As we contemplate somewhat ruefully how someone heretofore best known for scripting The Hangover (parts 2 and 3) has managed to loft the truth about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster into the stratosphere, whilst we have slogged for decades to get the issue attention, there is some comfort to be had. Yes, Chernobyl has blown up twice — first the reactor and now the eponymous 5-part HBO/Sky miniseries — and the nuclear industry and its pundits are absolutely freaking out. They have gone into Mega Propaganda Overdrive because the drama was so popular they are terrified that millions of people will now realize that nuclear power is Actually Dangerous.
Beyond Nuclear 30th June 2019 read more »
Seated in a jeep and clutching a screeching Geiger counter, Lt. Col. Viktor Chershnev led a convoy of 30 military trucks through the center of sleeping Kiev. The measuring device was sounding off loudly on that night 33 years ago, not because of the convoy’s cargo — 30 antiaircraft missiles, three of them tipped with nuclear warheads — but because of where and when the post-midnight parade had kicked off: at the Chernobyl air defense missile base just three days after the explosion of a reactor at the adjacent Chernobyl nuclear power plant that had sent enough radioactivity spewing into the air that it at one point had the potential of poisoning much of Eastern Europe. Chershnev knew that the missiles, the trucks and his crew were badly contaminated and that they should not have been ordered to drive through a city of more than 2 million people. But there was no bypass road at the time — and orders were orders. What Chershnev didn’t know in the early hours of the morning of April 30, 1986, was that a radioactive cloud had already caught up with them and blanketed the city on the eve of its annual May Day festivities.
LA Times 30th June 2019 read more »
One reader, David Priestley, said on Twitter: “We had a school trip from Maghull around Sellafield [nuclear fuel reprocessing and nuclear decommissioning site in Cumbria] shortly afterwards – the tour guide was saying as the cloud went over the rain set off all the alarms, causing panic as they tried to find a local source then realised it was the rain. “I remember them saying they worked back the weather system to try and find the source as they plotted the fallout across Europe.” There was a spike in radiation which led to the Met Office’s development of the emergency-response dispersion model ‘NAME’, which is still used today to monitor pollution and greenhouse gases. While most of the radiation was deposited in and around Chernobyl, the first indication that the accident had happened and which the outside world became aware of was when the alarm was sounded at a nuclear power station near Stockholm two days later.
Liverpool Echo 30th June 2019 read more »