--
BRYUKHANOV
It's not the grid controller's
decision, Dyatlov-- it's the end of
the month. All the productivity
quotas? Everyone's working overtime,
the factories need power, someone's
pushing down from above. Not that
we'll ever know who.
(smokes, then)
So do we have to scrap it or what?
FOMIN
No. I don't think so. If we need to
wait ten hours, we wait.
BRYUKHANOV
Running at half power? We're not
going to have stability issues?
FOMIN
No, I should think--
BRYUKHANOV
I'm not asking you.
Fomin musters a smile to cover his bile. As you wish, sir.
3.
DYATLOV
It's safe. We'll maintain at 1600.
I'll go home, get some sleep, and
come back tonight. We'll proceed
then. I'll personally supervise the
test. And it will be completed.
Bryukhanov considers that. Then a grunt of satisfaction.
BRYUKHANOV
Well I'm not waiting around. Call me
when it's done.
He gets up and walks out. Dyatlov follows. But Fomin
lingers behind. Waits until they're gone. Then runs his
fingers covetously along the edge of Bryukhanov's desk. The
desk of a powerful man. A man in charge...
SOUND: a loud ELECTRONIC BUZZER/BELL
504 EXT. CITY - MORNING 504
A rambling, squat complex of white buildings dotted with
barred windows. We hear the BUZZER BELL again. The sound of
an institution on a rigid time schedule.
TITLE
LUKYANIVSKA PRISON, KIEV
MARCH, 1987
505 INT. LUKYANIVSKA PRISON CELL - SAME 505
We PAN slowly across the dismal cell to find: FOMIN,
dressed in the uniform of a Soviet prisoner, sitting on his
cot. Crying. He barely looks like the same man.
Fomin removes his glasses with trembling hands to wipe his
eyes, but the tears don't stop. They never stop. He stares
at the glasses in his hand. Yes. Today.
506 INT. LUKYANIVSKA PRISON HALLWAY - MINUTES LATER 506
The cell block door opens, and three SOLDIERS enter and
proceed down the hallway. The PRISON WARDEN stays behind.
We remain with him as he calls out names.
WARDEN
Bryukhanov.
4.
A soldier stops at the first door. Unlocks it and slides
open. BRYUKHANOV, prison uniform, steps out. As the soldier
escorts him toward the cell block door...
WARDEN
Dyatlov.
A soldier opens a second door. DYATLOV steps out. He's
attempted to regrow his mustache, but it's barely there.
His posture is stooped. His skin is papery.
WARDEN
Fomin.
Down the hall, the third soldier opens a door. Then takes a
step back. Frozen.
WARDEN
Fomin!
The soldier turns, then starts RUNNING back toward us.
507 INT. FOMIN'S CELL - CONTINUOUS 507
We're ON THE FLOOR - looking across the room at the open
door through a CRACKED LENS. Fomin's SHATTERED GLASSES.
Shards are missing. BLOOD begins to SEEP FORWARD along the
floor. It pools around the glasses, then continues ahead.
More. And more.
An ALARM sounds.
508 EXT. MOSCOW STREET - AFTERNOON 508
A QUEUE of people waiting to purchase tobacco from a KIOSK.
It's Legasov turn. He buys a pack of cigarettes, walks a
few steps, takes out a cigarette, then almost runs into:
A MAN IN A SUIT (KGB DRIVER). The man doesn't need to say a
word. It's obvious what he is. He nods for Legasov to
follow. Legasov dutifully does. No choice.
509 EXT. ALLEYWAY AROUND THE CORNER - CONTINUOUS 509
A BLACK ZIL LIMO is parked on the street. The KGB Driver
opens the rear door, lets Legasov in, then CLOSES the door.
5.
510 INT. SEDAN - MOMENTS LATER 510
CLOSE ON LEGASOV - sitting in the back seat, eyes forward.
CHARKOV (O.S.)
How do you feel?
Legasov turns. Reveal: CHARKOV, the head of the KGB,
sitting next to him in the back.
CHARKOV
You went to the doctor yesterday.
How is your health?
LEGASOV
You don't know?
Charkov smiles. Very good. He opens his briefcase and
removes a NEWSPAPER. Hands it to Legasov. It's in German.
Below the fold on the front page, a PHOTOGRAPH of Legasov,
from the IAEA conference. And a caption in German.
CHARKOV
From Vienna. Do you read German?
(no?)
It says, "At last, a Soviet
scientist who tells the truth."
Obviously I resent the insinuation,
but I think it's fair to say you
made an excellent impression at the
conference. It turns out you're
quite good at this.
Legasov stares at the photo. Guilt rising inside him.
LEGASOV
At what? Lying?
CHARKOV
Statecraft, Legasov. Statecraft.
Charkov takes the newspaper back from Legasov. Puts it back
in his briefcase.
CHARKOV
The West is now satisfied that
Chernobyl was solely the result of
operator error. Which it essentially
was. We have you to thank for that.
And we intend to.
He hands Legasov another piece of paper. A list.
6.
LEGASOV
(reads)
"Hero of the Soviet Union."
CHARKOV
Our highest honor. They haven't even
given it to me.
LEGASOV
"Promotion to Director of the
Kurchatov Institute."
Charkov gives that thin smile of his. He knows that's the
one Legasov wants.
LEGASOV
I'm humbled.
CHARKOV
I don't think there's anything
humble about you, Valery
Alexeyevich.
Charkov takes the paper back.
CHARKOV
And these rewards are not yours yet.
First, your testimony at the trial.
LEGASOV
Comrade Charkov, I understand my
duty to the State-- but you gave us
assurances. You said the reactors
would be made safe. It's been
months. There have been no changes
made, no changes even discussed...
CHARKOV
(again)
First, the trial. Once it's over, we
will have our villains, we will have
our hero... we will have our truth.
(uninterested)
After that, we can deal with the
reactors.
Charkov dismisses him with a wave of the hand. Nothing left
to say. Legasov opens the door to exit, and:
CHARKOV
Oh, I should mention-- the trial is
going to be somewhat delayed.
7.
LEGASOV
Why?
CHARKOV
Talk to Shcherbina.
LEGASOV
(confused)
Shcherbina's in Kiev. I haven't
heard from him in--
CHARKOV
He returned to Moscow an hour ago.
Charkov gives Legasov that smile again.
CHARKOV
Or so I've been told.
The KGB DRIVER opens the door fully to let Legasov out.
Legasov EXITS and watches as the ZIL drives away.
511 INT. LIVING ROOM - SHCHERBINA'S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON 511
SHCHERBINA stands by the window, looking out. His hair is a
touch thinner. A subtle aging to his skin.
LEGASOV (O.S.)
When?
Shcherbina turns to LEGASOV - who sits in a chair. Ashen.
SHCHERBINA
Early this morning. He broke his
glasses and used the shards--
(his wrist)
They got to him in time. He's in the
hospital, under observation.
LEGASOV
Guilty conscience?
SHCHERBINA
Or he was making a statement.
SHCHERBINA'S DAUGHTER, 30, enters the room with a tea
service. Her son, 4, runs in and HUGS Shcherbina on the
leg. Shcherbina lights up. Lifts the boy with some effort.
SHCHERBINA
Did you bring grandpapa tea? Is that
what you did? You brought him tea?
8.
He kisses his grandson on the forehead, then puts him back
down. Again, an effort. It was easy a year ago.
His daughter takes her son by the hand and exits.
Shcherbina's smile fades. Then:
SHCHERBINA
There's something else. The trial
won't be in Kiev. They've changed
the venue.
LEGASOV
Here, then?
SHCHERBINA
No. Chernobyl. To be clear, not the
power plant. The town.
LEGASOV
The evacuated town thirty kilometers
away from the reactor?
SHCHERBINA
Twenty, actually.
LEGASOV
For god's sake, why?
SHCHERBINA
I presume they want to demonstrate
that the exclusion zone is now safe
enough to hold a trial.
LEGASOV
Well it isn't.
SHCHERBINA
You don't look good.
LEGASOV
I'm not sleeping.
SHCHERBINA
Is that all?
Legasov doesn't answer. He just removes his glasses, weary.
Turns them around in his hand. Thinking about Fomin again.
Mystified by the man's actions.
LEGASOV
His glasses...
CUT TO:
9.
512 INT. KHOMYUK'S LABORATORY - DAY 512
EXTREME CLOSE ON: the letters A3-5 (AZ-5 in Cyrillic).
Khomyuk stares at the Volkov article. Exhausted from
torturing herself. Wishing she'd never read it. Wishing she
didn't know.
Enough. She has work to do. She pushes the Volkov article
aside. Picks up a stack of requisition forms. Paperwork.
Endless paperwork. Scans the first form, then initials.
Next form. Initials. Next form...
She's lost focus again. This time, it's a FILE BOX that has
drawn her attention.
She hesitates, then crosses to the box, and lifts the lid.
Inside, NOTEBOOKS. About a dozen. She takes one out. Opens
it. Pages and pages... all filled with her handwriting.
She runs her fingers over the neat Cyrillic penmanship.
MEMORY (O.S.)
My name is Leonid Fedorovych
Toptunov. I am the Senior Reactor
Control Chief...
The voices are raspy. Strained. Turn a page...
MEMORY (O.S.)
Vasily Ivanovich Ignatenko. 6th
Paramilitary Fire/Rescue Unit...
Turn a page... the weakened voices begin to blend...
MEMORY (O.S.)
Svetlana Zinchenko, physician...
Anatoly Andreyevich Sitnikov, deputy
chief engineer...
Aleksander Genadyevich Kudryavtsev,
trainee...
She closes her eyes. She was with them all. Listened to
them all. Knew them all.
