Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Take a Moment

to remember the hundreds of thousands of people who's lives were effected by the worst technological catastrophe the world has ever seen.


ibifdu said...

hey i'm uninformed what happened?

Fyrecreek said...

That would be the disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine on this date in 1986. The cause was officially claimed to be a combination of human error and design flaw. The explosion and following meltdown spewed radioactive material into the air that contaminated places, homes, crops, and drinking water sources hundreds of miles away. In fact, if it were not for this cloud, that was detected at a Swedish nuclear power station more than 500 miles away, the Soviet Union (which Ukraine was then a part of) may never had admitted to the accident at all. Hundreds of thousands of people had to be evacuated from their contaminated homes, hundreds of people suffered radiation sickness, many later died from it.

This disaster took the lives of not only people and animals, but many plants as well (consider the Red Forest in Ukraine). Reports are conflicting and incomplete, due to the Soviet Union's tendency to try to hide their affairs from the world, but the fallout is still something that people are experiencing, even more than twenty years later. I saw a photo essay once of a hospital outside of Kiev (if I remember correctly) that is busy treating children who are believed to be suffering from the radiation, either being born at the time of the accident or mutated from the exposure of their parents. I vividly remember one image of a baby whose brain was formed outside her skull.

All of this horror can be traced to an accident of human technology.

I support nuclear power. I think it's important to remember that, for all its benefits, when things go wrong, they go about as wrong as things can possibly go.