30 years since Chernobyl

#21
Ooh. Didn't notice this thread last year.

I was running around in the Cairngorms learning about leadership from pine poles when we received a signal to return to Fort Fumble in Lincolnshire with 'a sense of purpose' as a nuclear power station had gone into meltdown and we were in the path of the radioactive plume.

Having grown used to increasingly outlandish exercise scenario bollocks, we gave it a "2/10 Must try harder" and sauntered off the hill desperately trying to look cool in our issued bright orange smock and plus four ensembles that wouldn't have been out of place in Mallory and Irving's base camp as we passed all the end-of-season ski-totty.

Always kept a wary eye out for 'NODUF' ever since.
 
#23
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.

Hmmm. So it wasn't all bad then?

Edited to add that a day or so afterwards I came out of the housetops go to work and found that an overnight shower of rain had deposited what looked like grey dust on the cars parked outside.
 
#24
Hmmm. So it wasn't all bad then?

Edited to add that a day or so afterwards I came out of the housetops go to work and found that an overnight shower of rain had deposited what looked like grey dust on the cars parked outside.
You're right.

As a previous poster pointed out, I was wrong about the divers. They didn't die as fast as I thought so it wasn't so bad for them.

In case of another reactor going up, I always wear a NBC suit and a respirator. This protects me from any unexpected fallout but I do have the police pointing guns at me a lot, especially on the tube in London.
 
#25
Some intersting observations about the site.

'As Australian archaeologist Robert Maxwell stood in the ruins of the Chernobyl exclusion zone during his first field trip to Pripyat, he had one pertinent question for his guide. “What’s the most dangerous thing here?”

“My guide turned to me and said, ‘The wild pig. If you see a pig, climb a tree.’
“I said, ‘But the trees are radioactive!’ and he replied, ‘Yes, but they’re less dangerous than the pigs. A tree will not gore you,”’ Maxwell said.


'Today marks 33 years since the Chernobyl accident, 33 years since the biggest nuclear energy disaster in history. But, today, Pripyat is a place of hope.'

An Australian archaeologist’s guide to the ghost town Chernobyl left behind
 
#30
I was visiting Martin Marietta in Orlando at the time, and state there is no truth in the rumour that the Soviets approached NASA with a plan to train walruses on the hurry-up ...







... to look for tight seals.
 
#31
Massive nuclear problem in Russia causing untold devastation, world carries on, pretty much normal jogging. america downs two of its own skyscrapers and it becomes the event that changed the world. A bit gay that, if you ask me....
 
#32
#34
Anybody watched the first episode of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl yet?
It's very good and the attention to detail is to be applauded. It's done in a very matter of fact way with no over dramatization and seems to be covering all events very factually. It gets right into it too with the reactor blowing in the first few mins. There is no character build up and just introduces them as and when they appear in the storyline. A bit like a docudrama.
Highly recommended.

 
#35
Anybody watched the first episode of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl yet?
It's very good and the attention to detail is to be applauded. It's done in a very matter of fact way with no over dramatization and seems to be covering all events very factually. It gets right into it too with the reactor blowing in the first few mins. There is no character build up and just introduces them as and when they appear in the storyline. A bit like a docudrama.
Highly recommended.


Yes, quite impressed with it tbh.
Distinct lack of theatrics in the telling of events, the story is dramatic enough without embellishment
 
#36
Anybody watched the first episode of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl yet?
It's very good and the attention to detail is to be applauded. It's done in a very matter of fact way with no over dramatization and seems to be covering all events very factually. It gets right into it too with the reactor blowing in the first few mins. There is no character build up and just introduces them as and when they appear in the storyline. A bit like a docudrama.
Highly recommended.

We watched the first episode last night. It's horrifying, but I was impressed by the way it went straight into the event, How accurate is it, is there a written record in Soviet files that's not classified?
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#37
We watched the first episode last night. It's horrifying, but I was impressed by the way it went straight into the event, How accurate is it, is there a written record in Soviet files that's not classified?
there was a minute by minute account in a Sunday paper recently. I had to stop reading it because the criminal stupidity of everybody responsible for the accident appalled me.

Don't tell me how it finishes. I haven't watched it yet.
 
#38
I was working on a NATO site , we used the rain water from the roof ( after filtering) for showers and the toilet water..

We were told , best stop that right now. Had a team of engineers put in a tank and had bowser water until I left.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
#40
I was working on a NATO site , we used the rain water from the roof ( after filtering) for showers and the toilet water..

We were told , best stop that right now. Had a team of engineers put in a tank and had bowser water until I left.
See I knew there was a bright side to this story.



Well when I meant bright side:slow:
 

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