MEMORY (O.S.)
Electrical engineer...
Turbine operator...
Security guard...
She opens her eyes. Looks down at the page.
10.
MEMORY (O.S.)
My name is Aleksander Fyodorovich
Akimov, Unit 4 Shift Leader.
She looks up from the notebook. An idea. And now more than
an idea. A decision.
She snaps the book shut, and:
CUT TO:
513 INT. LEGASOV'S APARTMENT - KITCHEN - DAY 513
Legasov stares at: TECHNICAL SCHEMATICS spread out on his
table like a visual representation of a CONTROL PANEL.
He smokes. Studies them silently. The table clock tick tick
ticks. The cat pads softly over stacks of BOOKS.
Legasov notices: two strands of HAIR on the schematics.
Long. Like they fell from the root.
He reaches up to his head and runs his fingers through his
hair. A few more STRANDS pull away without effort.
He studies the hair in his hand, shakes it off and wipes
the schematics clean. This isn't the first time.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
Legasov snaps out of it. Startled. Heads to the door.
514 INT. LEGASOV'S STUDY - MOMENTS LATER 514
Khomyuk sits across from Legasov, the file box on her lap.
Neither of them sure who's supposed to talk first. Then:
LEGASOV
Did you take a train?
Oh for god's--
KHOMYUK
Yes, I took a train, now let's talk
about Vienna.
(as he reacts)
I haven't come to scold you. I know
how the world works. I'm a realist,
no matter what Shcherbina thinks.
11.
LEGASOV
Then why are you here?
KHOMYUK
Because I'm brutally stubborn. Which
you were hoping for.
Right. So. As if to convince her...
LEGASOV
Charkov is saying they're going to
fix the reactors after the trial.
KHOMYUK
Do you believe him?
A pause. No. Of course not. But Khomyuk leans in.
KHOMYUK
The State will never willingly fix
the reactors, because acknowledging
the problem means admitting they
lied. They will have to be forced.
Forced? What is she on about?
KHOMYUK
At the trial, you're going to tell
the truth. You're going to convince
a jury.
Legasov stares at her as if she's lost her mind.
LEGASOV
It's a show trial. The "jury" has
already been given their verdict...
KHOMYUK
I'm not talking about them. The
Central Committee has invited
members of the scientific community
to observe the trial. Our
colleagues. From Kurchatov, from
Sredmash, from Minenergo...
And now Legasov sees where she's going.
KHOMYUK
They will be sitting in the crowd,
listening to every word you say. A
jury only we know is there.
(MORE)
12.
And when your testimony arrives at
KHOMYUK (cont'd)
the moment of the explosion... that
is when our jury will finally hear
the truth.
LEGASOV
And do what with it?
KHOMYUK
Insist on reforms. Not just to the
RBMK, but the entire industry.
LEGASOV
No, no, no... no.
KHOMYUK
They need us to function. If
we refuse to work unless--
LEGASOV
Do you know what happened to Volkov?
The man who wrote the report you
found? They just removed him from
his position at the Institute.
Sacked for the crime of knowing. And
you think these scientists,
handpicked to witness a show trial,
will somehow be stirred to action?
By me? Because of some heroic stand
I take in defiance of the State?
KHOMYUK
Yes.
LEGASOV
Why?
KHOMYUK
Because you're Legasov. And you mean
something. I'd like to think if I
spoke out, it would be enough.
(beat)
But as I said, I know how the world
works.
LEGASOV
They will shoot me, Khomyuk.
Khomyuk lifts the lid off the box. Pulls out her notebooks,
and begins stacking them in a PILE on Legasov's table.
KHOMYUK
You told me to find out what
happened. I talked to dozens of
people. Every word they said, I
wrote down. All in these books.
13.
The stack is about twelve books high. She pulls out two
more notebooks, and places them next to the larger stack.
KHOMYUK
(the two books)
These are the ones who are still
alive.
(the twelve books)
These are the ones who are dead.
They died rescuing each other.
Putting out fires. Tending to the
wounded. They didn't hesitate. They
didn't waver. They simply did what
had to be done.
LEGASOV
So have I. I went willingly to an
open reactor. I've also given my
life. Is that not enough?
KHOMYUK
I'm sorry. But it is not.
RISING SOUND: a distant, whistling wind
515 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY 515
CLOSE ON: a RUSTING CAR.
We SLOWLY RISE to reveal: more cars. And buses. Trucks.
Fire engines. Bulldozers. Helicopters. Acres and acres of
DEAD, CONTAMINATED VEHICLES, stacked in rows. A CEMETERY.
A BARBED WIRE FENCE dotted with garish red and orange
RADIATION SIGNS surrounds the vehicle graveyard. We move to
FIND: a convoy of cars moving down a distant ROAD in the
background.
TITLE
CHERNOBYL EXCLUSION ZONE
JULY, 1987
516 INT. CAR - COUNTRYSIDE - AS THEY DRIVE 516
A limousine. Khomyuk, Legasov and Shcherbina sit in a row
in the back. Somber. Straight ahead. On their way.
517 OMITTED 517
14.
518 OMITTED 518
519 EXT. MILITARY CHECKPOINT - AS THEY DRIVE 519
CLOSE ON: the GAS MASK face of a CHECKPOINT SOLDIER. In the
dark lenses of the goggles, a DOUBLE REFLECTION of the
approaching line of CARS.
The GAS MASK SOLDIER waves them through.
As they proceed, we RISE UP TO SEE the caravan enter: THE
ABANDONED CITY OF CHERNOBYL. Rural. Small, squat buildings
ensconced among the trees.
The convoy proceeds to the LARGEST BUILDING. The Hall of
Culture. And looming behind the city in the distant B.G,
the nuclear power plant.
520 INT. TRIAL ROOM - DAY 520
CLOSE ON: ANDREI STEPASHIN, 50, the STATE PROSECUTOR, suit
and tie, reading rapidly and monotonically from a typed
speech.
STEPASHIN
The Central Committee of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
and the Presidium of the Supreme
Soviet of the U.S.S.R. has
determined that justice be carried
out on behalf of the People in
accordance with the general goal of
our Party as determined by its 20th,
21st and 22d Congresses, which is a
Leninist goal. It was, is and will
be the only immutable goal in the
Soviet state.
THE TRIAL ROOM - a small, repurposed auditorium setting.
Against the NORTH WALL of the room, a RED DAIS on the low
stage. Three middle-aged men in suits. Ceremonial chairs.
The man in the center is JUDGE MILAN KADNIKOV, 55. Behind
them, an orange-yellow curtain.
Against the WEST WALL, a pale blue curtain. In front of it,
a DEFENDANT BOX. Bryukhanov, Dyatlov and Fomin sit in the
box. Suit jackets. Two RED ARMY SOLDIERS stand guard on
either side.
15.
THE REST OF THE ROOM - auditorium seats. Civilians, Soviet
officials, military. Near Stepashin, an EXPERT WITNESS
TABLE. Legasov, Khomyuk and Shcherbina.
As Stepashin DRONES, we're CLOSE ON LEGASOV. The air is
STIFLING. Hard to breathe. The HOT LIGHTS and mosquito-like
electric HUM of bulky Soviet press video cameras.
Legasov wipes sweat from his brow. A single, useless FAN in
the corner of the room goes ting ting ting ting ting...
STEPASHIN
The path of Leninist principles shall
be consistently and undeviatingly
followed as it expresses the vital
interests of the Soviet People, its
hopes and aspirations as we guide the
life of the Party and State. This
session of court is now open, Comrade
Judge Milan Kadnikov presiding.
Indictments--
As Stepashin recites the charges, Khomyuk leans in to
whisper to Legasov. He puts a hand up. Yes. He sees them.
Legasov glances over his shoulder, and we see: SIX PEOPLE,
four men, two women, seated together in the audience. Men
and women he knows. Scientists. The invisible jury...
STEPASHIN
Viktor Bryukhanov, Anatoly Dyatlov
and Nikolai Fomin are accused of
violating Article 220 Section 2 of
the Criminal Code of the Soviet Union
resulting in a nuclear disaster on
April 26, 1986. The State calls
witnesses Comrade Khomyuk of the
Byelorusian Nuclear Institute,
Comrade Legasov of the Kurchatov
Institute of Atomic Energy, and--
(show of deference)
--Comrade Boris Evdokimovich
Shcherbina, Deputy Chairman of the
Council of Ministers and head of the
Bureau for Fuel and Energy.
Stepashin sits down. There's a pause. Shcherbina leans
forward to look at Stepashin. Am I on?
Stepashin gives him a gentle nod, like a director
responsible for cueing his actors. Yes. You're on.
16.
521 INT. TRIAL ROOM - LATER 521
CLOSE ON: A MODEL of REACTOR BUILDING #4, as it existed
before the explosion, is slowly WHEELED IN on a cart.
SHCHERBINA (O.S.)
It began with-- of all things-- a
safety test.
Shcherbina stands before the tribunal. Legasov and Khomyuk
sit at the table behind him.
SHCHERBINA
But why was there a need for a
safety test at all?
THE DEFENDANTS - listen silently. Fomin seems lost. In a
fog. Dyatlov remains stern. Bryukhanov hangs his head
slightly. He knows what's coming.
SHCHERBINA
Reactor #4 was not new when this
accident occurred. In fact, the
reactor went into operation on
December 20th, 1983. Eleven days
later, on the last day of year,
Plant Director Viktor Bryukhanov
signed this document--
He hands the document to the judges.
SHCHERBINA
--certifying that construction of
the reactor had been completed. As a
result of finishing this work before
the end of the year, Comrade
Bryukhanov was awarded Hero of
Socialist Labour.
