Chernobyl Today

This is a link to a short post on Common Dreams.

It’s been 24 years since the catastrophic explosion and fire occurred at Chernobyl in the Ukraine. The accident required nearly a million emergency responders and cleanup workers. According to a recent report published by the New York Academy of Medicine nearly one million people around the world have died from Chernobyl fallout.

Now we are finding that threats to human health and the environment from the radioactive fallout of this accident that blanketed Europe (and the rest of the world to a lesser extent) will persist for a very long time. There is an exclusionary zone near the reactor, roughly the size of Rhode Island (1000 sq kilometers), which because of high levels of contamination,people are not supposed to live there for centuries to come. There are also”hot spots” through out Russia, Poland Greece, Germany, Italy, UK, France, and Scandinavia where contaminated live stock and other foodstuff continue to be removed from human consumption.

My friends tell me that a growing number of Ukrainians are immigrating to Youngstown, OH ( where I grew up),Cleveland, Chicago, and other Ukrainian-American enclaves because of Chernobyl contamination threats.

The photo of the abandoned city of Pripiat says more than a thousand words. The statement that mammals in the surrounding wilderness are declining, instead of multiplying in the absence of humans points to a future that must be prevented.

Check out Common Dreams for the rest of the story.

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4 responses

  1. So scary, to see the pictures of Pripiat and imagine the horror of that entire city needing to evacuate. But we continue to build and use power plants, most noticeably at Brayton Point in Swansea/Somerset, where two ginormous water cooling towers can now be seen from Cranston. Yes, as my older daughter noticed yesterday, from the intersection of Sockanosset Crossroads and Reservoir Avenue, you can see the huge towers off to the right in the distance. I guess we can hope they are being safer now with nuclear power. My question is, what were they doing BEFORE they built the huge water cooling towers — there’s got to be a story there.

  2. I saw them from 195 for the first time a couple of months ago. Brayton Point uses fossil fuels but the cooling towers do look just like the kind usually used with nuclear plants.
    The best argument for nuclear is that the other current technology is so terrible, but I think that economics is influencing the debate too much. Conservation,better design and decentralized power sources are the way to go, because plutonium is a kind of pollution that never goes away and is deadly to humans, animals and plants. I have heard that cockroaches do okay with it,though.

  3. If you think people are going to start burning cow chips for heat and cooking,have a good time with it.
    Chernobyl was the result of poor maintenance and management.The Soviet system,so beloved of the American was a failure in all respects.the non-nuclear pollution that occured(and still exists)was worse than anything we did here by far.
    China is worse yet.
    The “rain forest”countries of Brazil,Madagascar,and Indonesia are still burning off untold acres daily.
    I think the US has acted pretty responsibly with regard to pollution since the Sixties-but it cost us industries and jobs.If yoou think “green”industries will replace that you’re not being realistic.
    Well-maintained nuclear power is not the risk you make it out to be.
    Wtih the exception of Three Mile Island(not exactly Chernobyl)the US nuclear power industry has had a good record.

  4. I meant to say “so beloved of the American left years ago”.

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