“The past isn’t over. It isn’t even past.” (William Faulkner)
“While we may learn from the past, we don’t seem to learn much.” (from A Short History of Progress, by Ronald Wright)
These quotations have sprung to mind on April 26, 2019, 33rd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster … about which amazing revelations continue to emerge after all these decades.
Off the top, I am reminded of an item posted on this site last year at this time.
“For me, the problem of Chernobyl is not finished, it has only just begun.” (Exiled scientist Yury Bandazhevsky, quoted in a 2016 USA Today series of articles.)
I recommend reading the whole series of articles included in the USA Today series.
Recent Revelations About Weather Modification + 2 New Books
Official lies, secrecy and cover-ups are as old as the Chernobyl disaster itself (more on this below), but this item was certainly news to me (& likely millions of others):
Deliberate weather modification (using silver iodide cloud-seeding) took place following the Chernobyl explosion – in order to divert radioactive clouds that were moving in the direction of Moscow. You can read about this in the April 4, 2019 article Chernobyl’s disastrous cover-up is a warning for the next nuclear age, & learn how it is the communities in southern Belarus suffered more contamination so that Russian cities would suffer less. It’s a horrific story of lies, cover-ups, and heartless treatment of innocent people - as well as considerably far-flung consequences in places like Cumbria (England) and Scotland.
Radioactive fallout is, of course, no respecter of borders.
The article was written by Kate Brown, author of the recently-released Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future (reviewed here). More on her & her book below.
There is another quite recent book: Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster (released in Feb. 2019 & reviewed here).
Three Chernobyl Podcasts
Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future author Kate Brown is interviewed by Nuclear Hotseat in this episode:
From the NH site: “Chernobyl Radiation’s true health impact revealed: A very special interview with Kate Brown, author of Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future. She is an historian of environmental and nuclear history at MIT and the author of the Plutopia, which won seven awards. She did research on the ground in eastern Europe, through 27 medical archives, to piece together the story of how Chernobyl’s radiation impacted and continues to harm the health of people and the environment in Eastern Europe and far beyond. Breathtaking in her clarity, precision… and the info. Not to be missed!”
** Dynamite interview! One learns a lot about the post-Chernobyl cover-up over the decades. And the ‘Nuclear Playbook’ that will inevitably be put into play, after any nuclear incident/accident/disaster. So worth hearing.
Nuclear Hotseat’s previous week’s broadcast was also on the Chernobyl topic:
# 2: Chernobyl 33 Anniversary SPECIAL #1 – Yablakov, Mousseau, Survivor Kouneva, More! – NH #408 <most of this episode is a re-play of earlier year’s Chernobyl anniversary posting>
QUOTE FROM NH SITE: “Including interviews with:
Bonnie Kouneva was a 16-year-old living in Bulgaria when the Chernobyl accident started on April 26, 1986. She was outdoors in the rain all day at a rally and got hit with the radiation plume. Bonnie talks about Chernobyl’s impact on her life and the health of her children. This former mountaineer and Bulgarian Greenpeace member currently lives in the United States.
Dr. Timothy Mousseau is an evolutionary biologist and faculty member of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. Since 1999, Professor Mousseau and his collaborators have explored the ecological, genetic and evolutionary consequences of low-dose radiation in populations of plants, animals and people inhabiting the Chernobyl region of Ukraine and Belarus.
Dr. Janette Sherman is well known for her work with epidemiologist Joseph Mangano on analyses of data after Fukushima. Their work indicates that the Japanese nuclear disaster led to a spike in US infant mortality and hypothyroidism. Dr. Sherman edited the English translation of Alexei Yablokov’s groundbreaking book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.
Dr. Alexei Yablokov was environmental advisor to Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the Gorbachev administration, as well as a co-founder of Greenpeace, Russia. His book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, compiled and translated into English more than 5,000 separate scientific reports on Chernobyl that completely contradict the World Health Organization’s report, which denied, undermined and tried to obscure the serious health risks in the wake of the accident. Dr. Yablakov died in January, 2017.
Ryuichi Hirokawa was the first non-Soviet photojournalist to document the Chernobyl disaster. The website on his humanitarian aid work with the children of Fukushima, based upon his experiences at Chernobyl, is at: kuminosato.net.
Nuclear Hotseat’s 3rd podcast on the topic of Chernobyl is this one:
# 3 Chernobyl #3: Harrowing Play-by-Play of an Ultimate Nuclear Disaster – Author Adam Higginbotham – NH #410. * From the NH site description: Adam Higginbotham is the author of MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster, the first complete account of the catastrophe that encircled the world and helped precipitate the fall of the Soviet Union. Higginbotham draws upon recently declassified documents, letters, unpublished memoirs and material from the archives of the Chernobyl Museum in Kiev, as well as scores of original interviews with participants in the events of 1986. The book reads like a thriller, with identifiable characters, arcs of action or inaction, good guys, bad guys, dupes, government corruption, and international politics. It is almost a great book. But as you will hear, he and I also have a complete variance of opinion when it comes to his conclusions as to Chernobyl’s ultimate impact on the world.