Shcherbina turns his gaze on the defendants.
SHCHERBINA
Comrade Fomin was awarded for
Valorous Labour. Comrade Dyatlov was
given an Order of the Red Banner.
(beat)
But the work was not finished. And
that certificate... was a lie. In
order to sign that document, all
safety tests had to have been
successfully completed. And yet, one
remained.
17.
As he talks, he points out various parts of the model.
SHCHERBINA
A nuclear reactor generates heat in
the core-- here. A series of pumps
here send a constant flow of cooling
water through the core. The core's
heat turns the water to steam, the
steam spins a turbine here, and the
result is electricity.
(beat)
But what if a power plant has no
power? What if the power feeding the
plant itself is disrupted? A
blackout, equipment failure... an
attack by a foreign enemy?
Shcherbina points to the pumps.
SHCHERBINA
If there is no power, the pumps
cannot move water through the core.
Without water, the core overheats,
and the fuel melts down. In short--
a nuclear disaster. The solution?
Three diesel fuel backup generators
here. So. Problem solved?
(beat)
No. Bryukhanov knew the problem was
not solved at all. The backup
generators took approximately one
minute to reach the speed required
to power the pumps and prevent a
meltdown. By that point, it would be
too late. And so-- we arrive at the
safety test.
Khomyuk leans back. Surprised. Impressed with his command.
SHCHERBINA
The theory was this: if the facility
lost power, the turbine-- which had
been spinning-- would take some time
to slow down and stop. What if you
could take the electricity it was
still generating, and transfer it to
the pumps? What if the dying turbine
could keep the pumps working long
enough to bridge the sixty-second
gap until the generators came on?
He looks up at the judges. Suddenly insecure.
18.
SHCHERBINA
Please, if you have any questions...
JUDGE KADNIKOV
No. Continue.
Shcherbina nods. Good. Proud of himself.
SHCHERBINA
To test this theory, the reactor is
placed in a reduced power mode-- 700
megawatts-- to simulate a blackout
condition. Then-- the turbines are
shut off, and as they slowly spin
down, their electrical output is
measured to see if it is sufficient
to power the pumps. The science is
strong-- but a test is only as good
as the men carrying it out. The
first time they tried, they failed.
The second time they tried, they
failed. The third time they tried,
they failed.
(beat)
The fourth time they tried-- was on
April 26th, 1986.
The room is silent. Shcherbina knows he's done well. He
enjoys the moment-- then crosses back to the table.
STEPASHIN (O.S.)
Comrade Khomyuk.
522 INT. TRIAL ROOM - LATER 522
New soldiers enter to relieve the guards by the defendants.
KHOMYUK (O.S.)
To understand what happened that
night, we have to look back ten
hours earlier.
KHOMYUK - stands in the center of the room, delivering her
testimony. She glances at: THE SIX SCIENTISTS. The "jury."
She wishes she could say the truth to them herself, right
here and now... but has to be Legasov. So she continues...
KHOMYUK
April 25th. The day the test was
meant to take place.
(MORE)
19.
By t
KHOMYUK (cont'd)
wo in the afternoon, the reactor
has been lowered by half from its
normal output of 3200 megawatts to
1600 megawatts, and is now ready to
be reduced to the final level for
the test. 700 megawatts. But before
they can proceed, there is a phone
call.
(beat)
Power grid officials in Kiev say
they cannot afford a further
reduction in electricity until after
midnight. They're asking for a ten
hour delay. This was the first
critical moment-- the first link in
the chain of disaster. Competent
management would have insisted on
canceling the test. These three men
allowed it to proceed.
(beat)
Why was this ten hour delay so
dangerous? It created two problems.
One is scientific in nature. The
other... is very human. That's the
one we'll consider first.
(beat)
At midnight--
DISSOLVE TO:
523 EXT. CHERNOBYL POWER PLANT - NIGHT 523
The glaring HEADLIGHTS of a BUS. It slows to a stop.
KHOMYUK (V.O.)
--there is a shift change.
The air brakes hiss. A line of men exit the bus, passing a
line of men waiting to get on.
TOPTUNOV steps out. He heads toward: THE POWER PLANT -
peaceful in the background.
524 INT. POWER PLANT - LOCKER ROOM 524
QUICK CUTS - men remove their clothing. Pictures of wives
and children on the inside of the locker doors.
We know their faces. Yuvchenko. Perevozchenko. Brazhnik.
Gorbanchenko. Stolyarchuk. Toptunov. And now... a man whose
name we've heard, but not yet seen.
20.
PEREVOZCHENKO
Khodemchuk...!
KHODEMCHUK, slender, 35, leans out from behind his locker.
PEREVOZCHENKO
I brought a picture of the
motorcycle.
KHODEMCHUK
I already told you no.
PEREVOZCHENKO
You said you wanted to buy...
KHODEMCHUK
I was drunk.
PEREVOZCHENKO
So, you'll be drunk again-- and then
you'll have a motorcycle!
The men laugh.
525 OMITTED 525
526 INT. CLEAN ROOM - MOMENTS LATER 526
White uniforms-- pants, jackets, boots, hats,
underclothes-- are stacked on tables.
Nude men filter in from the locker room and grab uniforms.
Others (Perevozchenko, Toptunov, Brazhnik, Yuvchenko) are
already in the process of getting dressed.
The room is remarkably sterile, except for the fact that
most of the men are SMOKING.
As he suits up, Perevozchenko sees Khodemchuk enter.
PEREVOZCHENKO
Khodemchuk...
KHODEMCHUK
Forget it. Find another fool.
Perevozchenko sighs. Then turns to:
PEREVOZCHENKO
Toptunov--
21.
BRAZHNIK
Toptunov? Look at him. He's too
young to drive. He's got more hair
on his face than on his balls.
The men laugh. Yuvchenko points at Toptunov's mustache.
YUVCHENKO
Hair? Is that what's on his lip?
More laughter. Toptunov shakes his head. Come on guys...
As Toptunov puts on his boots, Proskuryakov (the trainee),
already in uniform, pops his head into the room.
PROSKURYAKOV
Leonid Fedorovych... Akimov says to
come to the control room as soon as
you're ready.
TOPTUNOV
He's already here?
PROSKURYAKOV
He came in a little early. Something
about a test.
A test? What test?
527 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - MOMENTS LATER 527
Toptunov enters with the trainee. Akimov is at the main
control panel, staring at an open BINDER. Flipping pages.
Stolyarchuk and Kirschenbaum are at their panels. The other
trainee, Kudryavtsev, stands in the back, watching.
TOPTUNOV
Sasha?
Akimov turns, and Toptunov sees the worry on his face.
Akimov waves him over. Keeps his voice low.
AKIMOV
You know the test they were supposed
to run?
No, he doesn't. Then he glances at: THE OUTPUT DISPLAY - a
large box with RED LED DIGITS. It reads 1600. Why so low?
22.
AKIMOV
The turbine rundown. The one they
tried last year? They couldn't do it
on the day shift so... they've given
it to us.
TOPTUNOV
To us? We don't even know what it--
Akimov puts a hand up. Sshhh. People are always listening.
TOPTUNOV
(voice low)
We don't know what it is.
AKIMOV
It's fine. We take it down to 700,
hold it there, and the rest is
Stolyarchuk and Kirschenbaum. But--
(beat)
Dyatlov is going to be supervising.
Now Toptunov knows why Akimov is worried. And with cause.
TOPTUNOV
I have to do something I've never
done before with Dyatlov over my
shoulder?
AKIMOV
Don't worry. We'll do it together.
I'm looking at the instructions now.
Toptunov glances down at the manual. Nods. All right, so
far, so good. He understands. Then he turns a page. There
is a NUMBERED LIST of instructions. There are black LINES
drawn through several of the items.
TOPTUNOV
Are we supposed to do those or not?
Impossible to say. Akimov picks up a PHONE. Dials. Then:
AKIMOV
Yes, this is Akimov in 4. We have
the manual for the rundown test, you
did this before on--
(listens)
Well in the program there are
instructions of what to do, and then
a lot of things are crossed out.
What should I-- ?
(MORE)
23.
(listens)
AKIMOV (cont'd)
Are you sure? Right. Thank you.
He hangs up. Turns to Toptunov.
AKIMOV
He says to follow the crossed out
instructions.
TOPTUNOV
Then why were they crossed out?
The door flings open. DYATLOV strides in. Dressed in the
same white uniform. No warning, no greeting. All business.
DYATLOV
We've been cleared to run the test.
(checks the power)
1600. Good. Now-- is it too much to
ask that you all know what you're
doing?
TOPTUNOV
Well-- we...
AKIMOV
(cuts off Toptunov)
Yes. Absolutely.
DYATLOV
Stolyarchuk?
STOLYARCHUK
Yes.
DYATLOV
Kirschenbaum?
KIRSCHENBAUM
I haven't reviewed-- we only just
found out we--
Dyatlov grabs a BINDER from the desk in the center of the
room, and flings it at Kirschenbaum.
DYATLOV
There. Review it. Or just do what I
tell you. I think even you, as
stupid as you are, can manage that.
Dyatlov deliberately lights a cigarette. Checks his watch.
24.
DYATLOV
Well? Let's go.
ON KIRSCHENBAUM - flipping through the binder. He's
muttering to Stolyarchuk.
KIRSCHENBAUM
I'm supposed to switch the turbine
off while the reactor's still
running? That's not a good--
But he's just loud enough for Dyatlov to hear.
DYATLOV
SHUT THE FUCK UP and do your job.
Kirschenbaum puts his hand up. Sorry... sorry...
DYATLOV
Toptunov. Reduce power to 700.
