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Interview With Chernobyl Engineer

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the close-encounters dept.

Science 584

An anonymous reader writes "New Scientist has posted an interview with a former Chernobyl engineer, Alexander Yuvchenko, who was not only there the night of the explosion, but is still alive today to tell about it. A fascinating recollection of some pretty heroic acts."

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584 comments

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RTFA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058227)

For once in your Slashdot browsing days, read the article! It's really interesting and worth your time.

fp? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058241)

y4s

Quite a few (5, Interesting)

LordHatrus (763508) | about 10 years ago | (#10058256)

I know quite a few in the Cherynobe area who survived just fine. I even have some messed up film, somewhere :) Still sounds scary though.

But how many of them (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058272)

Stood there and watched the blue ionized air as it poured out of the reactor?

Re:But how many of them (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | about 10 years ago | (#10058449)

Stood there and watched the blue ionized air as it poured out of the reactor?

"Is small fire comrade, under control now."

(Hey at least it's not an "In Soviet Russia..." joke)

Stalker (2)

essreenim (647659) | about 10 years ago | (#10058352)

thats the first word that came to my mind ;)
He may or may not in fact be a stalker, but surely he could help out making the game..

I blew it up.. (-1, Offtopic)

joeldg (518249) | about 10 years ago | (#10058263)

Q) how to you feel about what happened?
A) Muhaahahahaha...

Q) no really?
A) glowy wormsss aress fun...

Treatment was prompt (5, Interesting)

freedom_india (780002) | about 10 years ago | (#10058267)

How did they treat you? It was a very intensive and demanding treatment and you had to be very strong to withstand it. I had continuous blood and plasma transfusions. For a few months I lived on other people's blood. Then the ulcers from the radiation burns started to appear. I had a lot of burns. Only after a couple of months did it become clear that there was a chance I might live. For those of you who make fun of the Soviet system wen you probably wheren't even born then, this is a lesson: Soviets took care of their people well and their medicine was top.

Re:Treatment was prompt (-1, Troll)

winkydink (650484) | about 10 years ago | (#10058297)

Which is why they sent their high-ranking people to the west for advanced surgeries and why all Soviet people have such great-looking teeth? Don't kid yourself.

Re:Treatment was prompt (5, Insightful)

Angry Toad (314562) | about 10 years ago | (#10058343)

Seriously - you went to the Soviet Union while it still existed and did a large, statistically significant sampling of people with respect to the appearance of their teeth? Enough to make generalizations about dental care for several hundred million people?

Wow. Good job.

Re:Treatment was prompt (4, Funny)

CmdrGravy (645153) | about 10 years ago | (#10058511)

I doubt he did that but if you read /. for a while you'll realise certain Americans have some weird idea that the quality of healthcare in countries is determined soley by dentistry and that everyone in all other countries has bad teeth and hygiene when compared to Americans.

There may be an element of truth in this since Americans need good teeth to consume the amount of food they do but I haven't actually studied this correlation.

I think this is some kind of reaction to the fact they have to pay directly for their Health Service.

Re:Treatment was prompt (1)

Aardpig (622459) | about 10 years ago | (#10058526)

Seriously - you went to the Soviet Union while it still existed and did a large, statistically significant sampling of people with respect to the appearance of their teeth? Enough to make generalizations about dental care for several hundred million people?

Likely, the GP is from the USA, a country which judges the healthcare of foreign nations by the quality of their citizens' teeth. Hence, the long-standing jokes about English bad teeth, which totally overlook the fact that the UK has a comprehensive, state-run healthcare system which -- for the less wealthy -- knocks the spots off the private coverage in the US.

Re:Treatment was prompt (5, Informative)

funkdid (780888) | about 10 years ago | (#10058298)

For Engineers the treatment was prompt, for the inhabbitants they pulled an "EPA in NYC after 9/11." They didn't evacuate the area, and assured people that all was well. After a week THEN they evacutaed everyone. I don't think the locals received the same top notch treatment.

Unpatriotic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058333)

pulled an "EPA in NYC after 9/11.

MOD DOWN: -5 unpatriotic.

Re:Unpatriotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058451)

Your comment made me chuckle even though it's more sad than anything else. +1 Unfortunate

Re:Unpatriotic (4, Informative)

tekunokurato (531385) | about 10 years ago | (#10058453)

What the hell is wrong with you? He's absolutely right; I was up by columbia (116th) then and a few days after, and even there you could smell the dust. When we visited near the site it was absolutely lung-clogging. I was incredibly thankful that I didn't have to live or work there.

Re:Treatment was prompt (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058347)

Aside from the whole covering-up the safety audit thing which set the stage for the explosion, and the inept fumbling of the inspectors which set it off, yeah I suppose they "took care of their people" well. In both senses of the phrase, actually...

But seriously, even taking this as positively as possible, it's still a kilo of cure instead of a gram of prevention.

Re:Treatment was prompt (4, Interesting)

HardCase (14757) | about 10 years ago | (#10058423)

For those of you who make fun of the Soviet system wen you probably wheren't even born then, this is a lesson: Soviets took care of their people well and their medicine was top.

You're kidding, of course. Although the USSR's health care system was universal, the quality was utterly abyssmal for the average citizen.

I was unfortunate enough to see first-hand the state of Soviet-era medical facilities and the quality of care in the mid 1980's. Many third-world countries had much better medical care than that of the "typical" Soviet hospital that we toured. And, given that this was a state-sponsored tour (as was everything that we saw), I suspect that it was something better than typical.

-h-

Re:Treatment was prompt (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | about 10 years ago | (#10058547)

Yeah, they took care of their people so well that they built their nuclear reactors without containment structures, and then blew one of them up in an ill-conceived test.

I'll pass on that kind of "care".

Re:Treatment was prompt (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058583)

As someone who has lived in Soviet Russia and who was in Kiev when the explosion occured (a city nearby) I can personally attest that the medical treatment in the Soviet Union was incomparably worse than anywhere else in the developed world.

Most Amusing Line in the Article (-1, Flamebait)

windside (112784) | about 10 years ago | (#10058274)

For those of you not inclined to read it:

I began to feel sick. I knew one of the first symptoms of radiation illness was vomiting, but I was thinking, have I eaten something?

Re:Most Amusing Line in the Article (4, Insightful)

Rexz (724700) | about 10 years ago | (#10058592)

Thanks for pointing this out for us. A man on the brink of death, about to endure months of intensive treatment after one of the most horrific nuclear accidents in history, grasping for a reason to doubt the mortal danger he was in and the inevitable pain he would have to face. Hilarious.

