Chernobyl and Nuclear Power in the USSR by David R. Marples

By David R. Marples

Chernobyl and Nuclear strength within the USSR supplied the 1st distinctive account of the Soviet nuclear strength and of the character, impression and effects of the Chernobyl (Chornobyl) catastrophe of 28 April 1986. Marples areas the Chornobyl twist of fate in the context of Soviet nuclear improvement. He encompasses a Chornobyl diary, that covers Soviet reporting in the course of the first weeks after the twist of fate; Soviet power coverage; japanese ecu and Soviet nuclear improvement within the Nineteen Eighties; questions of safety; and an account of the instant aftermath of the catastrophe and the clean-up operation.

Co-published with the Macmillan Press, London.

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On this same day, the Soviet authorities once again reverted to the line that the main danger was now over. " Within a brief time, the programme reported, radiation Ievels within a 30-kilometre radius of the damaged plant had been brought down, and the isotopes released into the atmosphere were of brief duration, including iodine-131. And yet, work on the damaged reactor was still continuing. " But while Western claims that a "massive catastrophe" had reportedly been proven erroneous, work must not be allowed to slacken off because "a whole series of complicated problems" remained tobe solved.

23 It provided a succinct summary of some of the main difficulties encountered, and went far in illustrating why the ostensibly simple solution to Soviet energy problerns-that of developing Siberia-is really not so Straightforward at all. Having referred to the dearth of workers at the mining enterprises in this area, Pravda stated that over 60 per cent of the workforce was aged between 35 and 60. As coal miners in the USSR have the option of retiring at the age of fifty, the labour situation was declared to be unsatisfactory.

But in Pravda Ukrainy, the Ukrainian Health minister Anatolii Romanenko said that while radiation Ievels were falling, people should still be taking every precaution to keep potential radiation contamination to a minimum. " This Ievel, however, was twice that reported by Tanjug on the previous day. More information about the radiation in the atmosphere after the disaster was released by Radios Prague and Moscow on 10 May. Radio Prague, which had steadfastly and rigidly adhered to the Soviet line in all its Statements about Chemobyl, quoted a Soviet official as stating that iodine-131 had escaped from the damaged Chemobyl reactor and that this isotope was dangerous because it could enter the human organism through food.

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