Additional Material from manual for survival author Kate Brown
Not all of us will spend hours & hours reading her book - though I do highly recommend it! Its revelations about official lies, secrecy and obfuscation are numerous. I already knew you can’t trust U.N. agencies (like WHO) to tell the truth about health, but the book really lays that out fully. The revelations about the very widespread radioactive contamination & attendant widespread health impacts are shocking. It certainly shows how absurd it is to believe here in Ontario that nuclear emergency plans in a mere 10 kilometre zone are even vaguely connected with the reality liable to occur if a nuclear reactor here blows. Also well laid out is how far the contamination spreads in the food chain. Very, very far. & it’s ongoing! (See below, regarding blueberries, cranberries and mushrooms.)
Ms. Brown gave a lecture about the book about a month ago now. You can watch it here.
Covered are: Official lies by the official agencies after the "accident." Massive, widespread, serious health impacts. Radioactive blueberries, cranberries & mushrooms being sold worldwide. What it's like in the Pripyat swamps (the area of the Chernobyl reactors - formerly home to a bombing range for weapons testing). The nonsense that gets spread by mainstream media about animals thriving in the exclusion zone (as if to say “Hey; no worries!”). ++ the larger context in which the Chernobyl "accident" must be placed. (Disaster is a better word, but still doesn't convey the big picture context - which she addresses. Along with fallout & living in nuclear communities.) This is not her first book about nukes. Her most recent previous book is "Plutopia."
A recent HBO 5-part miniseries
Chernobyl on HBO: 'Untold true story' behind world's worst nuclear disaster
QUOTE The ‘untold true story’ of the Chernobyl disaster is coming to Sky Atlantic next month more than 33 years after the nuclear explosion. END QUOTE
Info & trailer here
** As referenced in the section before this one, the HBO series is based on the Higginbotham book Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster. This review reviews both of these recently-published books about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. One detects a very definite pro-nuclear establishment bias in the review of Kate Brown’s book - but you’ll be able to detect this for yourself!
Counterpunch recently on the unreliability of WHO & IAEA reports on deaths/cancers:
"Chernobyl’s radioactive fallout has been blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths, but the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) acknowledges only 56 deaths among firefighters who suffered and died agonizing deaths in the disaster’s immediate aftermath. However, the IAEA’s officially chartered mission is “to accelerate and enlarge the contributions of nuclear power worldwide.” Because of its institutional bias, one can dispute nearly everything the IAEA says about radiation risk."
This DNA posting ‘Nuclear Health? Pssst... Well-kept Secret Deal’ explains the 1959 secret deal between IAEA & WHO that effectively shut down any research by the global health body (or presumably, any country’s official “health” agencies that take their marching orders from WHO) into radiation’s health impacts … & includes a link to the deal, so you can read it for yourself.
BEYOND NUCLEAR has several recent items about Chernobyl:
Hard duty in the Chernobyl zone (testimony from a Chernobyl “liquidator”; this item includes 2 embedded videos as well as the written text; all of it fascinating.)
Several Older Items that Are Still Relevant
Two Books VERY Highly Recommended!
Voices from Chernobyl – The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Nobel Prize for Literature winner Svetlana Alexievich
Chernobyl – Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, by Alexey V. Yablokov, Vassily B. Nesterenko, Alexey V. Nesterenko. (Note: you can access the full text of the book at the link.)
OLDER DOCUMENTARIES, also still relevant
Nuclear Truth: Atomic disaster (2012) discusses the absence of the WHO (World Health Organization) after the Chernobyl disaster
Zero Hour (2004) – Discovery Channel documentary
Chernobyl Heart (2004) – is about the ongoing (& very serious) heart problems children continue to be born with, post-Chernobyl disaster (genetic damage passes down through the generations; it does not end).
There is a FABULOUS collection of nuke-related quotations on this site, here.
I also recommend this very recent short YouTube from Japan (only 8 minutes long), covering the ongoing lies & cover-up taking place there, in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster that began on March 11, 2011. It conveys well the “playbook” in operation that the industry & the governments it colludes with use to keep hidden from its own citizens, & the world’s, the real truth about fallout, levels of radioactivity, health impacts, etc. … Very sobering.
A very nasty nuclear disaster can strike at any nuclear facility, at any time.
Industry, governments and bureaucracies (including the so-called “health” establishments) collude in the entire nuclear project – both before & following nuclear disasters.
We all cross our fingers, & hope (or pray) we will not be next.
Only time will tell!
“Chernobyl is a word we would all like to erase from our memory. But more than seven million of our fellow human beings do not have the luxury of forgetting. They are still suffering, every day, as a result of what happened…The exact number of victims can never be known.” – former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
** Note: News items are posted frequently to the DNA Facebook page