Great ... More Space Junk (3, Funny)

Bob(TM) (104510) | about 10 years ago | (#10058277)

but is still alive today to tell about it.

... and considers no longer requiring a lamp to read by at night a bonus.

Re:Great ... More Space Junk (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 10 years ago | (#10058406)

Having lived near TMI (Three Mile Island; within the 10 mile circle) all my life and having been out and about delivering papers during the crisis, I can attest to the fact that not having to use a lamp at night to read is a definite bonus.

It certainly helps my electric bills not having to turn on lights once the sun goes down.

disgusting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058281)

In 1986, the Russians were our enemies. For you to call their acts "heroic" is repugnant, and you should be ashamed.

That reactor was used to power a war machine bent on converting us all into communist zombies with no freedoms.

Disgusting.

Re:disgusting (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058327)

"In 1986, the Russians were our enemies."

Who do you think "we" are, that we had the same enemies in 1986?

Could it be... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058283)

The HULK?

Full Story (-1, Redundant)

CrazyDwarf (529428) | about 10 years ago | (#10058285)

Meet the people shaping the future of science

This interview was first published in New Scientist print edition, subscribe here

Cheating Chernobyl

Alexander Yuvchenko was on duty at Chernobyl's reactor number 4 the night it exploded on 26 April 1986. He is one of the few working there that night to have survived. He suffered serious burns and went through many operations to save his life, and he is still ill from the radiation. He recently broke his silence for a documentary to be shown on the Discovery Channel. Here he speaks to Michael Bond about what happened that night

How did you end up working at Chernobyl?

I chose it. It was one of the best stations in the Soviet Union, it was a good town to live in, and I had been there for practical work as part of my studies. And it was a good wage. Being a nuclear engineer was a prestigious career - in those days. Nowadays people in Russia prefer to be businessmen and lawyers.

What were you doing the night the reactor exploded?

I was on the night shift. When I turned up I found out that the safety test that had been planned for the day had been put off until the evening. The reactor had already been powered down and so we would just be overseeing its cooling, which is a very easy job. I was thinking that I wouldn't have much to do that night.

What were you doing when you heard the explosion?

I was in my office, talking to a colleague who had come in to ask for some paint, and reading some documents.

What happened?

The first thing I heard wasn't an explosion, it was a thud, a shaking. Then two or three seconds later came the explosion. The doors of my office were blown out. It was like when an old building is demolished, with clouds of dust, but combined with lots of steam. It was a very damp, dusty, powerful movement of air. There was a lot of shaking, a lot of things were falling. The lights went off. Our first thought was to find somewhere we could safely hide. We headed towards the transport corridor, where there was a small passage with a low ceiling. We were standing there and everything was falling around us.

What did you think it was?

When I heard the thud I thought it was something very heavy that had fallen. After that I didn't know. I thought that maybe war had begun.

Did you imagine that it might be the reactor?

I couldn't imagine it was something to do with the reactor. Before it happened there were no vibrations, no sounds, nothing to indicate there was something wrong. We were trained for various emergency situations. We were engineers, and we were trained in what the reactors could or could not do and what could go wrong. We were prepared for fire and other things, but we were not trained for this. We all thought the safety measures were reliable, that if you pressed the emergency stop button to lower the control rods into the reactor - which is what my friend Leonid Toptunov in the control room did that night - that it would stop the power as it was supposed to. But it didn't. People make mistakes, but we thought the safety measures would compensate for that. We believed what we were told in the work manual.

What did you do after the explosion?

I went back to my office and tried to ring the control room for reactor number 4 to find out what had happened, but there was no line. Suddenly the phone from control room number 3 rang. I got a command to bring stretchers. I grabbed the stretchers and ran. Outside the control room I met a friend who had been close to the centre of the explosion. I didn't recognise him. His clothes were black and his face was disfigured because he had been covered in scalding water. I only recognised him by his voice. He told me to go to the site of the explosion because there were others injured. This friend was being tended by others, so I got a torch and ran to find the other operator who had been near the huge coolant tanks.

What did you find?

I got to where I expected to find this person but I couldn't find anything, there was a huge mess. I found him on the other side, he had managed to crawl away. It was the same picture: he was wet, dirty, with serious scalding burns. He was standing up but was in an extremely shocked state, shaking. He told me I had to go to where the main blast happened, which was where my friend Valera Khodemchuk was. This guy couldn't see it, but there was nothing there in that direction, it was just empty space.

What happened then?

At this point I saw Yuri Tregub, who had been sent from control room number 4 by Anayoly Deatlov, Chernobyl's deputy chief engineer, to manually turn on the emergency high-pressure coolant water to flood the area. Realising that he wouldn't be able to do this on his own, I told my friend where to go to get help and I went with Tregub to turn on the water.

Did you succeed?

We weren't able to get to the taps. The coolant tanks were in a hall close to the reactor. There were two doors in. We couldn't get in the first because the walls had collapsed, so we went down a couple of floors to the other door. We were in water up to our knees. We couldn't open the door but we could see a little through it, and all we could see were ruins. The huge water containers had been blown apart. There was just a wall and a door left. We were looking into open space.

Literally?

To get a clearer idea of what had happened we walked outside. What we saw was terrifying. Everything that could be destroyed had been. The entire water coolant system was gone. The right-hand side of the reactor hall had been completely destroyed, and on the left the pipes were just hanging. That was when I realised that Khodemchuk was definitely dead. The place where I was told he'd been standing was in ruins. The huge turbines were still standing, but everything around them was rubble. He must have been buried under that. From where I stood I could see a huge beam of projected light flooding up into infinity from the reactor. It was like a laser light, caused by the ionisation of the air. It was light-bluish, and it was very beautiful. I watched it for several seconds. If I'd stood there for just a few minutes I would probably have died on the spot because of gamma rays and neutrons and everything else that was spewing out. But Tregub yanked me around the corner to get me out the way. He was older and more experienced.

What did you do then?

We started to make our way to control room number 4, but on the way we met three workers who had been ordered by Deatlov to go to the reactor hall and lower the control rods manually. Tregub ran back to the control room to report what we'd seen, and I went with these three to help them. I told them that the order they had been given was senseless because there was no reactor hall anymore and it was highly unlikely there were any control rods. But they said I had only seen it from the lower level and they had to see it for themselves from the upper level.

