- A photographer went to Chernobyl and started turning lights on. The results are haunting | indy
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- Chernobyl: How bad was it?
By the end of the summer of , Moscow hospitals alone had treated about 15, people exposed to Chernobyl radiation. The Soviet republics of Ukraine and Belarus combined to treat about 40, patients in hospitals due to radiation exposure in the same period of time; in Belarus, about half were children.
About 31, soldiers camped out near the reactor, where radioactivity reached about 1, times the normal levels within a week, and contaminated the drinking water.
Which leads to the question: How bad was Chernobyl? A United Nations report contends Chernobyl caused 54 deaths. As a historian of science who has written extensively about both the Soviet Union and nuclear technology, she decided to explore the issue at length. Norton and Co. In it, Brown brings new research to bear on the issue: She is the first historian to examine certain regional archives where the medical response to Chernobyl was most extensively chronicled, and has found reports and documents casting new light on the story.
Brown does not pinpoint a death-toll number herself. Instead, through her archival research and on-the-ground reporting, she examines the full range of ways radiation has affected residents throughout the region, while explaining how Soviet politics helped limit our knowledge of the incident.
To see how the effects of Chernobyl could be much more widespread than previously acknowledged, consider a pattern Brown observed from her archival work: Scientists and officials at the local and regional levels examined the effects of Chernobyl on people quite extensively, even performing controlled studies and other robust techniques, but other Soviet officials minimized the evidence of major health consequences.
This is the same designation applied to emergency personnel working at the Chernobyl site itself. Why were the wool workers so exposed to radiation? As Brown found after investigating the Chernihiv wool factory itself, Soviet authorities had workers kill livestock from the Zone of Alienation — and then send their useable parts for processing.
The wool factory workers had become sick because they were dealing with wool from highly contaminated sheep. Such scenarios may have been significantly overlooked in some Chernobyl assessments. In Belarus, one-third of milk and one-fifth of meat was too contaminated to use in , according to the official in charge of food production in the state, and levels became worse the following year. They have found, among other things, the decimation of parts of the ecosystem, including dramatically fewer pollinators such as bees in higher-radiation places, and thus radically reduced numbers of fruit trees and shrubs.
Brown also directly addresses scientific disagreements over such findings, while noting that some of the most negative conclusions about the regional ecosystems have stemmed from extensive on-the-ground investigations of it. The Ukrainian state pays benefits to about 35, people whose spouses apparently died from Chernobyl-caused illnesses. All Languages. More filters. Sort order. Jacqui Hart rated it it was amazing Jul 18, Devon Marie rated it it was amazing Dec 03, Kelly Sue marked it as to-read Dec 28, Alok Sarma marked it as to-read Oct 26, Erin marked it as to-read Apr 18, Steph Garrod marked it as to-read Jul 12, John O'connell added it Aug 06, Karen Carr marked it as to-read Aug 12, Lisa marked it as to-read Sep 22, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
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A photographer went to Chernobyl and started turning lights on. The results are haunting | indy
A soldier holds a Geiger counter to a manhole. It reads I am told to stay on the authorised paths. The art installation is taking place in the centre square of Pripyat, a Pompeii-like town that was once home to around 50, people. There was a sense of deception and betrayal, and it remains to this day. Up to that point, residents had blithely carried on with their lives, unaware of the lethal miasma falling from the sky. Kids played football, or sat for their lessons in school.
Families ate dinner and watched TV. A couple got married.
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At the centre of Pripyat stands a carnival that had been due to open to the public four days after the explosion. As the light drops, we come upon the ferris wheel, lit from below. Then frozen bumper cars, with deer etched on to the concrete walls of the ride, and then a carousel. The military sway their hips to the beat. We dance in the cold, while watching lights bounce off the living rooms and kitchens of the huge Soviet blocks that surround us. On the drive home, a Russian friend who has spotted a photo of the Sarcophagus on my Instagram feed messages me. Facebook Twitter Pinterest.
Chernobyl: How bad was it?
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