The “Chernobyl” word has become nearly nominal symbolizing some global environmental disaster, which took lives of many people. However we’ve been accustomed to consider this happened “somewhere else” in Eastern Europe… might be Belarus, or Ukraine, or some another backward Slavic country… but “not with us, thanks God.”
This year the world has hardly commemorated the victims of the April 26 1986 Chernobyl disaster, when Europeans got the real possibility to join those sorrowful ranks. If you think that the forest fire in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, just look at the map of radioactive fallout right after that notorious accident :
It is well known that in 1986 the radioactive particles were found even on the clothes of the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden. Now the fire’s been raging in proximity to the nuclear waste repository sites, in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl NPP. The smoke plume has been drifted in the direction of Belorussian and Polish territories. In such situation it is strange to hear the acting head of the Ukrainian State emergency service allegations about “normal situation and no changes in background radiation.”
It must be kept in mind that according relatively new measurements the radiation levels near the reactor hall were approximately 30 Sv/hr – a lethal dose in 20 minutes, and that the concrete casement around it has been severely deteriorated. Ukrainian authorities plan to replace it just in 2016.
Now let’s imagine all those stirred up by fire radioactive particles flying ahead like a lovely fume (as our Ukrainian friends describe it) into the Belarus and further into Poland, and Baltics, and Scandinavia… and suddenly it makes no matter if the fire is localized or not. Instead it feels not quite the thing because it IS in 4 miles from the biggest Ukrainian nuclear waste mortuary currently uncontrolled either IAEA, or any other proper international organizations.