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Sunday, 22 July, 2018
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Chernobyl at Thirty

Date: 26 April, 2016

By: Chief

Imageoo be sure it is an anniversary we all wished would have never happened.

Lucky us. At least we are, for the most part, still alive. There are several thousand who were not so lucky as us. And there are many thousands who are, like us, the lucky ones, but wish they weren't. Moreover, there maybe umpteen thousands yet to be born who may suffer from the effects of Chernobyl. Effects such as:

Ah, yes. Chernobyl. The catastrophe that keeps on giving.

The effects of Chernobyl

Believe it or not the bottom line is simply — we do not know what the total effects:

period. We haven't a clue. Further, as nuclear power is something that, at least to us humans, is both very knew and incredibly scary, nobody trusts anybody pertaining to information about nuclear power. In other words if one scientific group releases a report which says 'X', another scientific group will say:

'No, no, no. You are wrong' and then release their own report which says 'Y'.

Hence, We the People are stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place and the damned mule isn't doing us any good.

The foregoing example, by the way, is exactly what has transpired over the release of the 2005 Chernobyl Forum [fiasco(?)] report. Quoting Wikipedia:

"This report [Chernobyl Forum report] is not free of controversy, and has been accused of trying to minimize the consequences of the accident."

Sigh. Following the release of the Chernobyl Forum report was the "TORCH" (The Other Report on Chernobyl) produced by the German Green Party. Don't worry there are more (yay). Greenpeace released a report. So did the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear Warfare. Not to be outdone the New York Academy of Sciences released its own publication. Finally the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) chimed in.

Guess what — every single report is different and points the finger at the first report. Gee, what a surprise. All that was accomplished by these different reports was too most certainly provide four very important facts:

I suppose it is somewhat safe to say — nothing new about that. Sheesh.

But what about radiation exposure

The only empirical information we have about atomic radiation comes from the following sources:

Chernobyl would have been the absolutely perfect case study of atomic radiation on the:

However, that did not happen. Oh God, I can hear the conspiracy theorists screaming:

'Cover up.'

With grief condign I have too admit that for once the conspiracy theorists were completely correct. There was a cover up. Indeed, it was an enormous cover up. Initially it was the Soviets. No surprise there ... is there? In fact General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Jesus, now there's a mouth full for ya) Mikhail Gorbachev did not come close to knowing the full extent of the catastrophe until so informed by — you're gonna love this — Sweden. And that took approximately 48 hours. His own people did not tell him about the explosion and radioactive material being scattered pell mell by the winds.

But have no worry my friends, Western Europe and, supposedly, North America chipped in and basically said:

'No problems here'.

The government of France went so far as to state the radioactive contamination or fall out, stopped at France's Eastern border and never entered the country. It never ceases to amaze me that members of government just cannot understand why people do not trust government. Unbelievable.

It is far too late now to even attempt to get empirical information. Far too much time has elapsed and tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of people who were exposed to excessive levels of radiation (whatever that may mean, [there is not a good, let alone a factual number for that]) — were never cataloged. Nobody knows who these people:

No information was ever gathered. This was done, by the way, in the name secrecy and panic reduction. To put it another way it was done 'for our own good'. Evil scurvy curs, all of 'em.

Epilogue

The true epilogue of Chernobyl has yet to be written. It is way too early for that to occur. Bear in mind Uranium 235 has a half life of 703,800,000 years. I believe we could say, without erring on the side of being conservative — the time frame is indefinite. None of us shall be around to pop a cork of champagne and celebrate.

The new sarcophagus, scheduled to replace the existing one which leaks like a sieve is not in place yet but have no fear it should be within the year or so. It is only a decade or so behind schedule.

Oh, before I forget, from Chernobyl one new element was formed: Chernobylite. If you are up for a bit of YouTubing; here is an excellent documentary: The Battle of Chernobyl.

Sleep well.

[Ed. note, story update: The new sarcophagus was completed and wheeled into place on the 29 November, 2016.]

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