Did you realise how dangerous that was?

Yes, we did.

What happened when you got back to the reactor hall?

We climbed up to a ledge but there was very little room. Because I had come up the stairs last I stayed behind propping open the door. They took the torch from me and went in. I stood there listening to their reaction to what they saw, which looked like a volcano crater. They said there was nothing they could do, they had to get out.

What happened to those three?

All three of them died very soon afterwards. That wall and the door basically saved my life. I received quite a high dose propping open the door. We had done everything we could. That was the worst feeling: that there was nothing else we could do.

At what point did you start to feel ill?

About 3 am, one-and-a-half hours after the explosion.

How did you feel?

I began to feel sick. I knew one of the first symptoms of radiation illness was vomiting, but I was thinking, have I eaten something? I was trying to keep the worst thoughts at bay. Half an hour after the explosion I had met a man with a dosimeter, he was fully covered so I don't know who it was, and I asked him what the reading was. He showed me the counter, which was off the scale. That was a frightening moment. It was impossible to say how much radiation we were taking in, but I knew it was a large dose. I was taken to the local hospital at about 5 am because I was too weak to walk. I was taken to Moscow that evening.

Did you think you would die?

The most frightening thing was to lie there and hear how one after another the others were dying. I was thinking, when will it be my turn? I'm not a religious believer and I don't know any prayers, but I did pray every evening that I would wake up the next morning.

How did they treat you?

It was a very intensive and demanding treatment and you had to be very strong to withstand it. I had continuous blood and plasma transfusions. For a few months I lived on other people's blood. Then the ulcers from the radiation burns started to appear. I had a lot of burns. Only after a couple of months did it become clear that there was a chance I might live. At that point my body started to work on its own again. I didn't need transfusions. But I was on a continuous morphine drip. My wife Natasha says I had lost a lot of weight and looked like a dying man. She says I spoke very slowly and quietly, but that I always retained a clarity of mind. I understood what was going on.

What kept you going?

I was treated properly. And I was naturally strong and healthy - I was young, 24 at the time.

Are you still suffering physically?

I have to have skin grafts constantly. I still get ulcers. Without the burns it wouldn't be so bad.

How do people in Russia treat you?

I try not to talk about it. I don't want people to know about it. I have been given two medals, an order of honour for my actions that night and a medal 10 years afterwards, but everybody got one of those. I try to get on with my everyday life. My neighbours don't know who I am. There is a stigma attached to it.

Have you been back to Chernobyl?

Once, when they shut it down in December 2000. I was invited as a special guest. I wandered around the third reactor block, which is an exact copy of the one that blew up. I didn't feel too good. My knees were wobbling when I stood on top of the reactor.

What do you think about nuclear power?

I'm fine about it, as long as safety is put head and shoulders above any other concern, financial or whatever. If you keep safety as your number one priority at all stages of planning and running a plant, it should be OK.

Alexander Yuvchenko will appear in Disaster at Chernobyl on Discovery Channel in Europe at 10pm (UK time) on 29 August

Interview (-1, Redundant)

butch812 (529419) | about 10 years ago | (#10058291)

Cheating Chernobyl

Alexander Yuvchenko was on duty at Chernobyl's reactor number 4 the night it exploded on 26 April 1986. He is one of the few working there that night to have survived. He suffered serious burns and went through many operations to save his life, and he is still ill from the radiation. He recently broke his silence for a documentary to be shown on the Discovery Channel. Here he speaks to Michael Bond about what happened that night

How did you end up working at Chernobyl?
I chose it. It was one of the best stations in the Soviet Union, it was a good town to live in, and I had been there for practical work as part of my studies. And it was a good wage. Being a nuclear engineer was a prestigious career - in those days. Nowadays people in Russia prefer to be businessmen and lawyers.

What were you doing the night the reactor exploded?
I was on the night shift. When I turned up I found out that the safety test that had been planned for the day had been put off until the evening. The reactor had already been powered down and so we would just be overseeing its cooling, which is a very easy job. I was thinking that I wouldn't have much to do that night.

What were you doing when you heard the explosion?
I was in my office, talking to a colleague who had come in to ask for some paint, and reading some documents.

What happened?
The first thing I heard wasn't an explosion, it was a thud, a shaking. Then two or three seconds later came the explosion. The doors of my office were blown out. It was like when an old building is demolished, with clouds of dust, but combined with lots of steam. It was a very damp, dusty, powerful movement of air. There was a lot of shaking, a lot of things were falling. The lights went off. Our first thought was to find somewhere we could safely hide. We headed towards the transport corridor, where there was a small passage with a low ceiling. We were standing there and everything was falling around us.

What did you think it was?
When I heard the thud I thought it was something very heavy that had fallen. After that I didn't know. I thought that maybe war had begun.

Did you imagine that it might be the reactor?
I couldn't imagine it was something to do with the reactor. Before it happened there were no vibrations, no sounds, nothing to indicate there was something wrong. We were trained for various emergency situations. We were engineers, and we were trained in what the reactors could or could not do and what could go wrong. We were prepared for fire and other things, but we were not trained for this. We all thought the safety measures were reliable, that if you pressed the emergency stop button to lower the control rods into the reactor - which is what my friend Leonid Toptunov in the control room did that night - that it would stop the power as it was supposed to. But it didn't. People make mistakes, but we thought the safety measures would compensate for that. We believed what we were told in the work manual.

What did you do after the explosion?
I went back to my office and tried to ring the control room for reactor number 4 to find out what had happened, but there was no line. Suddenly the phone from control room number 3 rang. I got a command to bring stretchers. I grabbed the stretchers and ran. Outside the control room I met a friend who had been close to the centre of the explosion. I didn't recognise him. His clothes were black and his face was disfigured because he had been covered in scalding water. I only recognised him by his voice. He told me to go to the site of the explosion because there were others injured. This friend was being tended by others, so I got a torch and ran to find the other operator who had been near the huge coolant tanks.

What did you find?
I got to where I expected to find this person but I couldn't find anything, there was a huge mess. I found him on the other side, he had managed to crawl away. It was the same picture: he was wet, dirty, with serious scalding burns. He was standing up but was in an extremely shocked state, shaking. He told me I had to go to where the main blast happened, which was where my friend Valera Khodemchuk was. This guy couldn't see it, but there was nothing there in that direction, it was just empty space.

