30 years since Chernobyl

#5
I can remember a team of Russian Divers went under the reactor as part of the damage assessment / repair work ... I believe they died within hours of coming out . Also Russian soldiers wearing what looked like lead lined aprons sprinting over the roof an emptying metallic pellets (?) into the glowing reactor ... what happened to them God only knows .

On a lighter note I was very much into running then and remember coming back after a run in the rain with a nice warm feeling I suppose not unlike the kids in the Readybrek advert ... Mrs B_R was not impressed .
 
#6

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
#9
On a lighter note I was very much into running then and remember coming back after a run in the rain with a nice warm feeling I suppose not unlike the kids in the Readybrek advert ... Mrs B_R was not impressed .
A joke I remember at the time was on the lines of...If you get too close, Cher-nob-'ll fall off.

Can anyone else remember it?
Adam Curtis has included the disaster in two of his documentaries.

Here's 'A is for Atom' from 2011. Go to 48:00 for the Chernobyl cover.

If you get a chance watch his other documentaries that he's done over the years, especially the one he did last year about a different take on the history of Aghanistan from the 1950's onwards.

Bitter Lake
 
#13
I can remember a team of Russian Divers went under the reactor as part of the damage assessment / repair work ... I believe they died within hours of coming out . Also Russian soldiers wearing what looked like lead lined aprons sprinting over the roof an emptying metallic pellets (?) into the glowing reactor ... what happened to them God only knows .

On a lighter note I was very much into running then and remember coming back after a run in the rain with a nice warm feeling I suppose not unlike the kids in the Readybrek advert ... Mrs B_R was not impressed .
The divers had to swim/wade to a valve to let the water out of the basement under the reactor. Of course, most of the water had been poured through the reactor by the fire brigade, trying to extinguish fires so it was intensely radioactive. When the divers emerged from the basement, their eyes had changed colour due to the radiation.

The divers were told that they had no change of survival but they volunteered anyway, despite having families. They died almost immediately.

Had they not drained the basement, there would have been a steam explosion in the range 3 to 5 megatons when the molten reactor core broke through the basement ceiling. This would have destroyed the surrounding area including the city of Kiev. The Pripyat river would have been poisoned and hundreds of thousands of people would have been without water.

Most seriously, the other reactors on the Chernobyl site would have been vapourised and their contents carried to the stratosphere. IIRC, an atomic bomb produces about a pound of radioactive fission products. A steam explosion at Chernobyl would have produced hundreds of tons of extraordinarily radioactive fallout. Entire countries would have had to be evacuated and much of eastern Europe would have been uninhabitable for centuries. It would have been a catastrophe unprecedented in human history.

There's an excellent BBC docudrama about Chernobyl that's on YouTube. It's called Surviving Disaster. The lead Russian scientist, Valerie Legasov, is played by Adrian Edmonson. He was a dedicated Communist and he killed himself (at the start of the show so no spoilers) because he saw people at their worst during the crisis. One party apparatchik wouldn't allow a nearby town to be evacuated in case this made him look bad. There was a comprehensive cover up about the design flaws in the reactor after the incident too.

Edited to add, there's also a short film made by the then Central Electricity Generating Board explaining the basics of what happened at Chernobyl and why it couldn't happen here. In a nutshell - Soviet engineers were cowboys who raised two fingers to health and safety.

 
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#14
I still remember adverts for the Sinclair ZX80 saying it was so powerful it could run a nuclear power station

So the first thoughts on hearing about Chernobyl, was a ZX80 with ram pack wobble somehow to blame
 
#15
The divers had to swim/wade to a valve to let the water out of the basement under the reactor. Of course, most of the water had been poured through the reactor by the fire brigade, trying to extinguish fires so it was intensely radioactive. When the divers emerged from the basement, their eyes had changed colour due to the radiation.

The divers were told that they had no change of survival but they volunteered anyway, despite having families. They died almost immediately.

Had they not drained the basement, there would have been a steam explosion in the range 3 to 5 megatons when the molten reactor core broke through the basement ceiling. This would have destroyed the surrounding area including the city of Kiev. The Pripyat river would have been poisoned and hundreds of thousands of people would have been without water.

Most seriously, the other reactors on the Chernobyl site would have been vapourised and their contents carried to the stratosphere. IIRC, an atomic bomb produces about a pound of radioactive fission products. A steam explosion at Chernobyl would have produced hundreds of tons of extraordinarily radioactive fallout. Entire countries would have had to be evacuated and much of eastern Europe would have been uninhabitable for centuries. It would have been a catastrophe unprecedented in human history.

There's an excellent BBC docudrama about Chernobyl that's on YouTube. It's called Surviving Disaster. The lead Russian scientist, Valerie Legasov, is played by Adrian Edmonson. He was a dedicated Communist and he killed himself (at the start of the show so no spoilers) because he saw people at their worst during the crisis. One party apparatchik wouldn't allow a nearby town to be evacuated in case this made him look bad. There was a comprehensive cover up about the design flaws in the reactor after the incident too.
Apparently the story of the guys who opened the valves got exaggerated a lot and two of them are still alive The amazing true story behind the Chernobyl 'suicide squad' that saved Europe

I haven't read the book but I need to hunt it down. The stories of the 'bio-robots' have fascinated me for a long time.


 
#17
I haven't read the book but I need to hunt it down. The stories of the 'bio-robots' have fascinated me for a long time.
Lifetime radiation dose in 30s? Using people because the radiation environment was so intense it zorched electronics?

Mad. Possibly just conscripts doing as they were told, but balls of steel all the same.
 
#18
Lifetime radiation dose in 30s? Using people because the radiation environment was so intense it zorched electronics?

Mad. Possibly just conscripts doing as they were told, but balls of steel all the same.
31 years yesterday. Many of those bio-robots who earned this medal by working near the molten core nasty stuff didn't get the chance to wear it as they karked it and were stuffed into lead lined coffins before the design was finished.


The central detail shows the Greek symbols for alpha, beta, and gamma radiation over a drop of blood, and the Cyrillic script around the central device reads “uchastnik likvidatsyi posledstviy avarii” or roughly “participant in the liquidation of accident consequences.”

Enoch's Yo-Yo
 

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