ON TOPTUNOV and AKIMOV, side by side over the controls.
TOPTUNOV
(a bare whisper)
I've never done this with the power
so low.
AKIMOV
(whispers back)
It's okay. I'm with you.
ON THE PANEL - Toptunov's finger begins pushing down on
buttons. One after another.
TOPTUNOV
Reducing power to 700...
KHOMYUK (V.O.)
I want you to think of Yuri Gagarin.
528 INT. TRIAL ROOM - DAY 528
Khomyuk addresses the room.
KHOMYUK
I want you to imagine he had been
told nothing of his mission into
space until the moment he was on the
launch pad.
(MORE)
25.
I want you to imagine all he had was
KHOMYUK (cont'd)
a list of instructions he'd never
seen before, with some of them
crossed out.
The room is silent.
KHOMYUK
That is exactly what was happening
in the control room of Reactor 4.
She walks toward the defendants.
KHOMYUK
The night shift had not been trained
to perform the experiment. They
hadn't even been warned it was
happening. Leonid Toptunov-- the
operator responsible for controlling
and stabilizing the reactor that
night-- was all of 25-years old. And
his total experience on the job?
(beat)
Four months.
(beat)
This was the human problem created
by the delay. But inside the reactor
core-- in the space between atoms
themselves-- something far more
dangerous was forming. A poison.
(beat)
The time is 28 past midnight.
She crosses back to table and takes her seat next to
Legasov. Her part is over. It's up to him now.
Legasov takes a breath. Sweaty palms. tick tick tick of the
fan. In the back, someone coughs.
STEPASHIN
(glaring)
Comrade Legasov.
He nods. Yes. It's time. He rises, and:
529 INT. TRIAL ROOM - DAY - MOMENTS LATER 529
CLOSE ON - the WOBBLING WHEEL of a small metal pushcart.
A SOLDIER guides the cart into place in front of a large
white MAGNET BOARD on an easel, which another soldier
adjusts into place.
26.
A LINE runs down the middle of the board, dividing it in
two. On the cart: PLACARDS, some BLUE, some RED. They each
have something written on them in Cyrillic.
It's all rather functional.
The guards step away, and Legasov takes his place by the
cart and easel. Looks out at the room. The lights. The
camera whine. Someone sniffles. His throat is closing.
He takes a breath. Focuses. And again, he sees them, sitting
in their row, listening attentively: THE SIX SCIENTISTS.
LEGASOV
I am pleased to see some of my
colleagues are here-- from the
Kurchatov Institute and Minenergo.
Khomyuk straightens up. He's acknowledged them. He's
thinking about them. There's a chance...
LEGASOV
But you don't need to be a nuclear
scientist to understand what happened
at Chernobyl. You only need to know
this: there are essentially two things
that happen inside a nuclear reactor.
He holds up a RED placard, and a BLUE placard.
LEGASOV
The "reactivity"-- which generates
the power-- goes up, or it goes down.
That's it. And all the operators do
is maintain the balance.
He fixes the RED placard - "Nuclear Fission" (R1) to the
top of the RIGHT COLUMN of the board. The words on the
placard are in Cyrillic. Doesn't matter.
All that matters is the BRIGHT RED COLOR.
LEGASOV
Uranium fuel. As uranium atoms split
apart and collide, reactivity goes
up. But if you don't balance the
reactivity, it never stops rising.
Next, Legasov puts the BLUE PLACARD - "Control Rods" (B1),
in the LEFT COLUMN. Balancing it out. Blue/cool, red/hot.
27.
LEGASOV
Boron control rods. They reduce
reactivity, like brakes on a car.
He places another BLUE PLACARD - "Water" (B2) on the left.
LEGASOV
But there's a third factor to
consider. Water. Cool water takes
heat out of the system. But as it
does, it turns to steam, or what we
call a void.
He places two RED PLACARDS - "Positive Void Coefficient"
(R2) and another "Nuclear Fission" (R3) - on the right
side.
LEGASOV
In an RBMK reactor of the type used
at Chernobyl, there is something
called a "positive void
coefficient." What does that mean?
It means the more steam, the higher
the reactivity, which means more
heat, which means more steam-- it
would appear we have a vicious cycle
on our hands. And we would, if not
for this.
Legasov picks up a BLUE PLACARD - "Negative Temperature
Coefficient" (B3) and places it on the left column.
LEGASOV
Negative temperature coefficient.
When nuclear fuel gets hotter, it
gets less reactive. So--
He stares at the board. Even after all this time, he still
can't help but marvel at the science. He moves his hands
between the columns of RED and BLUE...
LEGASOV
--fuel increases reactivity. Control
rods and water reduce it. Steam
increases it, and the rise in
temperature reduces it. This is the
invisible dance that powers entire
cities without smoke or flame. And
it is beautiful...
He turns back to the room.
28.
LEGASOV
When things are normal.
Legasov lifts up a BLUE PLACARD. "Xenon Poisoning" (B4).
LEGASOV
As uranium splits apart to release
energy, it breaks down into a new
element. Xenon. Xenon reduces
reactivity. This is the poison
Comrade Khomyuk mentioned. When the
core is running at full power, it
burns the xenon away before it can
cause a problem. But because of the
delay, Chernobyl Reactor 4 was held
at half power for ten hours. The
xenon did not burn away. It built up,
poisoning the core.
He places "Xenon Poisoning" (B4) on the board.
LEGASOV
We're starting to lose balance.
The BLUE column is longer than the RED. The words don't
matter. The colors tell the tale.
LEGASOV
At 28 past midnight, the reactor is
now primed to slow down. And yet, in
less than an hour, it will explode.
(beat)
If you can't understand how a
stalled reactor could lead to an
explosion, I do not blame you. After
all, you don't work in the control
room of a nuclear power plant.
He turns to the defendants.
LEGASOV
But as it turned out, the men who
did... did not understand it either.
530 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - NIGHT 530
THE LED DISPLAY: 1600. And then... it begins lowering.
1590. 1570. 1510...
Akimov and Toptunov stare up from the panel-- still
shoulder to shoulder, hands on buttons.
29.
THE DISPLAY - 1450... 1395...
AKIMOV
Easy now. Slow it down.
Toptunov nods. Wipes sweat from his head. Makes an
adjustment.
AKIMOV
Good. Like that.
In the B.G. - Dyatlov PACES. Shaking his head.
DYATLOV
You should have been finished by
now.
AKIMOV
We're following protocol for
reduction rate.
DYATLOV
You're procrastinating. There are
ten other men in this plant who
would have done it already.
Toptunov glances at Akimov, but Akimov doesn't look back.
Just keeps his eyes on the panel.
AKIMOV
(to Toptunov)
Keep working. You're doing fine.
Dyatlov takes a cigarette from his pack. Tosses the pack on
to the table. Annoyed.
DYATLOV
Kirschenbaum. Come get me when these
old women are ready.
KIRSCHENBAUM
Yes, Comrade Dyatlov.
Dyatlov EXITS. Slams the door behind him.
531 INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE CONTROL ROOM 4 - CONTINUOUS 531
Dyatlov steps into the corridor. Lights his cigarette.
Checks his watch. Then looks through the window by the
landing, which faces out toward:
THE LIGHTS OF PRIPYAT - just a few on at this late hour.
30.
532 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - MINUTES LATER 532
Kirschenbaum and Stolyarchuk wait quietly. Stolyarchuk
checks a meter... makes an adjustment to his panel.
Toptunov and Akimov continue to work their panel.
THE DISPLAY: 775... 765... 755...
AKIMOV
Okay. Very slow now. Let's coast
down to 700.
THE DISPLAY: 745... 725... 715...
AKIMOV
Whoa whoa whoa... slow!
TOPTUNOV
(confused)
I didn't move any rods there...
THE DISPLAY: 700... 680... 640... 590...
Akimov looks at the display. Utterly bewildered.
AKIMOV
What is this?
Toptunov puts his hands up.
TOPTUNOV
I'm not even touching it.
THE DISPLAY: 570... 550... 540...
533 INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE CONTROL ROOM 4 - CONTINUOUS 533
As Dyatlov finishes his cigarette, Akimov emerges from the
control room. Dyatlov turns to him and can immediately see
from Akimov's face that something's gone wrong. Again.
All he wanted was one fucking moment of quiet, and now...?
534 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - CONTINUOUS 534
Dyatlov storms in, followed by Akimov. And the first thing
Dyatlov sees is:
THE DISPLAY: 520... 515... 510...
31.
AKIMOV
We did everything right. I think
maybe the core is poisoned...
DYATLOV
If you thought the core was poisoned
then you DIDN'T do everything right,
because you're CHOKING MY REACTOR!
Get it back up!
Akimov knows there's no sense in debating. Just:
AKIMOV
If we switch off LAC, it's possible
we could get more control...
DYATLOV
Do it. Go!
Akimov rushes back to Toptunov.
AKIMOV
Disable local automatic control, go
to global...
Toptunov hesitates, nervous--
AKIMOV
Leonid.
Right. Okay. Toptunov turns a series of switches. Presses
some buttons.
TOPTUNOV
LAC disabled. Global control
activated.
Everyone raises their head to:
THE DISPLAY: 500... 440... 260... 220...
Toptunov backs away from the panel in disbelief.
DYATLOV
What did you do?
TOPTUNOV
I did what you said! I switched--
DYATLOV
LOOK AT IT!
THE DISPLAY: 110... 75... 55...
32.
AKIMOV
I don't understand....
THE DISPLAY: 35... 32... 30... and then holds.
DYATLOV
You fucking amateurs. You stalled
the reactor. HOW THE FUCK DID YOU
GET THIS JOB?