What happened then?
At this point I saw Yuri Tregub, who had been sent from control room number 4 by Anayoly Deatlov, Chernobyl's deputy chief engineer, to manually turn on the emergency high-pressure coolant water to flood the area. Realising that he wouldn't be able to do this on his own, I told my friend where to go to get help and I went with Tregub to turn on the water.

Did you succeed?
We weren't able to get to the taps. The coolant tanks were in a hall close to the reactor. There were two doors in. We couldn't get in the first because the walls had collapsed, so we went down a couple of floors to the other door. We were in water up to our knees. We couldn't open the door but we could see a little through it, and all we could see were ruins. The huge water containers had been blown apart. There was just a wall and a door left. We were looking into open space.

Literally?
To get a clearer idea of what had happened we walked outside. What we saw was terrifying. Everything that could be destroyed had been. The entire water coolant system was gone. The right-hand side of the reactor hall had been completely destroyed, and on the left the pipes were just hanging. That was when I realised that Khodemchuk was definitely dead. The place where I was told he'd been standing was in ruins. The huge turbines were still standing, but everything around them was rubble. He must have been buried under that. From where I stood I could see a huge beam of projected light flooding up into infinity from the reactor. It was like a laser light, caused by the ionisation of the air. It was light-bluish, and it was very beautiful. I watched it for several seconds. If I'd stood there for just a few minutes I would probably have died on the spot because of gamma rays and neutrons and everything else that was spewing out. But Tregub yanked me around the corner to get me out the way. He was older and more experienced.

What did you do then?
We started to make our way to control room number 4, but on the way we met three workers who had been ordered by Deatlov to go to the reactor hall and lower the control rods manually. Tregub ran back to the control room to report what we'd seen, and I went with these three to help them. I told them that the order they had been given was senseless because there was no reactor hall anymore and it was highly unlikely there were any control rods. But they said I had only seen it from the lower level and they had to see it for themselves from the upper level.

Did you realise how dangerous that was?
Yes, we did.

What happened when you got back to the reactor hall?
We climbed up to a ledge but there was very little room. Because I had come up the stairs last I stayed behind propping open the door. They took the torch from me and went in. I stood there listening to their reaction to what they saw, which looked like a volcano crater. They said there was nothing they could do, they had to get out.

What happened to those three?
All three of them died very soon afterwards. That wall and the door basically saved my life. I received quite a high dose propping open the door. We had done everything we could. That was the worst feeling: that there was nothing else we could do.

At what point did you start to feel ill?
About 3 am, one-and-a-half hours after the explosion.

How did you feel?
I began to feel sick. I knew one of the first symptoms of radiation illness was vomiting, but I was thinking, have I eaten something? I was trying to keep the worst thoughts at bay. Half an hour after the explosion I had met a man with a dosimeter, he was fully covered so I don't know who it was, and I asked him what the reading was. He showed me the counter, which was off the scale. That was a frightening moment. It was impossible to say how much radiation we were taking in, but I knew it was a large dose. I was taken to the local hospital at about 5 am because I was too weak to walk. I was taken to Moscow that evening.

Did you think you would die?
The most frightening thing was to lie there and hear how one after another the others were dying. I was thinking, when will it be my turn? I'm not a religious believer and I don't know any prayers, but I did pray every evening that I would wake up the next morning.

How did they treat you?
It was a very intensive and demanding treatment and you had to be very strong to withstand it. I had continuous blood and plasma transfusions. For a few months I lived on other people's blood. Then the ulcers from the radiation burns started to appear. I had a lot of burns. Only after a couple of months did it become clear that there was a chance I might live. At that point my body started to work on its own again. I didn't need transfusions. But I was on a continuous morphine drip. My wife Natasha says I had lost a lot of weight and looked like a dying man. She says I spoke very slowly and quietly, but that I always retained a clarity of mind. I understood what was going on.

What kept you going?
I was treated properly. And I was naturally strong and healthy - I was young, 24 at the time.

Are you still suffering physically?
I have to have skin grafts constantly. I still get ulcers. Without the burns it wouldn't be so bad.

How do people in Russia treat you?
I try not to talk about it. I don't want people to know about it. I have been given two medals, an order of honour for my actions that night and a medal 10 years afterwards, but everybody got one of those. I try to get on with my everyday life. My neighbours don't know who I am. There is a stigma attached to it.

Have you been back to Chernobyl?
Once, when they shut it down in December 2000. I was invited as a special guest. I wandered around the third reactor block, which is an exact copy of the one that blew up. I didn't feel too good. My knees were wobbling when I stood on top of the reactor.

What do you think about nuclear power?
I'm fine about it, as long as safety is put head and shoulders above any other concern, financial or whatever. If you keep safety as your number one priority at all stages of planning and running a plant, it should be OK.

Alexander Yuvchenko will appear in Disaster at Chernobyl on Discovery Channel in Europe at 10pm (UK time) on 29 August

His description of radiation sickness (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058292)

The guy describes beginning to vomit about one-and-a-half hours after being exposed, but he didn't think it was the radiation as he had eaten at The Red Lobster earlier that day.

Re:His description of radiation sickness (5, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about 10 years ago | (#10058320)

but he didn't think it was the radiation

I submit that he was grasping for any alternative he could make himself believe that didn't involve him dying a horrible death.

Re:His description of radiation sickness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058392)

His optimistic mental outlook may have contributed to his survival. His will to survive combined with his willingness to believe he could survive may have helped him endure treatment where others gave up.

Re:His description of radiation sickness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058480)

now now, get your facts straight. it was the sliders for lunch.

Would Be Interesting to View in US (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 years ago | (#10058300)

Alexander Yuvchenko will appear in Disaster at Chernobyl on Discovery Channel in Europe at 10pm (UK time) on 29 August

Anyone up for recording this and making it available?

Back in 1990 I caught a photo exhibit by Igor Kostin [time.com] in Baltimore, MD. He was the first photographer in the area after the accident [infoukes.com] and toured it afterwords, taking many pictures [time.com] which are still very disturbing to remember.

It's remarkable how optimistic he is on nuclear power, even with his concerns of safety above finanancial or even political concerns.

Kidd of Speed - Ghost Town (1)

_anomaly_ (127254) | about 10 years ago | (#10058637)

...is one of my favorite chronicles of Chernobyl after the explosion. It's a little story (with pictures) about a woman that rode her motorcycle through Chernobyl and documented what she saw and how it made her feel. Very good read IMHO.

