MBTI Type: INTP
Valery is a highly theoretical person who interprets everything through a lens of logic and interconnecting ideas. When he is first brought in as an expert consultant on the horrific nuclear power plant accident, he deduces from hurriedly reading a report that the situation is actually a lot worse than the government is willing to admit; he intuits this conclusion from noting that “a smooth black mineral” has been purportedly found at the accident site, and that this has to be graphite – a mineral only found in the core of a nuclear reactor, so it means the core has exploded and bits of it are strewn everywhere! He also does not believe that the radiation is “only” 3.6 roentgen as the report says, because the industrial dosimeters used at the power plant are designed to only go up to 3.6 roentgen. Valery is confident in his conclusions and trusting of his own intellect, and due to his heavy reliance on introverted thinking and deductive logic, he is more suited for the role of a detective (“how did this happen and how can we prevent it from happening again?”) than an executive tasked with practical management of the problem at the site of the accident. Valery devalues his sensory function to the point that he tends to gloss over details and does not remain attentive to his surroundings. When pressed for an immediate solution to contain the damage (“dump sand and boron on the fire”) he does not take into account the structural build of the reactor room or the eventual build-up of steam, and because of the oversight, he almost makes a decision that could inadvertently worsen the already dire situation – a problem that is brought to his attention by his Te-using assistant. Valery is socially awkward and is thus often “out of sync” with others both mentally and physically. He is visibly bothered when expected to partake in chit-chat, and his use of Fe is limited to an occasional flare-up of temper and attempts to shock others into action by being needlessly graphic and gruesome about the effects of ionizing radiation on the human body. He does not hesitate to repeatedly state that the highest value of all is and should always be the truth itself, regardless of the political or social consequences. He is in equal parts frustrated and puzzled when those around him do not share this value. When faced with the decision to choose between his integrity as a scientist or his life, Valery proves that he cannot forsake the former and subsequently commits suicide.
Enneagram: 5w6 so/sp
Being an intensely contemplative man, Legasov leads a simple but lonely life before and after the Chernobyl disaster. He has denounced all forms of material luxuries to the point of asceticism and prefers to focus all his energy toward his work as a nuclear physicist and has largely withdrawn from all other aspects of life. He has no real understanding of statecraft, politics or diplomacy, or how important it is to “butter the egos” of the career party men. His 5-core makes him confident and self-contained in his thinking but also rather naïve about the way things work in the corrupt and heavily censored USSR. Unlike the 5w4 who is predisposed to intellectual elitism and sees others as “lesser than”, Legasov is willing to hear everyone out and does not look down on those with lesser cerebral capabilities. His 6 wing provides him with occasional flare-ups of self-doubt and paranoia, and in situations of extreme stress he may become suspicious of those around him. While very much a humanitarian (so/sp), he prefers to help from afar and wrestle numbers in his lab rather than complex practical logistics out in the world. He is fond of “humanity” as a concept, but struggles to connect meaningfully with individual people (sx blind), preferring animal companions in his personal life.
Guest typed by Henrika.