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BITTER GALL AND WORMWOOD: CHERNOBYL

 
 
Setanta
 
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2006 09:24 am
ulr=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl]There are those who claim that the word chernobyl in Ukranian means wormwood[/url]. This is convenient for those who link the disaster which occured twenty years ago to a passge in the Book of Revelations. Whether or not that has any validity, one thing is certain, and that is that an unprecedented disaster took place at Chernobyl in the Ukraine twenty years ago.

On April 26, 1986, the fourth reactor at the Lenin nuclear plant at Chernobyl, near Kiev, suffered a catostrophic steam explosion which lead to a meltdown of the nuclear pile. The consequences of this accident are still with us today. The Soviet government of Mikhail Gorbachyov tried to hush things up, especially as the customary show piece May Day celebrations were to take place in a few days. But the radiation released was detected in many places in eastern Europe within a few days, and the cover-up attempt did not work. Ukraine deals with the consequences of this accident every day, and many such unreliable reactors are still in use in the Ukraine, in Belarus and in Bulgaria.

Chernobyl article at Wikipedia
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2006 11:41 am
I remember the quip hat "more people died in Ted kennedy's car than were killed by nuclear power"
Then we had 3 mile Island

Then we had the steam explosion at fernald Ohio

Then we had Chernobyl


Then we had the Kursk.
Remember , as a kid, that little cartoon figure of the "friendly atom?"
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Noddy24
 
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Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2006 01:44 pm
Wildlife are doing very nicely in the radioactive area: deer, elk, bear, wolves, wild horses....
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farmerman
 
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Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2006 02:53 pm
Theres about a 50000 sq Kilo area that was affected. Most of the animals that couild have been affected and that have restricted home ranges are already dead. The isotopes that extend out over 100 Kilometers from the plant include Plutonium and americium (each with long half lives that will leave the areas a mess for thousands of years. The damage to kids from Srontium and Iodine induced cancers has also already happened . So the conclusion that nothing seems to be affecting the animals and its "slowly returning to normal" is just an example of the old Soviet governmental incompetence and its penchant for playing down some major disasters that theyve been stuck with.

My group did some of the soil adsorption uptake equilibrium stats for Plutonium and other long lived isotopes for David Wilsonand the UN group in 1986 and 87.The immediate 30-50 km radius area will be unlivable for quite a long time.
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Noddy24
 
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Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2006 03:47 pm
I just finished Mary Mycio's book, Wormwood Forest

http://snipurl.com/ppq1

People have been evacuated from the area and the irradiated animals are doing much better without them, just as the wildlife in the military contaminated DMZ between North and South Korea are thriving.
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farmerman
 
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Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2006 06:55 pm
That should be Richard Wilson, not David. Davids an engineer. Richards a nuke physicist and the father of nuclear dose calculations.

Noddy, despite what pop culture says, theyve taken the wise precaution to move 1/2 million of the people people out(there are a few old squatters and , from what Id seen, there was some evidence of radiation stress like pattern hair losses and blood affects.\
. Animals , we cant even count them properly let alone make any predictions. In reality, noone gives a **** about the red deer, and maybe, just maybe, because competitive pressures are off, they just breed like rabbits so the population looks unaffected.

Has the book any insight into genetic effects or data from postmortems of animals? Is anyone allowed in to hunt? The plutonium in the first 30 km is high, in the tens of thousands of picocuries. We worry about radon in drinking water at 200 in Pa.
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Noddy24
 
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Reply Wed 26 Apr, 2006 07:24 pm
Farmerman--

Radiation levels in the wild animals are high, but there are few visible abnormalities. Genetically abnormal animals don't survive in the wild.

People have been evacuated, but small numbers of peasants have crept back to the world they know. They grow their own vegetables, pick wild berries and mushrooms (which have exceedingly high levels of radiation) and do a little poaching of the local game.

Dumb? Sure.

The animal population is thriving because of the absence of people, not because of a "benign" radioactive contamination.
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Paaskynen
 
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Reply Thu 27 Apr, 2006 02:52 am
There are additional reasons why animal life seems unaffected. First of all the most lethal is radioactive material that is inhaled, but most of the fall out from the disaster has already been washed out by rain and has now leeched into the soil up to a depth of 60 cm (depending on the type of soil), which means that it has or soon will reach the ground water level (if I remember well the area around Chernobyl was marshy) and from there it can spread further. Anyway, it is safe to say that most of the radiation will reach the animals through the food they eat. This uptake of radiation is less acute and it works much slower. Most wild animals simply do not live long enough for the effects to show in the adult specimens, while young animals that are born affected will not survive into adulthood.

And indeed like others have mentioned, we seem to have forgotten how rich and plentiful wildlife was before humans showed up.
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farmerman
 
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Reply Thu 27 Apr, 2006 05:39 am
Plutonium has a very high coefficient of Adsorption. When the radioisotopes "washed" out of the atmosphere, the heavy weights stuck to the soil and leaf litter surface. Plutonium hasnt migrated but a centimeter or so, the fractions like Tritium and light weights have indeed migrated into the water column and leached into the ground water. Most of the more soluble ones have relatively short half lives, not so plutonium.
Thats the reason that people shouldnt be living there for many thousands of years, Plutonium is primarily an alpha emitter and dust particles during dry spells will get into lungs and cause lesions in the mucosa.
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