Here's the link [kiddofspeed.com] (hopefully you people won't kill their server)
If I get a mirror put up, I'll post it.

Actual interview text... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058316)

The actual interview went like this:
How did you end up working at Chernobyl?
In Soviet Russia, job choose you!
What were you doing the night the reactor exploded?
I was on the night shift
What were you doing when you heard the explosion?
Resting eyes
What happened?
Earth-shattering KABOOM!
What did you think it was?
Reactor #2, of course
Did you imagine that it might be the reactor?
What do you think, Einstein?
What did you do after the explosion?
Look out window at reactor
What did you find?
Smoldering crater
What happened then?
I tried to call my supervisor
Did you succeed?
No, he drunk
Literally?
Yes, drink much vodka...
What did you do then?
Run like hell!
Did you realise how dangerous that was?
No, kaboom happen many time, but never this big!
What happened when you got back to the reactor hall?
Green steam shooting out

mod parent UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058496)

thats pretty damn funny!

Safety of Nuclear Power (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 10 years ago | (#10058325)

One of the most interesting bits of the interview is this:

What do you think about nuclear power?

I'm fine about it, as long as safety is put head and shoulders above any other concern, financial or whatever. If you keep safety as your number one priority at all stages of planning and running a plant, it should be OK.


There you have it. From a man who nearly died and is still sick today from Nuclear power.

It's imperative for people to realize that Nuclear Power is not devil incarnate. By stopping Nuclear development, you are slowly killing yourselves with Coal and Oil plants. The number of people killed by nuclear power rate in the dozens (most at Chernobyl). The number of people killed by coal plants rate in the hundreds of thousands. Think about it.

Re:Safety of Nuclear Power (1)

tbjw (760188) | about 10 years ago | (#10058469)

The number of people killed by nuclear power rate in the dozens (most at Chernobyl). The number of people killed by coal plants rate in the hundreds of thousands.

But coal plants have been here for much longer, and still provide a large amount of power in developing nations, where safety standards are often not as rigorous as, say, in France.

Also, the number of people killed by Nuclear disasters as a result of cancers which develop only many years later is hard to quantify. (As is, I suppose, deaths due to pollution from coal and oil; but fossil fuel polution has many sources).

Re:Safety of Nuclear Power (1)

erotic_pie (796522) | about 10 years ago | (#10058478)

Yes, but what is the ratio of coal to nuclear plants, that and the fact that coal plants have been around ALOT longer then nuclear plants have. I would bet with that averaged in it would be alot closer in numbers.

Re:Safety of Nuclear Power (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 10 years ago | (#10058571)

No, that's not correct. For example, over 3,000 people died in one week [findarticles.com] in 1952. The problem is the makeup of most coal. From this link [ornl.gov]

Coal is one of the most impure of fuels. Its impurities range from trace quantities of many metals, including uranium and thorium, to much larger quantities of aluminum and iron to still larger quantities of impurities such as sulfur. Products of coal combustion include the oxides of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur; carcinogenic and mutagenic substances; and recoverable minerals of commercial value, including nuclear fuels naturally occurring in coal.

MORE NUCLEAR MATERIALS ARE RELEASED BY COAL BURNING THAN ANY NUCLEAR PLANT HAS EVER RELEASED. That's a VERY important thing to know, because COAL KILLS PEOPLE.

Re:Safety of Nuclear Power (-1)

Yokaze (70883) | about 10 years ago | (#10058527)

While we are at quoting:

Did you imagine that it might be the reactor?

I couldn't imagine it was something to do with the reactor.


> By stopping Nuclear development, you are slowly killing yourselves with Coal and Oil plants

We aren't living in the 50s anymore. Nuclear development hasn't shown the results it promised and we today we know about more options.

Re:Safety of Nuclear Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058543)

no, nuclear power is not the devil incarnate. however, until we can safely store nuclear waste (and don't say yucca mountain is a safe solution, google it and see what you find) it's not a practical solution.

Re:Safety of Nuclear Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058625)

I just want to sow it (atomic waste) into the soil in the Middle-East (like Rome sowing salt into the soil of Carthage).
We can change its name from "The Promised Land" to "The Cursed Earth".

"If you 2 kids can't share, I am going to take your that toy away from both of you."

Benefints:
1) A place to store atomic waste
2) No more fighting over who gets Isreal/Palestine
3) Less green house gases and other "bad" energy.

Re:Safety of Nuclear Power (2, Interesting)

thhamm (764787) | about 10 years ago | (#10058595)

most people i know think of nuclear power plants as giant atomic bombs that can go off any second. no use to explain things like "critical mass" or how efficient nuclear power is compared to coal/oil. "nuclear? no way, thats too dangerous."

but no need to worry anymore. now were dismantling all our high-standard plants here, so the big companies can sell us the power generated by nice russian RBMK reactors.

ah heck. i dont need no power plants. my power comes right out of this little outlet in my wall.

Re:Safety of Nuclear Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058602)

Do you have the number of people killed by solar panels too?

Re:Safety of Nuclear Power (3, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | about 10 years ago | (#10058615)

Too bad you're already at +5, or I'd mod you up more. Modern nuclear power plants are the way to go for cleanish energy (there is still a mining requirement, of course). People don't realise even today how much certain areas (France and parts of Canada spring to mind) get their power from nuclear sources.

That said, one big problem with nuclear is the low safety standards in certain nations that could lead to a disaster.

Re:Safety of Nuclear Power (1, Insightful)

n0mad6 (668307) | about 10 years ago | (#10058628)

The number of people killed by nuclear power rate in the dozens (most at Chernobyl)

umm... that's if you believe the official Soviet Death toll as released shortly after the accident happened. This number remains at 31 and takes into account only the lives lost immediately following the accident. While estimates of the true death count vary, most sources agree that its well in the thousands (I've seen some counts as high as 30,000) over the course of the decade following the accident. While I agree that coal-fired plants aren't the healthiest things in the world, the cost of this one accident is in lives for decades following the accident. The land surrounding the Chernobyl power plant will remain a ghost town for decades if not centuries to come.

While I agree with Mr. Yuvchenko that *if* safety is made the most important priority, Nuclear fission is a very efficient and relatively clean source of power, its simply not right to write off nuclear accidents as being miniscule compared to damage caused by fossil fuels.

