[OT] Chernobyl, our pompei

Slashdot posted today a link to a photo journal of Chernobyl, made by a Ukrain girl called Elena who went back to the Chernobyl area, 18 years after the nuclear disaster. This is a good example of the true power of the Internet: real journalism, real facts and available to everybody worldwide.

The journal is very moving, especially to the end. I'll link to mirrors to save her bandwith. Mirror 1. Mirror 2.


  • the site is clear alright, but this woman's knowledge of physics is as limited as her knowledge of history.

    alexander akimov didn't push "the wrong button". a novice engineer would know not to design a reactor that can be destroyed by push of a button. he flipped a switch. an EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN switch, which was supposed to SHUT THE REACTOR DOWN. and it was the right thing to do. he followed the protocol. she doesn't mention that it was a gas explosion because xenon built up and the excess of neutrons was not absorbed (xenon poisoning). she also doesn't mention that the man who tried to stop the chain reaction died 3 weeks after the accident. a careless, insensitive and ignorant narrator.

    she talks about serious issues and yet manages to smile and strike a pose for the camera, and then dares to call this site her "favorite part" of the ride! with this reaction, i doubt she ever lived there.

    by the way, radiation does not "evaporate", and some of the numbers (death toll as well as levels of radiation) are misquoted.

    the pictures are real, of course, but to call this photojournalism is not quite fair, considering that they were taken at different times and came from different sources. many of these look familiar (and i do happen to have a lot of resources, including a collection of books, iaea and nrc articles, on the topic), and could have been taken from internet sites or photocopied from books.

    and have you wondered, why her bike only appears on one picture? on the EDGE of the zone? well, civilian vehicles are kind of prohibited there, unless you're an employee who has special business bringing a vehicle there. after all, there's a good possibility of contamination, and who would want to risk losing a kawasaki if it became contaminated? she says there's no radiation on the pavement. what? there are no gamma rays floating around? no alphas bouncing? how about the ash and the radioactive dust that were expelled from the reactor during the explosion? you know, the ones that were detected in scandinavia? well, a vehicle, or wind for that matter, can easily stir that dust up. that's why the only cars that travel through the zone have their windows tightly closed and sometimes taped.

    she may have ridden her bike around the town and the power plant, but i doubt she made it past the checkpoint.

  • This website is aswome! She got past the check poitnt, special permission, her dad is a goverment worker in Chernobyl. This website explains alot. Creepy story.

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