quinta-feira, abril 06, 2006

A River Runs Through It

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

This is the day that the Lord hath made - and I am speechless before it, thankfully Spiegel fills the gap:

Spiegel: Chernobyl Disaster, Accident or Catastrophe? (Archive), discussion.
Spiegel: Lessons Forgotten, Ukraine's Nuclear Future (Archive), discussion.
Spiegel: Chernobyl Remembered, "My Friends Were Dying under my Eyes" (Archive), discussion.
Spiegel: The World from Berlin, Lessons from the Memory of Chernobyl (Archive), discussion.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tomorrow, sometime very early in the morning, will be the 20th anniversary. These words from the man who carried the can ... my heart goes out to him. But the real anniversaries blur and smear out; over the 20 years before the catastrophe, all the personal, political and engineering decisions that led up to it; and throughout the years since, all the coverups and whitewashes, the twisted statistics, the ostrich mentality, the willingness to see and hear and understand - or not. The wake-up call came and we have not answered it.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarReuters: Chernobyl boss - "True cause of disaster was hidden". He says:
"Chernobyl has not taught anything to anyone."
"Official investigations into the cause of the disaster were a whitewash designed to exonerate the nuclear industry."


Chernobyl, Tchornobyl, Tchernobyl, Ĉernobil
Viktor Bryukhanov, Viktor Brioukhanov, Viktor Petrovitch Brioukhanov

Monday, April 17, 2006

Spiegel is re-printing a series of articles around this issue; I will post links to them here. It is not only the atoms that are 'murderous', it is also the politicians and bafflegab engineers. If James Lovelock is promoting this deadly shit as a quick-fix for global warming then he must be crazy at least, or worse. The solution is to take on each person living on this planet and get them to stop squandering. Laugh if you want but I cannot see any other way short of complete and absolute totalitarian control.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarClick to Enlarge / Click para AumentarSpiegel: Chernobyl May 5 1986 Reprint - Murderous Atoms (Archive), discussion.

Many (or most?) of these images were taken by Igor Kostin (Igor Fedorovitch Kostine). It looks to me like some of them were taken at considerable personal risk. He was born in Moldavia in 1936. After working as an engineer for ten years, he became a photographer for the Nowosti news agency. Kostin has been documenting the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster for 20 years. Others by Rüdiger Lubricht, Anatol Kliashchuk, Paul Fusco, Andreas Gefeller, Gerd Ludwig.

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Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarHere is the second of the Spiegel articles: Spiegel: Chernobyl - The Pompeii of the Nuclear Age (Archive), discussion and a good timeline (unfortunately done in Flashplayer so only available as long as Spiegel maintains it): Spiegel: Timeline.

Systematic suppressiion and distortion of information was extensively practiced by the UN as well as the then Russian government, and by subsequent Ukranian and Belarus governments. Denial, pure and simple, for shame and for greed.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thanks to Martin for this link: Guardian: Beside the leaking tomb

So, there ARE meters that register in millisieverts ... I wonder where you get one?

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Chernobyl, Pripyat, April 26th, 1986, coming up on twenty years ago. I have not found any readily understandable reports of the current status of contamination in the area. I will continue looking. Everyone seems to have a reason for not speaking clearly about it. They speak in relative terms and bafflegab, somewhere there must be some hard numbers.

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OK, back to high-school physics:

Units of Radioactivity (from Wikipedia): The becquerel, symbol Bq, is the SI derived unit of radioactivity, defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second. The older unit of radioactivity was the curie (Ci), defined as 3.7×10 10th becquerels or 37 GBq.

GBq: gigabecquerel, 10 9th (9 zeroes), or one Billion Bq.
PBq: petabecquerel, 10 15th (15 zeroes), or one thousand Trillion Bq.
SI: The International System of Units, abbreviated SI from the French language name Système International d'Unités.

"The worldwide average background dose for a human being is about 2.4 mSv per year." - UN; "The natural background effective dose rate varies considerably from place to place, but typically is around 3.5 mSv/year." - Wikipedia. Some divergence, let's call it 3 mSv per year.

mSv: millisievert, 1 Sv = 1 Joule/kilogram, so a milliseivert is 1 Joule per gram no, it is 1 Joule per megagram (or 1,000 kilograms, or metric ton, ton, tonne).

Joule: the work done or energy required, to exert a force of one newton for a distance of one metre. I am not sure what this means? "exerting a force for a metre"? Here's a few simpler terms: 1 joule is the absolute minimum amount of energy required to lift a one kilogram object up by a height of 10 centimetres; the work done to produce power of one watt continuously for one second.

Gets complicated because bequerels measure the amount of ambient radiation, and grays and sieverts measure the dose and biological impact of radiation received.

OK, here we go; a chest x-ray is about 0.1 mSv, so normal background radiation is about equivalent to 30 chest x-rays a year.

All I can see from the UN reports is that there continues to be about 1 mSv per year additional radiation effect within the 30 kilometre exclusion zone. An additional 1/3? This does not seem like much ... more later.

REAC: Radiation Measurement
Radiation Risk
External Radiation Dose Calculator
The United Nations and Chernobyl
UNSCEAR: Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation
IAEA: Chernobyl Forum

I found some reports:
1. Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation to the General Assembly (undated)
2. Radiological Conditions in the Dnieper River Basin, 2006 from work done in 2003-4
3. Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident and Special Health Care Programmes, 2005

None of them was forthcoming with any general statements about continuing risk within the so called 'exclusion zone' - which is hardly an exclusion zone since there appears to be numbers of people living there.

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Posted abril 13, 2006 1:32 AM by Blogger M Laplante /  

If 1 Sievert = 1 Joule/kilogram, then a millisievert is 1 Joule per tonne not 1 Joule per gram.

I had a quick look at the report. The 1 millisievert doesn't seem to refer to the exclusion zone. There are 5 zones, including some ">5 mSv/yr". What dose do you get inside the exclusion zone now? Here is someone who measured 10 mSv (per year?) there a couple of weeks ago.
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/john_vidal/2006/03/beside_the_leaking_tomb.html

The big danger now is things like radioactive isotopes of Cesium and Strontium that go into the food supply, get absorbed in your bones and then radiate you from the inside.