Re:Safety of Nuclear Power (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 10 years ago | (#10058642)

The number of people killed by nuclear power rate in the dozens (most at Chernobyl). The number of people killed by coal plants rate in the hundreds of thousands.

The problem is security and proliferation. Many countries have used nuclear power plants primarilly as a cover and enabler to develop nuclear weapons. This activity continues even today in Iran and North Korea. Measures are supposedly in place to monitor for legitimate use of nuclear technology, but the world has shown little will to enforce them.

One day, nuclear power may help kill hundreds of thousands. If events spiral out of control after that day, it could help kill hundreds of millions.

The THUD (0, Troll)

Crzysdrs (801722) | about 10 years ago | (#10058335)

When I heard the thud I thought it was something very heavy that had fallen. After that I didn't know. I thought that maybe war had begun.

Somehow I feel that this is a very important statement. I guess it is trying to tell me the next time I hear a loud thud, that it might not be my grandmother breaking a hip, but the war beginning.

Re:The THUD (1)

mikael (484) | about 10 years ago | (#10058476)

Somehow I feel that this is a very important statement. I guess it is trying to tell me the next time I hear a loud thud, that it might not be my grandmother breaking a hip, but the war beginning.


I once lived opposite some warehouses converted into residental flats. Instead of internal staircaes, these buildings had metal staircases on the outside going all the way up to six floors. On one Saturday, repairs were being carried out by welders on the top floor. At this time, I had my computer on a desk in the corner of the room beside the window, and just about freaked out when I saw the reflection of an intense bright shimmering light being projected onto the wall opposite my window.

Re:The THUD (0, Redundant)

WD_40 (156877) | about 10 years ago | (#10058631)

In A.D. 1986 was was beginning...

"Main screen turn on!!!"

"It is you!!!"

"You have no chance to survive make your time."

Ironic medals (2, Informative)

pjt33 (739471) | about 10 years ago | (#10058340)

He mentions a medal which everyone got 10 years after the event. Ironically, the design of the medal gets basic particle physics wrong - it shows [soviet-medals-orders.com] alpha-particles being deflected more than beta-particles, although they have a greater mass. (If that link dies, just use the Google image search for Chernobyl medal).

Re:Ironic medals (1, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 10 years ago | (#10058499)

it shows alpha-particles being deflected more than beta-particles, although they have a greater mass

I believe that's correct. The greater mass of Alpha particles causes them to be more easily deflected than beta particles. Gamma radiation has a near-zero mass, so it can penetrate most forms of matter. (Penetration being the act of "missing" most of the matter.)

I think you may be getting confused by Neutron radiation, which is the most massive type of radiative particle. Neutrons do a LOT of damage due to their mass, but they don't actually have a lot of penetrating power.

Re:Ironic medals (4, Informative)

Aardpig (622459) | about 10 years ago | (#10058632)

I believe that's correct. The greater mass of Alpha particles causes them to be more easily deflected than beta particles. Gamma radiation has a near-zero mass, so it can penetrate most forms of matter. (Penetration being the act of "missing" most of the matter.)

No, the greater mass of alpha particles (2 protons and 2 neutrons, basically a Helium nucleus) makes them more difficult to deflect, not less. However, other factors have an impact on the scattering cross section, including particle charge and energy.

Gamma particles have a zero rest mass, since they are simply energetic photons.

I think you may be getting confused by Neutron radiation, which is the most massive type of radiative particle. Neutrons do a LOT of damage due to their mass, but they don't actually have a lot of penetrating power.

No, Neutrons are less massive than alpha particles.

Re:Ironic medals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058570)

Those are particles that are deflected in a Magnetic field. The alpha partical has a higher turning rate because it had a greater static charge. The alpha particle has two positive charge carriers to the beta's one.

heroism in the face of bad design and decisions (5, Interesting)

vg30e (779871) | about 10 years ago | (#10058353)

I don't dispute the heroic efforts by everyone who put their lives on the line, but the tragic fact is that the chernobyl reactor fire could have been avoided if there had been more attention paid to safer reactor design and materials.

Although the fire itself was caused by human error, the RBMK style reactors are much worse than the machines run by the US or western Europe and the powers that came up with that style of reactor are at least partly to blame for that tragedy.

The end isn't in sight yet, the "coffin" that is encasing the bad reactor is cracking, it may collapse causing another giant radioactive cloud of dust to blow all over the Ukraine, Russia, and Europe.

Re:heroism in the face of bad design and decisions (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | about 10 years ago | (#10058534)

The end isn't in sight yet, the "coffin" that is encasing the bad reactor is cracking, it may collapse causing another giant radioactive cloud of dust to blow all over the Ukraine, Russia, and Europe.

There was already a fire in the area that kicked up radioactive dust and sent it back into the air. I read somewhere before that the disaster at Chernobyl released about as much radioactive material into the atomosphere as one nuclear weapon test.

Scary.

Re:heroism in the face of bad design and decisions (3, Funny)

Performer Guy (69820) | about 10 years ago | (#10058576)

The nimrods running the plant deliberately disabled critical safety systems to conduct a test of another safety system. There's a key issue here, if you need to ask the question then you should not put it to the test without considering the very severe consequences and erroded safety margin left should the answer to the question be other than you expect.

It reminds me of a story of the F-16 pilot sitting on the ground who thought the aircraft would stop him raising the gear when on the ground. So he tried it and discovered that yes he could indeed raise the gear contrary to his expectation, now I ask you why would to do something so dumb?

I also ask, why would the plant engineers at Chernobyl disable safety systems to *test* another *backup* safety system? Utterly moronic, and there's not a lot a plant designer can do to avoid that kind of rank stupidity. A good old fashoned Soviet show trial followed by swift execution of the plant managers is the appropriate remedy.

Re:heroism in the face of bad design and decisions (2, Interesting)

Ignignot (782335) | about 10 years ago | (#10058621)

Yes, the RBMK style reactor isn't as safe as the CANDU or the pebble bed reactors. However, any reactor that can go critical (basically all but the pebble bed) can suffer from Chernobyl's problem - blatant disregard for safety procedures and nuclear physics. They attempted to simulate no load, turned off the automatic safeties, and turned off the coolant. Boom! What a suprise! The fact is no normal usage of the reactor could have produced that situation, but they were interested in studying the outcome, somehow not realizing how bad it could be. A combination of poor oversight and an inability to recognize dangerous situations, along with trial and error engineering with a nuclear reactor produced the tragedy. Yes a better reactor might have handled the disaster differently, but every kind of reactor except for pebble bed would still have had some serious problems.