Toptunov puts his head in his hands. He looks like he's
about to cry. Akimov turns back to Dyatlov.
AKIMOV
Comrade--
DYATLOV
You're going to tell me you did
everything right again, you
incompetent arsehole?
Akimov slumps. It's over.
AKIMOV
I apologize for this unsatisfactory
result.
"Unsatisfactory result?" The phrase only serves to disgust
Dyatlov even further.
Akimov turns back to the panel.
DYATLOV
What are you doing?
Akimov look at Dyatlov. Isn't it obvious?
AKIMOV
We have to shut it all the way down.
Dyatlov is staring intently at him, but he's now strangely
calm, which is somehow worse.
DYATLOV
No.
AKIMOV
(what?)
But... we're in a xenon pit. We have
to shut down, wait 24 hours--
33.
DYATLOV
No. We're doing the test tonight.
Raise the power to 700.
AKIMOV
We can't increase power from
here. The rules...!
DYATLOV
Don't talk to me about
rules.
AKIMOV
If we fall from 80% of
power, we can't increase--
DYATLOV
No, no-- we fell from 50% of
power.
AKIMOV
From fifty percent is worse!
DYATLOV
The rules don't say 50.
There is no rule.
AKIMOV
Comrade Dyatlov, I apologize, but
what you're saying makes no sense.
DYATLOV
Raise the power.
Akimov looks down. Nerves rising. Dyatlov has gone too far.
AKIMOV
No.
Dyatlov can't believe it. He almost admires Akimov's gall.
AKIMOV
I won't do it. It isn't safe.
Toptunov straightens next to Akimov. Backing him up.
Dyatlov walks slowly toward them. Calm. Nodding, as if
considering their words. The other men watch in fear.
DYATLOV
Safety first. Always. I've been
saying that for 25 years. That's how
long I've done this job. 25 years.
Is that longer than you, Akimov?
AKIMOV
Yes.
DYATLOV
Is it much longer?
AKIMOV
Yes.
34.
Dyatlov turns to Toptunov.
DYATLOV
And you? With your mother's tit
barely out of your mouth?
Dyatlov shifts his granite gaze between them as he speaks.
DYATLOV
If I say it's safe, it's safe. If
the two of you disagree... you don't
have to work here. And you won't.
But not just here. You won't work at
Kursk. Or Ignalina. Or Leningrad, or
Novo-Voronezh. You won't work
anywhere ever again. I'll see to it.
I think you know-- I will see to it.
(beat)
Raise the power.
The room is silent. The display still reads 30. No one says
a word. Then... Akimov picks up a LOG BOOK from the panel.
Hands it to Dyatlov.
AKIMOV
I would like you to record your
command into the--
Dyatlov SLAPS it from Akimov's hand. It falls to the floor.
DYATLOV
Raise the power.
Dyatlov returns to his desk in the center of the room.
Akimov takes a long, slow breath, then turns to Toptunov.
They've lost. What other choice remains?
AKIMOV
Together, then.
Toptunov nods. All right. Together. They move their hands
toward the controls, and:
DYATLOV (O.S.)
I wasn't even there.
535 INT. TRIAL ROOM - DAY 535
CLOSE ON: Dyatlov. Hair thinner, moustache weaker... but in
his eyes, the same burning anger.
35.
Legasov looks back from his board. Did he hear that right?
LEGASOV
What?
DYATLOV
I wasn't in the room when they
raised the power.
LEGASOV
If you weren't in the room, then
where were you?
Stepashin rises. Annoyed. At Legasov.
STEPASHIN
Comrade Legasov, you are a witness,
not a prosecutor. I will ask the
questions here.
Legasov backs off. Chastened. Of course. This is a show.
Play your role and no other.
Stepashin turns to Dyatlov.
STEPASHIN
If you weren't in the room, then
where were you?
Dyatlov shifts his eyes away from his interrogator. Shrugs.
DYATLOV
The toilet.
STEPASHIN
The toilet. Comrade Khomyuk
interviewed everyone who was in the
control room that night. They all
told the same story.
Stepashin picks up a packet of typed transcripts. Flips
through the pages, then reads:
STEPASHIN
"I knew what Dyatlov ordered was
wrong, but if I didn't do what he
said, I would be fired." Leonid
Toptunov, one day before he died.
No, Comrade Dyatlov, you were in the
room. You ordered them to raise the
power. This is a fact.
36.
Scherbina suddenly starts COUGHING. He gets up, and moves
swiftly to the back of the room. Can't make it stop.
And as if that reminded Stepashin they've been at this for
hours-- he checks his watch, then nods to the Judge. Fine.
Call a recess. It's clear who's really in charge here.
JUDGE KADNIKOV
Court is now in recess. Thirty
minutes.
Kadnikov RISES, everyone else rises in turn, and we cut to:
536 EXT. CITY OF CHERNOBYL - PARK - LATER 536
An inept imitation statue of MICKEY MOUSE smiles
grotesquely through peeling paint.
The small park is just dust and dead grass now. A rusty
swing set. A jungle gym.
ON LEGASOV - across the street. Behind him in the near
distance, a small gathering of trialgoers on recess are
clustered. Smoking.
He sees ahead of him... the back of a man sitting on a
bench, alone, in the park. Another cough.
SHCHERBINA - sits on the bench, staring out at the late
afternoon sun. Legasov takes a seat next to him.
SHCHERBINA
Do you know anything about this
town? Chernobyl?
LEGASOV
Not really. No.
SHCHERBINA
It was mostly Jews and Poles. The
Jews were killed in pogroms, Stalin
forced out the Poles, then the Nazis
came and murdered whoever was left.
(looks around)
But after the war, people came here
to live anyway. They knew the ground
beneath their feet was soaked in
blood, but they didn't care. Dead
Jews, dead Poles, but not them. No
one ever thinks it will happen to
them. But here we are.
37.
Shcherbina shows Legasov his handkerchief. It's mottled
with blood.
LEGASOV
How much time?
SHCHERBINA
Maybe a year. They're calling it a
"long illness." That doesn't seem
very long to me. I know-- you told
me. I believed you. At first. But--
time passed, and I didn't think it
would happen to me.
(beat)
I wasted it. I wasted it all. For
nothing.
LEGASOV
For nothing?
Shcherbina puts his hand up. Don't.
SHCHERBINA
Do you remember the morning I first
called you? Do you remember how
unconcerned I was? I don't believe
much that comes out of the Kremlin,
but when they told me they were
putting me in charge of the cleanup,
and they said it wasn't serious, I
believed them. Do you know why?
Legasov doesn't want to answer. But:
LEGASOV
Because they put you in charge.
Shcherbina nods. Of course Legasov knows. Everyone knows.
SHCHERBINA
I am an inconsequential man, Valera.
That's all I've ever been. I hoped
one day that I would matter. But I
didn't.
(turns to Legasov)
I just stood next to people who did.
Legasov stares back in disbelief.
LEGASOV
There are other scientists like me.
Any one of them could have done what
I did. But you--
(MORE)
38.
(beat)
LEGASOV (cont'd)
Everything we asked for, everything
we needed. Men. Material. Lunar
rovers? Who else could have done
these things? They heard me, but
they listened to you. Of all the
ministers and all the deputies-- the
entire congregation of obedient
fools-- they mistakenly sent us the
one good man.
(beat)
For god's sake, Boris-- you were the
one who mattered the most.
Shcherbina is overwhelmed. And here and now, in a forgotten
park, in a dead city... absolution.
He looks back through tears at the land. The sky. His
country. The air fills his lungs.
SHCHERBINA
It is beautiful...
537 INT. TRIAL ROOM - LATER 537
The crowd filters back in, including Legasov and
Shcherbina. They return to the expert witness table, where
Khomyuk is waiting.
Khomyuk sees the change on Legasov's face. Something has
moved in him. She sees him look back once again to make
sure that The Six are still there in the audience.
Then EVERYONE RISES as the JUDGES return and take their
seats. Kadnikov nods to Stepashin, who turns to Legasov.
STEPASHIN
Comrade Legasov.
Legasov walks back to the whiteboard. There's purpose in
his step now. His voice is stronger.
LEGASOV
The time is 38 past midnight. The
reactor is nearly shut down, but the
operators of Reactor 4 are locked on
a path that leads directly to
disaster. There is no way to turn
back. They do not yet know it, but
the die is cast.
39.
Legasov picks up a BLUE PLACARD. A second "Xenon Poisoning"
(B5) card. He adds it to the board.
LEGASOV
At 30 megawatts, xenon is still being
created, but none of it is burning
away. The reactor is drowning in
poison. To make matters worse--
--he REMOVES the bottom two red placards, "Positive Void
Coefficent" (R2) and "Nuclear Fission" (R3).
LEGASOV
--the reactor isn't hot enough to
produce sufficient steam.
THE BOARD: One red placard, five large blue ones.
LEGASOV
The only way to safely raise power
from this state is to do it very,
very slowly over the course of 24
hours. But Dyatlov wants it done
now. Akimov and Toptunov have only
one course of action. They begin
pulling control rods out. Dozens at
a time. Halfway out, three quarters
of the way out, and the power still
does not budge. So they begin to
pull them all the way out.
(beat)
There were 211 control rods in
Reactor 4. Akimov and Toptunov
completely withdrew 205.
Legasov REMOVES the first blue placard - "Control Rods"
(B1).
LEGASOV
Remember... control rods are the
brakes of this car. Of 211 rods,
only six now remain in the reactor.
As for the fuel--
Legasov REMOVES another blue placard - "Negative
Temperature Coefficient" (B3).
LEGASOV
--it's gone cold, so the negative
temperature coefficient is no longer
weighing down the reactivity.
