The Chernobyl Disaster and The Last Film of Vladimir Shevchenko

We have all been watching the Japanese reactors closely after the reported cooling failures and risk of meltdown.This short video concerns the prior disaster at Chernobyl and the last film of Vladimir Shevchenko. He died from his exposure to the site.

Shevchenko ended up in a hospital with the father of the videographer, who also turned out to be a nuclear scientist. When Shevchenko showed him some of his photos, the father knew immediately that he was not going to survive. Some of the pictures were of the reactor itself. The film shows how haphazard the operation was and how many workers were never informed of the risks. Some pictures are incredibly startling — like workers picking up radioactive slate from the roof by hand and dumping them in trashcans. Workers were only given cheap surgical masks while working in the area.

I have often commented on the bravery of many of these responders, such as the divers who knowingly worked next to the reactor to close values under water despite the lethal exposure to radiation. This film shows how the government simply failed to warn many workers of the risks in containing the reactor core.

As we have seen, while the government is seeking to increase tourism to the site, there is a new danger of a breach due to shoddy work after the disaster.

27 thoughts on “The Chernobyl Disaster and The Last Film of Vladimir Shevchenko”

  1. Anonme 1, March 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    The USA has gone backward….
    I hope your niece is alright. She is probably one of the first who will have to choose to leave for her safety into a world where there is fast becoming no safe place to go…

  2. The USA has gone backward ever since RayGun and Sr. bush took solar panels off the White House. I worked at a solar co. at the time – and it was growing leaps and bounds – until then.

    The nukes cannot be insured – the taxpayers have insured them with no notice from the corp. govt. – so of course, no worries about Diablo Canyon having NO EVAC PLANS and NO Iodine pills.

    Don’t worry – just pay up – with your money and your health/life.
    The real reason? Always – money and control.

    The corporations want their monthly “rent check” for power use and control of people.

    If people get off grid with their own small community projects and such – the corporation loses their “monthly paycheck”.

    Short sited politics – paid for by our Corporations – who own our politicians – quite a circle of crooks and liars.

    My niece is still in Tokyo today, having lived and worked with her own business for over 16 years. She is trying to keep it together as other nationals leave in droves. I suggested that as tap water not far North of her has been discovered to be radioactive – she may not have much choice. She may lose her business and be in debt – but she will have a better chance of a longer life if she leaves NOW.

    Time for people all over the world to take note – get involved for the sake of their children’s future. Time for change is now.

  3. By the way, Japan’s fledgling wind industry has come through the quakes and tsunamis without a scratch — most wind farms are up and running and kicking out lots of power; the only ones offline are offline because of the disrupted power grid; once that’s fixed, they’ll be up and running too:

    But of course wind farms don’t produce weapons-grade fissile material, so of course they’re mocked by the heavily-subsidized nuke industry — an industry that is incapable of turning a real profit:

  4. Thank you for the post, Mr. Turley. My only comment would be your last line: “…due to shoddy work after the disaster.” I would think that, even with the lack of disclosure to the on-site workers by the Soviet government, there was a lot of pressure to get that containment and support engineering done quickly. No time to let the concrete set and do standard pressure tests, for example. I therefore suggest that the blame not be placed on the workers or work itself as being “shoddy”, but rather “hasty” or “rushed” even.

  5. On NPR this afternoon they were talking about disasters and frequency of events. The curious thing pointed out is they predict 100 year and 500 year ‘events,’ but have only been building reactors since the 1940. 65 or so years is hardly long enough to start projecting what might happen every hundred or five hundred years. That statistic has no power. We cannot use a ‘black swan’ risk model here.

  6. Re Bob,Esq’s posting on the push for new nuclear power plant building: if it was a profitable or secure venture the taxpayers wouldn’t have to put up $4 billion in loan guarantees.

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