This guy is brillinat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058359)

No kidding, the guy glows in the dark.

"My neighbors don't know who I am" (5, Interesting)

Zen Punk (785385) | about 10 years ago | (#10058374)

"...there is a stigma attached to it."

I had no idea that someone who was involved in Chernobyl would feel the need to hide the very fact that he was there.

What if this man was your neighbor and Chernobyl was your hometown? Would you harbor a grudge against him because he worked there?

After all, just because someone was there doesn't mean they were responsible for the accident. Like he said, "there was nothing we could do."

Re:"My neighbors don't know who I am" (2, Insightful)

GoofyBoy (44399) | about 10 years ago | (#10058443)

I believe that it would be the amount of radiation he could have on (in?) his body and maybe also a bit of superstition?

real-life Radioactive Man? (1)

Zen Punk (785385) | about 10 years ago | (#10058645)

Come now, you don't really think that the man could actually carry enough radiation in his body to actually harm anyone else do you?
That's like being afraid to shake the hand of someone who has cancer because you might catch it from them.

Dropping the control rods. (5, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | about 10 years ago | (#10058375)

He says in the interview that the control rods were dropped by his colleague, but from what I recall it was much, much too late. The core was so hot that the rods warped and jammed.

The disaster was caused partly by one engineer previously over-riding automatic safety protection in order to increase reactor power to levels needed to run a safety test.

Moreover manuals were outdated with areas simply crossed out. Human error at its worst.

Re:Dropping the control rods. (4, Informative)

Muerte23 (178626) | about 10 years ago | (#10058594)

>The disaster was caused partly by one engineer previously over-riding automatic safety protection in order to increase reactor power to levels needed to run a safety test.

Uh, IIRC the reason the thing blew is that the power levels were decreased to too low a level to sustain stable reaction.

I'm not a nuclear physicist, but I believe in that style of reactor, the presence of the particular water they were using decreased the reaction speed, instead of increasing it as it is done in modern, western reactors. So they had the control rods pulled all the way out, and the water flow super low.

Then the water started to boil a little, and that boiling caused bubbles in the moderating water, which allowed the reaction speed to launch into some nasty exponential power spike that could not have been prevented in the time it took to see the spike.

I'm pretty sure what I just wrote was mostly right. I'm just too lazy to find links. But I am sure that the power level was super super low, and the control rods were pulled all the way out. Bad idea.

Muerte

Chernobly today (0, Offtopic)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 10 years ago | (#10058378)

Ghost Ride [kiddofspeed.com]

Re:Chernobly today (5, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | about 10 years ago | (#10058433)

Sadly, a fake, I believe.

Yes it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058501)

I submitted a story about it being revealed as a fake to Slashdot since they ran stories on it TWICE, but it was rejected.

Re:Chernobly today (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 10 years ago | (#10058577)

It seems to be a partial fake, anyway.
http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2004/05 /fraud-exposed-and-true-thing.asp

it seems she did go there, but not the 'lone woman on a motorcycle' thing. She was evidently escorted around in an official car.

Re:Chernobly today (5, Informative)

Pirow (777891) | about 10 years ago | (#10058584)

Yup, unfortuantly it's fake [www.uer.ca] .
Welcome Slashdot readers!
Just so's y'all know, you folks are setting serious records for the number of individual users on the server at once (peaking around 1000 right now instead of the typical 80 or 100). Now, on to what you're probably looking for:

Chornobyl "Ghost Town" story is a fabrication TOP <#top>
e-POSHTA subscriber Mary Mycio writes:

I am based in Kyiv and writing a book about Chornobyl for the Joseph Henry Press. Several sources have sent me links to the "Ghost Town" photo essay included in the last e-POSHTA mailing. Though it was full of factual errors, I did find the notion of lone young woman riding her motorcycle through the evacuated Zone of Alienation to be intriguing and asked about it when I visited there two days ago.

I am sorry to report that much of Elena's story is not true. She did not travel around the zone by herself on a motorcycle. Motorcycles are banned in the zone, as is wandering around alone, without an escort from the zone administration. She made one trip there with her husband and a friend. They traveled in a Chornobyl car that picked them up in Kyiv.

She did, however, bring a motorcycle helmet. They organized their trip through a Kyiv travel agency and the administration of the Chornobyl zone (and not her father). They were given the same standard excursion that most Chernobyl tourists receive. When the Web site appeared, Zone Administration personnel were in an uproar over who approved a motorcycle trip in the zone. When it turned out that the motorcycle story was an invention, they were even less pleased about this fantasy Web site.

Because of those problems, Elena and her husband have changed the Web site and the story considerably in the last few days. Earlier versions of the narrative lied more blatantly about Elena taking lone motorcycle trips in the zone. That has been changed to merely suggest that she does so, which is still misleading.

I would not normally bother to correct someone's silly Chornobyl fantasy. Indeed, correcting all the factual errors and falsehoods in "Ghost Town" would consume as much space as the Web site itself. But the motorcycle story was such an outrageous fiction that I thought the readers of e-Poshta should know.

Mary Mycio, J.D.

Legal Program Director
IREX U-Media
Shota Rustaveli St. 38b, No. 16
Kyiv 01023, Ukraine
Tel: (380-44) 220-6374, 228-6147
Fax: 227-7543

Slashdot readers:
You liked the chernobyl motorcycling? Check out this abandoned Aircraft Carrier!

Not on FOX? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058384)

Too bad this was not on FOX.

I would have been interested in hearing expert commentary from one Mr. Homer Simpson after this interview.

Re:Not on FOX? (1, Insightful)

Thrymm (662097) | about 10 years ago | (#10058415)

I may have a sense of humor and love the Simpsons, but this is not something to joke about.

Why Nuclear will never work.. (2, Interesting)

KenFury (55827) | about 10 years ago | (#10058404)

Quote: What do you think about nuclear power?

I'm fine about it, as long as safety is put head and shoulders above any other concern, financial or whatever. If you keep safety as your number one priority at all stages of planning and running a plant, it should be OK.


Nuclear power will never work in the US for that very reason. Power is a private enterprise. Don't ask me why that is just the way this country thinks. Private industry will never put safty as number one priority. It's number one priority is profit. Companies will skimp on safety to maximize profit. Yes I know that we do have nuclear reactors in this country now. They are extremly regulated. They are being deregulated every day. When they are de-regulated enough for the companies, a disaster will soon follow. (5-10 years)

Re:Why Nuclear will never work.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058604)

You mean growth... Not profit, right?

