In the spring of 1986, a new and unknown territory appeared and took hold on the world map. Chernobyl is a surreal state with its own borders and cruel laws of nuclear physics. The date of this global catastrophe (on April 26, 1986) has forever gone down in history of mankind. The Chernobyl accident was unprecedented not only in its global scale: scientific, medical, social and psychological challenges. It was a catastrophe of a new type.
The explosion of a giant isotope radioactive bomb, which was the RBMK reactor, didn’t occur as a result of war or terrorist attack. This happened supposedly by accident. It had to be a result of a breakdown of a technological super system designed to ensure the peaceful existence of millions of people. So, it has become the first time in our civilizational development, when mankind faced the threat of self-destruction as a result of a collision with a “peaceful” atom.
Chernobyl showed the vulnerability and destructiveness of the unrestrained “peaceful” nuclear expansion imposed on society by the military atomic and industrial complex. Moreover, Ukraine, a dependent province of the USSR, found itself in the epicenter of a global information storm soon after the Chernobyl accident. It attracted the extraordinary interest from the world community and free media. Everyone tried to break through the iron curtain of silence and understand what really happened in Chernobyl.
What really happened in Chernobyl?
The Kremlin’s naive hopes of hiding the truth from the world were in vain. The American commercial satellite Landsat recorded two hot spots at the NPP. Photos of the cooling tank showed that the ChNPP reactors were shut down. However, even in early May 1986, the USSR still remained silent about the scale of the disaster. This caused a political dissonance in the relations of the USSR with Europe and the United States of America. US Secretary of State J. Schultz said that Reagan’s government “knows much more than the Russians tell their own people”.
So, the society opened its eyes to what had happened only after a while. Everything they saw turned out to be the “plague of the nuclear age”. As a result, humanity became powerless to overcome the enormous scale of the accident.
- The release of radiation from the Chernobyl disaster is 100 times greater than the atomic bomb explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- Radioactive fallout from Chernobyl covered the territory with more than 3 billion people.
- In 13 European countries, about 50% of the territory was contaminated with radioactive particles.
The path of knowledge of the Chernobyl phenomenon
Chernobyl began with the lies of the communist system and a reluctance to admit historical defeat in the international competition. The USSR maintained a regime of super secrecy and refused to cooperate, including scientific and technological assistance. As a result, it deliberately risked the life and health of its own citizens. Millions of people, and worst of all, children, got in a radiation trap. Domestic conspiracy theories only aggravated the situation
Absolutely everything (earth, air, nature, water, milk and food) was dangerous in radioactively contaminated areas. For most people, this caused psychological stress, panic reactions and depression. It was a time to respond to the false propaganda campaign. Subsequently, a new energy of resistance began to emerge among the Ukrainians. Chernobyl became a visionary and catalyst for the collapse of the USSR and the birth of an independent Ukrainian state.
34 years have passed since those terrible days, full of bitterness and hard work of liquidators, scientists, builders, military personnel and doctors. This is a significant historical period, the lifespan of one generation. These three decades were a time of unprecedented geopolitical change. It was the peak of the collapse of the Soviet empire.
It was a time of the rapid globalization, the emergence and development of new information technologies and new fundamental discoveries. They occurred in the fields of medicine and genetics, bioengineering and astrophysics, radio astronomy and physical cosmology. It’s also a time of new hybrid terrorist wars that are bringing the world closer and closer to the third global war.
Over the past more than three decades, we’ve come a long and difficult way of understanding the phenomenon of Chernobyl. We delved deeper into the technological, nuclear and radiological, medical, social and economic and environmental problems caused by the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. If not all, but most of the secrets of Chernobyl have been declassified today. In addition, we were the first who succeeded in removing the “secret” stamp from most of the KGB documents in 70 years of the totalitarian regime.
Chernobyl hasn’t caused only suffering, environmental and historical losses. The Chernobyl disaster mobilized Ukrainians and became an incentive to build our own state. So, we managed to break through the wall of lies and silence. Moreover, we felt the support of friends from all over the world. And today, from the height of 34 years of experience, we are obliged to learn the lessons of Chernobyl for humanity.
God doesn’t issue certificates of protection for a nuclear reactor
LESSON ONE. A nuclear reactor of any design, operated in any country, is an explosive object. It’s an atomic time bomb. So, this requires an extremely responsible attitude. The disaster in Japan at the Fukushima-1 NPP once again confirms this theory. God doesn’t issue certificates of protection for any nuclear reactor on Earth.
LESSON TWO. The so-called “peaceful” nuclear power is generated by the military nuclear and industrial complex. Ukraine and Japan didn’t produce nuclear weapons. But, nevertheless, they became its victims. The development of nuclear energy in any country is the path to nuclear weapons, which increases the risk of nuclear war.
LESSON THREE. The nuclear accident of the Chernobyl and Fukushima model is a global catastrophe in its ecological consequences, which affected the fate of millions of people. Its destructive nature sweeps away all state borders, political, social or national barriers from its path. Such a catastrophe is becoming a phenomenon that is acquiring signs of a world apocalypse.
LESSON FOUR. A radioisotope catastrophe is characterized by a cumulative medical effect extended in time and space. It leads to a gradual increase in health problems among liquidators, NPP personnel, and people living in contaminated areas. 300,000 people died, convinced that the Chernobyl disaster was the cause of their death. These people are liquidators of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident. They have the right to think so. And any bureaucratic medical organization can’t deny this fact. We respect the right of the dead to their own convictions. They saved us, the living.
LESSON FIVE. Ukraine has paid the highest price for the obsolete technologies for storing spent assemblies and the supply of fuel imposed on it. Today, Ukrainian society thinks about the prospects for using plutonium. The safety of the nuclear fuel cycle and complete control over spent nuclear fuel is the number one priority.
CONCLUSION: Each new anniversary of Chernobyl is not a ritual game or a place for anniversary statements. This is an eternal sign of memory, sorrow and reflection. It embodies an occasion for interpreting of the lessons of the disaster once again. This is a call for new generations to remember the tragedy and think about the future. Think about how to strengthen human security in the context of a new energy paradigm, nuclear-free development of the world economy.