All That You Didn’t Know About Chernobyl
To deal with the disappointing end of Game of Thrones, HBO offered its viewers Chernobyl. But little did they think that this series would top all charts! Based on the infamous Chernobyl disaster of 1986, it is a five-part miniseries and thriller on this horrific real life catastrophe. The series follows the story of the 1986 explosion of Chernobyl’s reactor four in the V.I Lenin Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, Ukraine. The disaster occurred during a safety test that went wrong and resulted in the nuclear power plant’s reactor core exploding. This actually shows what happens when science is no longer a blessing but turns into a curse.
Interesting Facts About Chernobyl
Here are some of the interesting facts about Chernobyl that you might want to be aware of while watching the series:
- Sweden was the first country from the west which learnt of the explosion as the sensors of the nuclear plant workers in this country sensed high levels of radiation.
- In fact, Sweden was also the first country to send out the first alert signal to its citizens.
- Among the several radioactive isotopes released, radioactive iodine (Iodine-131) was the most potent. This is due to the fact that it gets very easily accumulated within the thyroid gland, leading to thyroid cancer and eventually death. People who were deficient of iodine in their body fell more susceptible to the iodine radiation.
- Besides radioactive iodine, cesium-137 and strontium-90 are the potent long time killers. Once ingested for a long period of time, they can pose serious threats to the body.
- After the explosion of Unit 4, the other three reactors were shutdown. Eventually, within a year or so the plant resumed functioning. But the aftermath of the event was so adverse that it resulted into closure of Unit 2 in 1991. Then, in 1995, newly independent Ukraine decided to shutdown the remaining two reactors. Unit 1 stopped operating in 1996, and Unit 3 was shut in 2000.
- The tress in the area of about 4 square miles turned reddish-brown and died from absorbing all the radiation. The Chernobyl Forum declared in 2005 that this are has “paradoxically has become a unique sanctuary for biodiversity”.
- The site lacked safety measures. There was no containment building or a gas-tight shell to surround the nuclear reactor.
- Despite several years of cleaning, the site is not completely clear of the flammable debris. The Ukrainian government stated that the site would probably not be completely cleared until around 2065.
- Even after reporting the death of 2 people in the explosion, everyone in the surrounding was evacuated only about 36 hours after the disaster began.
- You can still die out of slow radiation if you visit Chernobyl as there are some hot spots usually found in cracks in and around Pripyat where the radioactive particles accumulated. In fact, they’re also in areas of the red forest where a lot of the main fallout happened as was buried.