I'd feel a lot better if I had ever worked for a company who's number one priority was profit, but they're usually more interested in "growth".

I just can't get over it... (-1, Flamebait)

doggiesnot (804940) | about 10 years ago | (#10058405)

..they keep torches in a nuclear power plant?

What kept you going?

I was treated properly. And I was naturally strong and healthy - I was young, 24 at the time.


That, and the "continuous morphine drip".

Re:I just can't get over it... (2, Informative)

Wapiti-eater (759089) | about 10 years ago | (#10058441)

Dude, you need to get outside more often.

"Torch" is a common term folks in the rest of the world use for what we North Americaners call a flash light.

Ain't you ever watched Dr. Who??

Re:I just can't get over it... (0)

jmoo (67040) | about 10 years ago | (#10058447)

Umm...I'm pretty sure he means flashlights. In Europe anyway they call them torches don't know about Russia.

Re:I just can't get over it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058488)

..they keep
torches in a nuclear power plant?

IIRC, a torch is an idiomatic British expression meaning flashlight.

On a side note, relatives of mine in India call a flashlight a battery. They also call a battery a battery. Very confusing.

Torch == Flashlight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058509)

...in British English that this guy presumably learned.

Heroism and Chernobyl (5, Insightful)

randall_burns (108052) | about 10 years ago | (#10058407)

Regardless of how you feel about nuclear power politically, the heroism demonstrated by the crew at Chernobyl was incredible-and deserves commendation.
If not for them, things could have gotten much worse. Many of these brave men knowingly gave their lives.

Article forgot the picture (0, Redundant)

StevenHenderson (806391) | about 10 years ago | (#10058409)

Poor guy - look what happened to him [mobygames.com]

TV (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | about 10 years ago | (#10058428)

When does the TV movie come out?

Oh, I'm soooo sure! (3, Funny)

jqcoffey (457742) | about 10 years ago | (#10058430)

Where is the "Chernobyl Disaster Veterans for Truth" post? :-D

Catch-22 (2, Interesting)

bhima (46039) | about 10 years ago | (#10058432)

I thought about this sort of thing ever since I read that between 40~60% of the energy generated in America is used in the distribution of energy being that Austria is smaller I guess we use less energy that way... but still if smaller energy stations were more abundant we would less energy pushing it around and huge accidents like this would be even more less likely.

Unfortunately more stations means more opportunity for smaller incidents... Tut mir leid.

Re:Catch-22 (1)

Wapiti-eater (759089) | about 10 years ago | (#10058498)

Lemme get this straight - you're saying transmission lines loose %40 to %60 of their energy in transmitting electricity.

So, how does having more, smaller power plants decrease this percentage?

Problem is in the transmission lines - not the power plants. Review your Ohm's Law for the basics.

Who else wants superconductors at ambient temps?

but.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10058450)

But did Homervich Simpsonski survive ?

Chernobyl...18 Years Later (-1, Redundant)

mmerlin (20312) | about 10 years ago | (#10058479)

For those who missed it the first time, The story on the photo journal by the Ukranian woman "kidofspeed" [slashdot.org] is deeply moving. One of the most amazing stories and photos I've seen.

However where has her site gone? The pages are showing different content now...

I did a quick search but can't find any mirrors... Anyone know if the original site was mirrored anywhere?

Re:Chernobyl...18 Years Later (5, Informative)

Wapiti-eater (759089) | about 10 years ago | (#10058530)

That's cuz it was later shown to all be a hoax.

http://www.boingboing.net/2004/05/26/girl_photoblo gs_cher.html

Google is your friend.

Re:Chernobyl...18 Years Later (1)

ToshiroOC (805867) | about 10 years ago | (#10058548)

I believe this site was shown to be a fake - she didn't go through there alone, but took a bunch of pictures from other sources and some of her own pictures during a standard tour. I can't find a source easily, though I'm sure someone else here can.

Old slashdot article? (0, Redundant)

jmcmunn (307798) | about 10 years ago | (#10058518)

I read an article that I thought was posted here on /. a while back about a woman who rides her motorcycle around the chernobyl area. She had a website with lots of photos...wish I could find it again if anyone can track it down.

Also, were't they filming a movie there (Night of the Living Dead or something) recently? From the sounds of it, there are just now becoming areas where you can go and not be subjected to the radiation...it's hard to imagine this guy making it this long.

Re:Old slashdot article? (1)

NoahsMyBro (569357) | about 10 years ago | (#10058640)

Looking for this:
http://www.kiddofspeed.com/default.htm

When I found that site, whenever it was last posted on /. many moons ago, I was absolutely fascinated, and read the entire thing. Spooky.

Still remember... (2, Interesting)

kg_o.O (802342) | about 10 years ago | (#10058555)

I still remember the brownish color and ugly taste of Lugol's solution (hope I didn't mess up the name) the nice ladies at kindergarten gave us. Of course, it was a matter of a few years until I understood the reason this "medicine-that-doesn't-taste-good-but-you-must-dri nk-it" was given to us. Weird feelings when playing Fallout ever since ;)

Russian R.B.M.K reactors were badly designed ... (5, Informative)

phoxix (161744) | about 10 years ago | (#10058581)

the sad part is, some of them are still running ...

The following is the Paper [world-nuclear.org] everyone will link to. And the following provides some nice diagrams to look at [nucleartourist.com]

And just for kicks: Some really freaky pictures [a-newsreport.com] . (The second one really gets to people, he is working IN the bloody thing!!)

Sunny Dubey

Chernobyl motorbike girl... (0, Redundant)

advocate_one (662832) | about 10 years ago | (#10058601)

wonder if she's done any more trips [angelfire.com] through...

Nah... looks like she's been exploring some WWII battlefields...

Interesting, IMO. (3, Interesting)

gfxguy (98788) | about 10 years ago | (#10058633)

Because I'm someone who supports nuclear fission as a means of generating power (at this point in time, anyway)...

What do you think about nuclear power?

I'm fine about it, as long as safety is put head and shoulders above any other concern, financial or whatever. If you keep safety as your number one priority at all stages of planning and running a plant, it should be OK.

This is why this is not going to happen in the U.S. ... redundant safety precaution after redundant safety precaution. Three Mile Island proved that those precautions work, even after a series of mistakes.
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