Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Remembering Chernobyl:
20 Years and Still Few Solutions

Twenty years ago today, Reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant malfunctioned, leading to a catastrophic fire, several explosions, and, eventually, nuclear meltdown.

It is, by far, the worst nuclear disaster in history. It is the worst disaster not so much because of the known carnage but because of the almost immeasurable environmental impact in its aftermath.

A very wise high school teacher of mine, a former Soviet scientist herself, once said that measuring the lasting affects of Chernobyl would prove as difficult as weighing a single grain of salt against the combined weight of the salt in the seas. How does one, exactly, measure a man-made disaster that refuses to respect man-made borders, laws, and treaties?

Growing up in the Northern Hemisphere, along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, I'm fairly certain that I was exposed to at least some fallout from the disaster, thousands of miles away from ground zero. Can anyone really offer me - or anybody else - irrefutable proof that the minute increase in radioactive materials swimming around in the atmosphere above me really didn't do any long-term damage?

C'est la vie. We are all victims of Chernobyl, whether we want to admit it or not.

Thousands of Soviet firefighters and containment workers risked (some of whom lost) their lives to help keep the disaster from being much worse. If they hadn't, who knows what the death toll would've been?
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4 comments:

Deb S. said...

Well-written post. The links are very much appreciated.

Cowgirl said...

I live less than 30 minutes away from a nuclear power plant. So I hear ya.

cooper said...

Nice post. I hardly thnk of Chenoble.

Casey Kochmer said...

Chernobyl is least of the worries, general radiation backgrounds have been increasing due to many reasons not just Chernobyl. (such as the nuclear test blasts in the 50's and 60's in the atmosphere) or the waster breaking containment now a days

and then add on top of that just the general chemical exposure of the office place or home. Its like getting free chemo treatment in the luxury of your own home watching the TV, as all the plastics break apart into various toxins...

so live organically, exercise, don't worry and enjoy the sun is my feelings on the issue, as i get my free chemo treatments (something others pay thousands for in the hospitals I might add)


Peace

Best wishes to you and your family. Hope your G'Maw work her way thru the accident . Hang tight and just pass on the love.