Readers may have been watching the 5-part drama-documentary “Chernobyl” on TV. Apparently it is the highest-rated television series of all time, according to crowd-sourced reviews on IMDb, a film and television rating site. I have yet to see the final episode, but the first four are pretty accurate in their portrayal of the accident and the suffering which followed. Some dramatic licences have been taken in collapsing large events into easy-to-digest sequences or single characters, but overall, it is remarkably truthful and reliable in its depictions. Perhaps the most important aspect of the programmes is that they inform a new generation about the potential dangers of nuclear reactors. The UK still has 15 of them operating, with 2 more under construction and the Government thinking about more. Another aspect is that they educate people about the dangers of radiation, a subject on which most people are very poorly informed, and which the Government and its agencies takes great pains to avoid discussing honestly. Readers will ask whether UK reactors are as dangerous as the RBMK reactor that exploded at Chernobyl? The answer is that such an accident is unlikely here, but not out of the question. For example, UK reactors do not have positive void coefficients, which means the potential for runaway-reactivity type of accidents is very low. But 14 of the UK’s reactors still use graphite as a moderator and Chernobyl’s 8-day graphite fire was perhaps the single most important contributor to the massive effects of the Chernobyl disaster across Europe.
Ian Fairlie 4th June 2019 read more »
Chernobyl episode 5 finale review: Nuclear physics has never been so compelling.
Metro 4th June 2019 read more »
Wired 5th June 2019 read more »