(MORE)
40.
(beat)
LEGASOV (cont'd)
And even still-- the xenon poisoning
is so strong, the best they can do
is raise the power to 200 megawatts.
Turns back to the room once more.
LEGASOV
The control rods are out. The
emergency system is disconnected.
The reactor is now a grenade without
a pin, and the only thing keeping it
in check is water... and xenon. It
is 1 in the morning. The test is
minutes away.
538 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - NIGHT 538
AKIMOV - punches buttons. Flips some switches. Constantly
moving his eyes back and forth between the console and the
LED POWER OUTPUT display, which holds at 200.
He slumps. Turns back to Dyatlov, who sits at the desk in
the center of the room, casually smoking.
AKIMOV
I'm sorry, but this is all we can
get. 200 megawatts. We've pulled
almost everything out.
Dyatlov exhales slowly. Thinks. Then:
DYATLOV
Well, if that's what we have, that's
what we have.
AKIMOV
But the test requires 700--
DYATLOV
(ignores Akimov)
Stolyarchuk, let's get ready. Switch
on pump four.
AKIMOV
Wait a second--
DYATLOV
Stolyarchuk!
Stolyarchuk hesitates.
41.
AKIMOV
We barely have any steam as it is.
The turbine is going too slow for
the test to deliver valid--
DYATLOV
It's enough.
AKIMOV
--and if we add more water, there
will be even less steam--
DYATLOV
I SAID IT'S ENOUGH. I know what I'm
doing. Stolyarchuk.
Stolyarchuk relents, and hits switches while Kirschenbaum
watches-- utterly confused by this course of action.
STOLYARCHUK
Main Pump 4 is connected. We should
warn Khodemchuk... the pipes are
going to be jumping.
DYATLOV
Never mind him. Kirschenbaum--
But he's cut off by: AN ALARM - bleating from the panel.
Dyatlov puts his hands up. What now?
STOLYARCHUK
The steam in the separator drum is
too low-- five atmospheres...
DYATLOV
All right, let's all help him. Get
it up as best you can.
Stolyarchuk mutters to himself.
STOLYARCHUK
We should stop.
DYATLOV
(yells)
And turn that fucking thing off!
Akimov moves to another panel. Flips some override
switches. The alarm CEASES. Dyatlov checks the display.
Still 200. Now he looks at the clock. 1:07.
DYATLOV
You have fifteen minutes.
42.
Akimov, Toptunov, Kirschenbaum and Stolyarchuk work on the
panels, trying to get the steam back in balance.
LEGASOV (V.O.)
Fifteen minutes.
539 INT. TRIAL ROOM - NOW 539
Legasov stands by the board.
LEGASOV
They might as well have had fifteen
days. The problem they were facing
was not solvable. The power was too
low. The water was too high. The
test was already ruined. The results
would have been useless. But Dyatlov
didn't care. All he wanted to do was
report a completed test.
(beat)
1:22. Less than two minutes remain.
540 INT. REACTOR #4 FACILITY - VARIOUS - 1:22 AM 540
--OFFICE - YUVCHENKO sits at his desk flipping through a
technical manual.
LEGASOV (V.O.)
Yuvchenko, mechanical engineer, is
in his office.
--REACTOR HALL OBSERVATION ROOM - PEREVOZCHENKO looks out
over the HUGE REACTOR LID, 15m in diameter. The lid is made
up of 2,000 cubes of individual steel-capped channels.
LEGASOV (V.O.)
Perevozchenko, reactor section
foreman, is in the refueling hall,
high above the 1,000 ton steel
reactor cover.
--ROOM 604 - SHASHENOK is inspecting equipment. Taking
notes on his clipboard.
LEGASOV (V.O.)
Shashenok, automatic systems
adjuster, is in room 604.
--THE PUMP ROOM - where VIKTOR (Degtaryenko) stands by a
rats' nest of pipes and gauges. They're SHUDDERING.
43.
LEGASOV (V.O.)
Degtaryenko...
Viktor looks across the room at:
LEGASOV (V.O.)
...and Khodemchuk, circulation
operators, are in the pump room.
Khodemchuk gives Viktor a baffled look. What is this?
LEGASOV (V.O.)
None of them have been told about
the test. None of them know what is
about to happen.
541 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - 1:22:30 541
Toptunov stands by a large DOT-MATRIX PRINTER as it slowly
ejects a sheet of data.
LEGASOV (V.O.)
1:22 and 30 seconds. Toptunov sees a
report from the reactor's SKALA
computer system. Based on the
absence of sufficient control rods,
the computer is recommending the
reactor be shut down.
Toptunov hands the printout to Akimov, who reads it, frets,
then hands it to Dyatlov. Dyatlov doesn't take it. Just
looks at it. Barely.
DYATLOV
Of course it's saying that. It
doesn't know we're running a test.
(oddly cheerful)
All right boys. Another few minutes,
and it will all be over.
Kirschenbaum, when you're ready?
Kirschenbaum turns back to his panel. Deep breath. Akimov
and Toptunov walk back to their panels. Toptunov looks over
at Akimov. Akimov doesn't look back. Just:
AKIMOV
We did everything right.
Kirschenbaum reaches for a switch. Then:
44.
KIRSCHENBAUM
Oscillograph on. Closing Number 8
throttle valve.
STOLYARCHUK
Generator rotor beginning rundown.
542 INT. TRIAL ROOM - NOW 542
Legasov is staring at the room. It's dead quiet.
LEGASOV
1:23 and four seconds. With every
decision, they have pulled this
reactor back like a slingshot...
further than anyone has ever pulled.
(beat)
The test begins. The pumps are shut
down.
(opens his fist)
And they let go.
Legasov moves to the board. On the right, the single red
"Nuclear Fission" card (R1). On the left, blue "Water" (B2)
and "Xenon Poisoning" (B4, B5). He removes the "Water" (B2)
placard.
LEGASOV
The pumps stop moving water through
the reactor. The uranium fuel is now
unchecked by fresh coolant.
Unchecked by control rods. The
balance immediately swings in the
opposite direction. In less than a
second, reactivity increases.
543 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - 1:23:05 543
The operators watch their panels. None of them notice the
power output display. 205... 210... 220...
544 INT. TRIAL ROOM - NOW 544
LEGASOV
Inside the core, the remaining water
is quickly converting to steam. A
void is being created. There is no
fresh water to replace it.
45.
As he speaks, he adds multiple RED PLACARDS to the right
column. "Positive Void Coefficient" (R2), "Nuclear Fission"
(R3), "Positive Void Coefficient" (R4), "Nuclear Fission"
(R5).
LEGASOV
Steam increases reactivity increases
heat increases steam increases
reactivity. The fuel is too cold to
counter the vicious cycle. The
remaining xenon decays away.
Legasov removes both blue "Xenon Poisoning" placards (B4,
B5). There are NONE on the left side now. And five RED ones
on the right.
LEGASOV
The power is rising. And nothing
left to stop it. 1:23 and 35
seconds...
545 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - 1:23:35 545
Akimov and Toptunov watch the panel. Then Toptunov notices:
LIGHTS blinking on, one after another in quick succession
on the large CIRCULAR FUEL CHANNEL display.
Oh god. He looks up at the power output display.
320... 360... 400...
TOPTUNOV
We have a power surge! Sasha!
Everyone turns at once to look at the power output.
440... 500...
DYATLOV
(in shock)
What did you-- ?
546 INT. TRIAL ROOM - NOW 546
CLOSE ON LEGASOV.
LEGASOV
1:23 and 40 seconds. The power is
surging. The men in Control Room 4
have only one option left.
(MORE)
46.
In every control room of every
LEGASOV (cont'd)
nuclear reactor in the world, there
is a button with one single
purpose-- to "scram" or instantly
shut down the reaction. In Soviet
reactors, that button is called "AZ-
5". You press AZ-5, all of the
control rods insert at once, and the
reaction is stopped dead.
(beat)
But.
He stops. Glances over at Khomyuk, who knows that the
moment is almost upon them. Then the SIX SCIENTISTS.
And Khomyuk realizes-- he's going to do it. He's finally
going to tell the truth. But before he can say a word:
DYATLOV
What are you waiting for Legasov?
Tell your lies.
A hushed gasp from the room. Legasov turns in disbelief to
the defendant BOX, where Dyatlov glares back at him.
JUDGE KADNIKOV
Comrade Dyatlov, you will not be
warned again.
DYATLOV
Or what?
BRYUKHANOV
(shut up!)
For god's sake, Dyatlov--
DYATLOV
Legasov's already given it away. He
said before there was no way to
avoid what was coming. He knows
something.
(points to Khomyuk)
She knows something.
JUDGE KADNIKOV
Strike that from the record.
Dyatlov rises, jabbing his finger toward a stunned Legasov.
DYATLOV
I know what you are, Valery
Alexeyevich. You're a liar. You're a
liar and a coward.
47.
The soldiers grab Dyatlov's arms to pull him away, but:
JUDGE KADNIKOV
We've heard enough for today. The
defendants will be remanded to
custody. Court will--
Legasov finds his voice.
LEGASOV
I haven't finished.
Stepashin turns his dark gaze on Legasov. How dare he?
LEGASOV
I have more evidence to give.
Shcherbina leans forward. Impossible for us to tell what
he's thinking...
STEPASHIN
It is not necessary. Your testimony
is concluded.
(to Kadnikov)
Your honor.
Legasov deflates. Turns back to Khomyuk. He tried. He tried
to do the right thing.
JUDGE KADNIKOV
Court is now adjourned. We will
resume tomorrow with--
Shcherbina rises. That wonderful, terrible look in his
eyes. The last stand of the stubborn, impossible Ukrainian.
