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Anatoli Bugorski

Anatoli Petrovich Bugorski (Russian: Анатолий Бугорский) (born 1942) is a Russian scientist who was involved in an accident with a particle accelerator in 1978.[1]


Particle accelerator accident

As a researcher at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino, Bugorski used to work with the largest Soviet particle accelerator, the synchrotron U-70.[2] On July 13, 1978, Bugorski was checking a malfunctioning piece of equipment when an accident occurred due to failed safety mechanisms. Bugorski was leaning over the piece of equipment when he stuck his head in the part through which the proton beam was running. Reportedly, he saw a flash "brighter than a thousand suns", but did not feel any pain. The beam measured about 2000 gray when it entered Bugorski's skull, and about 3000 gray when it exited after colliding with the inside of his head.[1]

After the accident

The left half of Bugorski's face swelled up beyond recognition, and over the next several days started peeling off, showing the path that the proton beam (moving near the speed of light) had burned through parts of his face, his bone, and the brain tissue underneath. As it was believed that about 5 to 6 grays is enough to kill a person, Bugorski was taken to a clinic in Moscow where the doctors could observe his expected demise. However, Bugorski survived and even completed his Ph.D..[3] There was virtually no damage to his intellectual capacity, but the fatigue of mental work increased markedly.[2] Bugorski completely lost hearing in the left ear and only a constant, unpleasant internal noise remained. The left half of his face was frozen, due to the destruction of nerves, and has not aged.[1] He is able to function perfectly well, save the fact that he has occasional petit mal seizures and very occasional grand mal seizures.

Bugorski continued to work in science, and held the post of Coordinator of physics experiments.[2] Because of the Soviet Union's policy of maintaining secrecy on Nuclear power-related issues, Bugorski did not speak about the accident for over a decade. He would go to the Moscow radiation clinic twice a year, for examination, and to commune with other nuclear-accident victims. For years, he remained a poster boy for Soviet and Russian radiation medicine. In 1996, he applied for disabled status, to receive his free epilepsy medication. Bugorski showed interest in making himself available for study to Western researchers, but couldn't afford to leave Protvino and go west.[1]

Bugorski is married to Vera Nikolaevna, and they have a son, Peter.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Masha Gessen (1997-12-01). The Future Ruins of the Nuclear Age. Wired magazine. Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
  2. ^ a b c d Геннадий Дерновой (1998-23-01). Персональный Чернобыль Анатолия Бугорского (Russian). Retrieved on 2007-04-26. (Translation)
  3. ^ С П Р А В О Ч Н И К областей, республик, краев и округов РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ (Russian). Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Anatoli_Bugorski". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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