Chernobyl (Perspectives on Modern World History) by David Nelson

By David Nelson

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M. ” He thus neatly equated nuclear reactors with ordinary steam boilers and nuclear station operators with stokers who shovel coal into a furnace. This was in every respect a convenient position to take. First of all, it reassured the public; and secondly, it made it possible to pay the staff of nuclear power stations the same wages as workers at thermal Radioactive exposure of this power stations, and in a number of sort occurred, virtually without cases even less. Nuclear energy was interruption, for almost fifteen cheap and straightforward, so the pay years.

Copyright © 1986, The Washington Post. Reprinted with permission. 36 PERSPECTIVES ON MODERN WORLD HISTORY Historical Background on the Chernobyl Disaster T he Soviet Union said tonight that an accident at a major nuclear power plant in the Ukraine had damaged a reactor and caused unspecified casualties. The unexplained accident also sent a radioactive cloud hundreds of miles over Scandinavia. The announcement, unusual for the Soviet Union, which rarely publicizes disasters, came several hours after four Scandinavian countries had reported detecting abnormally high levels of radioactivity in their atmosphere and Sweden’s ambassador to Moscow began questioning Soviet officials.

The scientist Mikhail Klochko suggested that as many as 50,000 to 100,000 lives were lost in the process in the first decade alone, and other authorities concur that casualties were probably in the tens of thousands. In addition to the mining and semi-processing effort, a series of processing and manufacturing complexes were constructed, almost all of them in the interior of Russia east of the Ural Mountains. These centers, known only by postal code numbers and a name associated with nearby settlements, quickly grew into small cities closed to the outside world.

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