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A bike, a girl, and Chernobyl. A website you MUST see.

shuamort

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I came across the original website a year or two ago. It is a real journal of Elena, a Ukranian, who rides a motorcycle deep into the contaminated and deserted area of Chernobyl. There are pictures of this ghost area and it will stop and make you think.

(Note: There are a lot of pages to this website, it's not well laid out as looking for "next page" on the first page isn't at the bottom, but it's quite worth the journey).
 
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shuamort

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Here's the history from her website of the incident:
600 years
On the Friday evening of April 25, 1986, the reactor crew at Chernobyl-4, prepared to run a test the next day to see how long the turbines would keep spinning and producing power if the electrical power supply went off line. This was a dangerous test, but it had been done before. As a part of the preparation, they disabled some critical control systems - including the automatic shutdown safety mechanisms.

Shortly after 1:00 AM on April 26, the flow of coolant water dropped and the power began to increase.

At 1:23 AM, the operator moved to shut down the reactor in its low power mode and a domino effect of previous errors caused an sharp power surge, triggering a tremendous steam explosion which blew the 1000 ton cap on the nuclear containment vessel to smithereens.

Some of the 211 control rods melted and then a second explosion, whose cause is still the subject of disagreement among experts, threw out fragments of the burning radioactive fuel core and allowed air to rush in - igniting several tons of graphite insulating blocks.

Once graphite starts to burn, its almost impossible to extinguish. It took 9 days and 5000 tons of sand, boron, dolomite, clay and lead dropped from helicopters to put it out. The radiation was so intense that many of those brave pilots died.

It was this graphite fire that released most of the radiation into the atmosphere and troubling spikes in atmospheric radiation were measured as far away as Sweden - thousands of miles away.

The causes of the accident are described as a fateful combination of human error and imperfect technology.

In keeping with a long tradition of Soviet justice, they imprisoned all the people who worked on that shift - regardless of their guilt. The man who tried to stop the chain reaction in a last desperate attempt to avoid the meltdown was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He died 3 weeks later.

Radiation will stay in the Chernobyl area for the next 48.000 years, but humans may begin repopulating the area in about 600 years - give or take three centuries. The experts predict that, by then, the most dangerous elements will have disappeared - or been sufficiently diluted into the rest of the world's air, soil and water. If our government can somehow find the money and political will power to finance the necessary scientific research, perhaps a way will be discovered to neutralize or clean up the contamination sooner. Otherwise, our distant ancestors will have to wait untill the radiation diminishes to a tolerable level. If we use the lowest scientific estimate, that will be 300 years from now......some scientists say it may be as long as 900 years.
 

Squawker

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I saw the pictures some time ago also and you are right -- it is well worth the wait, even if you are on dial up like myself.
 

Schweddy

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wow!
The old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" is truely accurate.

Thank you
 
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