April 2011

Chernobyl 25 Years Later…

In Memory of ALL the people who Suffered from the Chernobyl Disaster: you are not forgotten…

Today is May 26, 2011. Exactly 25 years ago. the nuclear power station in Chernobyl – a small town only 100+ km away from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, experienced one of the most horrible and tragic nuclear disasters… The tragedy was not only that the explosions happened, but also in how the Soviet Government decided to deal with it. Growing up inside the wall of the Physics Institute in Khrakiv, Ukraine, this tragedy touched us very closely. Lots of co-workers of my grandfather were sent to work there. Luckily they were scientists and not just the liquidators… However, to many it cost them their lives. It also touched my cousin who was in the army then and who was sent to Chernobyl as soon as it happened.Luckily who survived as our family were able to pull him out of there.

I just read an article by Olga Belogolova on it. This tragedy touched her family much more closely than mine. Luckily she also was able to escape. I know hundreds of people affected by Chernobyl directly…

And here is one of the films about Chernobyl made then by a cinematographer Vladimir Chevchenko… Look at the faces of the people who were sent there to clean it all up. The movie is called “The Chernobyl disaster – the severe days” Notice at the “protective gear”… Most of these people died very soon… I am sure many realized that they were sent to death – which was a very common thin in that Country.  The person who made the movie sacrificed his life to let us know what was going on… He also knew what it meant. It just tells me once again that human life in the Soviet Union was worth nothing. Nuclear power in the hands of a totalitarian country is a disaster, but I still believe that it is going to be one of the solutions of the future.

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The more I think about it, the more I think of the alternatives? Was the problem the lack of responsibility of the government or of the nuclear power itself? Do we have a choice of not using nuclear power? As far as I can see now – we don’t. If our choice is to rely on Saudi oil, I would rather use nuclear power. Should we chose to depend on the oil by the totalitarian countries thus allowing their dictators to hold on power a or should we work out on designing the safest possible renewable energy sources? Even if we use Canadian oil, it has significant negative implications on the environment. I think safe nuclear power is out future or at least part of it. While nuclear energy is not renewable, nuclear reactors can produce what we need with making minimal negative impact on the environment. Even in the light of Japan’s disaster, I still think nuclear power is the future. I hope oil isn’t. The effects of burning coal are not seen as dramatically but are they less severe? I hope we will find alternatives to oil… and to anti-democratic totalitarian regimes like the one where I happened to be born…

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