Chernobyl Scientist a Suicide
Soviet nuclear specialist Valery Legasov, a member of a government commission set up after the Chernobyl disaster, committed suicide, an official at the plant said today.
The statement by Alexander Kovalenko, information chief of the Kombinat group supervising the Chernobyl cleanup, was the first official explanation of the cause of Legasov’s death. Legasov, deputy director of the Kurchatov Atomic Institute and a member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, died April 27 at 51. Soviet scientific sources in Moscow have said Legasov felt he was somehow to blame for the accident that killed 31 people and spewed a cloud of radiation over much of Europe.