SHCHERBINA
The trial continues.
Judge Kadnikov begins to sweat. This is different. He looks
at Stepashin, who falters.
JUDGE KADNIKOV
Comrade Shcherbina--
SHCHERBINA
Let him finish.
Stepashin is outranked. He glances at the CAMERAS. The dead
faces of the "press." The audience. KGB scattered among
them, no doubt. The show must go on. He gestures to
Legasov. Very well. It's your funeral.
48.
Shcherbina nods to Legasov. He knows what Legasov has
decided to do. If we go down, we go down together. Legasov
nods back. Gratitude.
Now he looks out into the audience. There are the SIX
SCIENTISTS. Listening intently. Almost as if they, too,
know the choice he is about to make.
LEGASOV
Dyatlov broke every rule we have,
and pushed a reactor to the brink of
destruction. He did these things
believing there was a fail-safe. AZ-
5. A simple button to shut it all
down.
(beat)
But in the circumstance he created--
there wasn't. The shut-down system
had a fatal flaw.
Dyatlov listens in stunned horror. What did they not tell
him? What did he not know?
LEGASOV
At 1:23 and 40 seconds, Akimov
engages AZ-5.
547 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - 1:23:40 547
Akimov flips the cover off the AZ-5 switch and PRESSES IT.
548 INT. TRIAL ROOM - NOW 548
LEGASOV
The fully-withdrawn control rods
begin moving back into the reactor.
These rods are made of boron, which
reduces reactivity. But not their
tips. The tips are made of graphite,
which accelerates reactivity.
JUDGE KADNIKOV
(disbelief)
Why?
LEGASOV
Why? For the same reason our
reactors do not have containment
buildings around them like those in
the West.
(MORE)
49.
The same reason we don't use
LEGASOV (cont'd)
properly enriched fuel in our cores.
The same reason we are the only
nation that builds water-cooled
graphite moderated reactors with a
positive void coefficient.
(beat)
It's cheaper.
Legasov turns back to the room. And to his jury.
LEGASOV
The first part of the rods that
enter the core are the graphite
tips. And when they do, the reaction
in the core, which had been rising--
now skyrockets. Every last molecule
of liquid water instantly converts
to steam, which expands and ruptures
a series of fuel rod channels.
(beat)
The control rods in those channels
can move no further. The tips are
fixed in position, endlessly
accelerating the reaction.
He lets it sink in.
LEGASOV
Chernobyl reactor 4 is now a nuclear
bomb.
(beat)
1:23 and 42 seconds.
549 INT. REACTOR HALL - 1:23:42 549
Perevozchenko is in the observation room, making notes on a
clipboard. He hears a terrible CLUNKING and HISSING.
He looks out through the window, and his jaw drops.
LEGASOV (V.O.)
Perevozchenko looks down on the
enormous steel lid of the reactor,
and sees the impossible.
THE LID - DOZENS of individual STEEL SQUARES are JOSTLING
UP AND DOWN like popcorn... now more of them. And MORE.
50.
LEGASOV (V.O.)
The fuel channel caps, which each
weigh 350 kilograms, are jumping up
and down.
Perevozchenko DROPS his clipboard in horror, and RUNS out
of the room onto the catwalk... racing for the stairs...
LEGASOV (V.O.)
The pressure required to do this is
unimaginable. He runs to warn the
control room.
Perevozchenko half runs, half falls down the catwalks
stairs, scrambles back to his feet, and keeps running.
LEGASOV (V.O.)
But there's nothing he can do to
stop what is coming. 1:23:44.
550 INT. PUMP ROOM - 1:23:44 550
KHODEMCHUK backs away from the pumps. They are ROCKING in
place... valves begin to POP OFF like BULLETS...
551 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - 1:23:44 551
Akimov's hand is still on the AZ-5 button. But the LED
DISPLAY is climbing. 700... 1000... 1800...
ON THE PANEL - hundreds of indicators and meters LIGHT UP
at once.
LEGASOV (V.O.)
The steam blows more fuel channels
apart. We do not know how high the
power went. We only know the final
reading. Reactor #4, designed to
operate at 3200 megawatts--
Akimov and Toptunov look up at THE LED DISPLAY as it
jumps... from 1800 to-- 4800 ... 9280... 12700... 24720...
552 INT. TRIAL ROOM - NOW 552
LEGASOV
--went beyond 33,000.
(beat)
The pressure inside Reactor #4 can
no longer be held back.
(MORE)
51.
At long last-- we have arrived.
LEGASOV (cont'd)
1:23:45. Explosion.
553 INT. REACTOR HALL - 1:23:45 553
EXPLOSION - a thunderous BLAST of SUPERHEATED VAPOR erupts
from the core. The massive STEEL REACTOR LID is BLOWN UP
and TO THE SIDE... like the open lid of a tin can.
The shockwave PUNCHES THROUGH THE CEILING, sending concrete
and glass into the night...
554 INT. JUST OUTSIDE THE REACTOR HALL - CONTINUOUS 554
Perevozchenko is THROWN to the ground. He turns back,
and... horror.
555 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - CONTINUOUS 555
A deep THUD echoes through the room. Everyone ducks a
bit... looking around... what the fuck was that?
556 INT. TRIAL ROOM - NOW 556
CLOSE ON LEGASOV - retelling the story as if he lived
through it. In his mind... he has.
LEGASOV
In the instant the lid is thrown off
the reactor, oxygen rushes in. It
combines with hydrogen and
superheated graphite.
557 INT. REACTOR HALL - 1:23:47 557
A rush of air, and a terrible crackling as the gases inside
the core ignite, and:
558 INT. TRIAL ROOM - NOW 558
LEGASOV
The chain of disaster-- is complete.
559 EXT. REACTOR #4 BUILDING - CONTINUOUS 559
CATACLYSM
52.
--as the true power of the atom is finally released. In an
instant, the building becomes a VOLCANO. Nuclear forces
explode up and out, and turn NIGHT INTO DAY.
A PLUME of DEBRIS is sent ROCKETING 1,000 METERS INTO THE
AIR, as if shot from the center of the earth itself.
560 EXT. REACTOR BUILDING - C0NTINUOUS 560
A HAILSTORM of BURNING GRAPHITE comes raining down from the
plume... and as the last bits of deadly debris clatter back
to the surrounding roof and ground...
...a thin BLUE LIGHT materializes in the air, shining
straight up and down between the open reactor and the sky,
piercing through the choking black smoke.
The BLUE LIGHT widens... a color we were never meant to
know... a glowing column connecting the earth and heavens.
A trillion atoms set free. Death, the destroyer of worlds.
561 INT. CONTROL ROOM - REACTOR #4 - 1:24 AM 561
No sound except distant hissing noises. All we see is
SWIRLING WHITE DUST, illuminated by emergency BACKUP
LIGHTS. And now we make out:
The operators. Cowering. All except for Dyatlov.
CLOSE ON DYATLOV - SLOW MOTION - the white dust swirls
eerily around his face. He's bewildered. Shell-shocked.
We hear a voice echoing as if from far away:
VOICE (O.S.)
Comrade Dyatlov? Comrade Dyatlov?
DISSOLVE TO:
562 INT. TRIAL ROOM - NOW 562
DYATLOV, NOW - thinner and terribly older... but the
expression is the same. Shell-shocked.
LEGASOV
No one in the room that night knew
the shut-down button could act as a
detonator. They didn't know it--
because it was kept from them.
53.
The six scientists listen in shock. A rare thing in the
air, the sound of truth...
JUDGE KADNIKOV
Comrade Legasov-- you are
contradicting--
(searches documents)
You are contradicting your own
testimony in Vienna--
LEGASOV
My testimony in Vienna was a lie. I
lied. To the world.
ON KHOMYUK - a mixture of disbelief and gratitude. At last,
someone has spoken the truth.
LEGASOV
I am not the only one who kept this
secret. There are many. We were
following orders. From the KGB, from
the Central Committee. And right
now, there are 16 reactors in the
Soviet Union with this same fatal
flaw. Three of them are still
running less than 20 kilometers
away... at Chernobyl.
Kadnikov is frightened by Legasov's words. But he too has
his orders. He too is at risk. And this is not the
narrative over which he was meant to preside.
JUDGE KADNIKOV
Professor Legasov, if you mean to
suggest the Soviet State is somehow
responsible for what happened, then
I must warn you-- you are treading
on dangerous ground.
LEGASOV
I've already trod on dangerous
ground. We're on dangerous ground
right now. Because of our secrets
and our lies. They are practically
what defines us. When the truth
offends, we lie and lie until we
cannot even remember it's there. But
it is still there. Every lie we tell
incurs a debt to the truth.
(beat)
Sooner or later, the debt is paid.
54.
Legasov turns back to the six scientists. His colleagues.
His peers. His secret jury. His hope.
LEGASOV
That is how an RBMK reactor core
explodes.
(beat)
Lies.
And one by one, the scientists look down or avert their
eyes. Ashamed. Or frightened. Or in denial. It doesn't
matter which.
Legasov can tell from their faces. So can Khomyuk. It
didn't work. It wasn't enough. They've failed.
It's over.
563 INT. HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER 563
Legasov walks down the hallway that leads away from the
trial room. One of the ARMED SOLDIERS-- who had been
guarding the defendants-- now walks behind Legasov.
Guarding him.
They arrive at a DOOR. The soldier says nothing. Just
gestures to the door.
Legasov opens it, and walks into:
564 INT. FACILITY KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS 564
A large facility kitchen designed to supply catering for
the building. Or it once was. Now it's mostly empty, save
for a few scattered folding chairs.
Legasov takes a step into the room, then stops. Looks down.
There's a small DRAIN set in the floor. So. This is where
he dies. In an abandoned kitchen of an abandoned city in an
abandoned land. He closes his eyes.
BOOM.
The echoey thud of the DOOR behind him. The soldier has
left. Legasov is alone. He finds his breath, and we
DISSOLVE to:
565 OMITTED 565
55.
566 INT. FACILITY KITCHEN - LATER 566
The door opens. CHARKOV enters. He closes the door behind
him, and takes a seat across from Legasov.
He reaches into his coat pocket. Removes a piece of paper.
Unfolds it. Puts on his glasses to read.
CHARKOV
Valery Alexeyevich Legasov. Son of
Alexei Legasov, Head of Ideological
Compliance, Central Committee.
(looks up)
You know what your father did there?
LEGASOV
Yes.
CHARKOV
(continues reading)
As a student, you had a leadership
position in Komsomol. Communist
Youth. Correct?
LEGASOV
You already know--
CHARKOV
Answer the question.
LEGASOV
Yes.
CHARKOV
At the Kurchatov Institute, you were
the Communist Party secretary. In
that position, you limited the
promotion of Jewish scientists.
A long pause.
LEGASOV
Yes.
CHARKOV
To curry favor with Kremlin
officials?
Yes.
This is how they break you. With the sins of your father.
With your own.
56.
Charkov sighs. Puts the paper away.
CHARKOV
You're one of us, Legasov. You've
always been one of us. I can do
anything I want with you, anything,
but what I want the most is for you
to know that I know. You're not
brave. You're not heroic.
(beat)
You're just a dying man who forgot
himself.
Legasov looks down. No.
LEGASOV
I know who I am, and I know what
I've done. In a just world, I would
be shot for my lies.
(beat)
But not for this. Not for the truth.
CHARKOV
Scientists... and your idiot
obsession with reasons.
(leans in)
When the bullet hits your skull,
what will it matter why?
A grim moment. Then-- Charkov smiles. Leans back.
CHARKOV
No one's getting shot, Legasov. The
whole world saw you in Vienna. It
would be embarrassing to kill you
now. And for what? Your testimony
today will not be accepted by the
State. It will not be disseminated
in the press. It never happened.
(beat)
No, you will live-- however long you
have. But not as a scientist. Not
anymore. You'll keep your title and
your office, but no duties, no
authority, no friends. No one will
talk to you. No one will listen to
you. Other men-- lesser men-- will
receive credit for the things you
have done. Your legacy is now their
legacy. You'll live long enough to
see that.
Erased. He's being erased. Before he can speak--
57.
CHARKOV
What role did Shcherbina play in
this?
LEGASOV
None. He didn't know what I was
going to say.
CHARKOV
What role did Khomyuk play in this?
LEGASOV
None. She didn't know either.
Charkov stares into Legasov's eyes. He sees no waver, no
blink, no false bravado. He wasn't expecting that.
CHARKOV
After all you've said and done
today, it would be-- curious-- if
you chose this moment to lie.
LEGASOV
(unfaltering)
I would think a man of your
experience would know a lie when he
hears one.
A long pause, as Charkov passes silent judgment. Then... he
nods. Very well. He believes. But:
CHARKOV
You will not meet or communicate
with either one of them ever again.
You will not communicate with anyone
about Chernobyl ever again. You will
remain so immaterial to the world
around you that when you finally do
die, it will be exceedingly hard to
tell that you ever lived at all.
LEGASOV
And if I refuse?
Charkov's eyes deaden. The face of a murderer. Then, as if
by the flip of a switch, an amiable shrug.
CHARKOV
Why worry about something that isn't
going to happen?
And Valery Legasov, as dead as a living man can be, can't
help but smile at that.
58.
LEGASOV
"Why worry about something that
isn't going to happen." That's
perfect.
(beat)
They should put that on our money.
567 EXT. CITY OF CHERNOBYL - STREET - BEFORE SUNSET 567
The front door of the building opens. KGB men emerge. They
walk in unison, surrounding LEGASOV as they escort him.
Up ahead, a KGB agent waits by a CAR for Legasov. Legasov
turns back... and there they are, across the street.
Khomyuk and Shcherbina. Khomyuk fights back tears. She
knows what he did. She knows why. She knows what it means.
Legasov knows he can't say a word. All he has is his face,
his eyes, his heart. He absolves her as best he can.
And now, Shcherbina. His brother. His friend. His rock.
Shcherbina raises a hand in goodbye. They don't need words.
It happened. They mattered. And now it's over.
Legasov raises his hand back, then gets into the car. We
RISE UP - as the car pulls away...
SOUND: the HISS of an audio tape, and then:
LEGASOV (VO ON TAPE)
To be a scientist is to be naive. We
are so focused on our search for
truth, we fail to consider how few
actually want us to find it. But it
is always there, whether we can see
it or not, whether we choose to or
not. The truth doesn't care about
our needs or wants. It doesn't care
about our governments, our
ideologies, our religions. It will
lie in wait, for all time.
We RISE UP HIGHER - as the car disappears down the road.
LEGASOV (VO ON TAPE)
And this, at last, is the gift of
Chernobyl. Where I once would fear
the cost of truth, now I only ask:
CUT TO BLACK:
59.
568 OVER BLACK 568
LEGASOV (VO ON TAPE)
What is the cost of lies?
569 INT./EXT. THE REAL PRIPYAT - TODAY 569
MUSIC: Vichnaya Pamyat (Eternal Memory)
Photos of Valery Legasov...
Valery Legasov took his own life at the age of 51
on April 26, 1988, exactly two years
after the explosion at Chernobyl.
The audio tapes of Legasov's memoirs were circulated
among the Soviet scientific community.
His suicide made it impossible for them to be ignored.
In the aftermath of his death, Soviet officials finally
acknowledged the design flaws of the RBMK nuclear reactors.
Those reactors were immediately retrofitted
to prevent an accident like Chernobyl from happening again.
Photographs of various scientists who participated in the
battle to clean up Chernobyl...
Legasov was aided by dozens of scientists
who worked tirelessly alongside him at Chernobyl.
Some spoke out against the official account of events
and were subject to denunciation, arrest and imprisonment.
The character of Ulana Khomyuk was created
to represent them all and to honor
their dedication and service to truth and humanity.
Photographs of Shcherbina...
Boris Shcherbina died on August 22, 1990...
four years and four months after he was sent to Chernobyl.
Images from the actual trial...
For their roles in the Chernobyl disaster,
Viktor Bryukhanov, Anatoly Dyatlov and Nikolai Fomin
were sentenced to ten years hard labor.
After his release, Nikolai Fomin returned to work...
at a nuclear power plant in Kalinin, Russia.
60.
The final photo taken of Dyatlov, hunched over, thin, bald.
Anatoly Dyatlov died from radiation-related illness in 1995.
He was 64.
A photo of the real Khodemchuk standing with his young son.
Valery Khodemchuk's body was never recovered.
He is permanently entombed under Reactor 4.
EXISTING FOOTAGE: handheld video of someone in a protective
suit moving through the dark, dilapidated hallways...
The firefighters' clothing still remains
in the basement of Pripyat Hospital.
VIDEO: a dosimeter is held near one of the firefighter's
actual boots. The beeping turns into one long, loud alarm.
It is dangerously radioactive to this day.
Abandoned rooms in Pripyat...
Following the death of her husband and daughter,
Lyudmilla Ignatenko suffered multiple strokes.
Doctors told her she would never be able to bear a child.
They were wrong.
She lives with her son in Kiev.
The actual railway bridge...
Of the people who watched from the railway bridge,
it has been reported that none survived.
It is now known as "The Bridge of Death."
Photos of the miners...
400 miners worked around the clock for one month
to prevent a total nuclear meltdown.
It is estimated that at least 100 of them
died before the age of 40.
Photos of the interior of damaged reactor building 4...
It has been widely reported that the three divers
who drained the bubbler tanks
died as a result of their heroic actions.
61.
In fact, all three survived after hospitalization.
Two are still alive today.
Photos of liquidators...
Over 600,000 people were conscripted to serve
in the Exclusion Zone.
Despite widespread accounts of sickness and death
as a result of radiation, the Soviet government kept no
official records of their fate.
High above the desolate countryside. Disintegrating boats
rust in piles on the shores of the Pripyat River.
The contaminated region of Ukraine and Belarus,
known as the Exclusion Zone,
ultimately encompassed 2,600 square kilometers.
Pripyat from above
Approximately 300,000 people were displaced
from their homes. They were told this was temporary.
It is still forbidden to return.
Footage of Gorbachev presiding over a Labor Day parade...
Mikhail Gorbachev presided over the Soviet Union
until its dissolution in 1991.
In 2006, he wrote, "The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl...
was perhaps the true cause of the collapse
of the Soviet Union."
We move around the power plant as it exists now. The
reactor building is entirely encased in a metal half-dome.
In 2017, work was completed on the New Safe Confinement at
Chernobyl at a cost of nearly two billion dollars.
It is designed to last 100 years.
EXISTING FOOTAGE: Doctors examine children. Some are
clearly sick.
Following the explosion, there was a dramatic spike
in cancer rates across Ukraine and Belarus.
The highest increase was among children.
PRIPYAT - we move slowly toward: A MONUMENT. Two large,
stone hands reaching up and cupping the reactor building.
62.
We will never know the actual human cost of Chernobyl.
Most estimates range from 4,000 to 93,000 deaths.
The official Soviet death toll, unchanged since 1987...
...is 31.
FADE TO BLACK:
In memory of all who suffered and sacrificed.
END OF SERIES
63.





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