Working conditions inside the mine were appalling. The miners had to crawl around in the hot dark stopes on their knees, bent almost double, working in dreadful conditions gouging out the blue asbestos which was in very thin bands in the hard rock…working conditions in the mill were even more appalling than the mine. Milling was a dry process where the ore was ground down and the fibre then extracted. Conditions were so bad that the men needed flood lights to see through the dust at midday. The men worked in these clouds of asbestos dust for hours on end, when only one minute at such concentrations to blue asbestos fibres would have been enough to cause lung cancer or mesothelioma.
posted by themadthinker
on Sep 11, 2013 -
Nadezhda Korotkaya, 77, a widow who lives alone in her small wooden house on the edge of Stary Vyshkov, still remembers the World War II. "The Germans came and went," she said. "But Chernobyl came here to stay."
It was 25 years ago today that reactor number four at the Chernobyl power plant exploded, following an emergency shutdown (detailed recounting of the disaster on Wikipedia
). A memorial was held in Kiev, Ukraine
, this morning for the liquidators
who were the first human responders, with a bell struck at the exact moment of the Chernobyl explosion on April 26, 1986
. See also: a look back, with The Big Picture
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Apr 26, 2011 -
The Chernobyl exclusion zone has been mythologized
as a sort of wildlife garden of eden with storks, bears, birds, wolfs, pigs etc.. taking over in the absence of man. However it turns out the reports are anecdotal, there have been no formal scientific studies - until now. According to this study of birds
, both the number of species and abundance of individuals declined with increasing radiation levels. For example, the most contaminated sites had about two-thirds fewer birds than those with normal levels of radiation. Chernobyl is far from a wildlife paradise, “This was a big surprise to us,” biologist Dr. Mousseau of the University of South Carolina said. “We had no idea of the impact.”
posted by stbalbach
on Aug 27, 2007 -
Twenty years after the Chernobyl disaster, seven artists from Moscow, Minsk, and Berlin travelled to the desolate, restricted area to commemorate the catastrophe.
posted by Gamblor
on May 22, 2006 -
This is a stunning set of photographs
by Robert Knoth, taken in the regions of Mayak, Semipalatinsk, Chernobyl, and Tomsk-7. [via]
posted by 327.ca
on Apr 22, 2006 -
The BBC reports
that twenty years on "the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power station is teeming with life." Lynx, eagle owl, wild boars, horses, wolves—even signs of bears which haven't been seen here in centuries.
British scientist and environmentalist James Lovelock (recently discussed
whether "small volumes of nuclear waste from power production should be stored in tropical forests and other habitats in need of a reliable guardian against their destruction by greedy developers."
Chernobyl as "a nasty accident that took 45 lives." This article in the New Scientist claims
that that the death toll may ultimately reach 60,000.
posted by 327.ca
on Apr 21, 2006 -
Chernobyl survivor interview -
Over at the New Scientist site Alexander Yuvchenko (one of the few surviving workers at the site) talks about the day Chernobyl went kablooie.
"...we walked outside. What we saw was terrifying. Everything that could be destroyed had been. The entire water coolant system was gone. The right-hand side of the reactor hall had been completely destroyed, and on the left the pipes were just hanging." "From where I stood I could see a huge beam of projected light flooding up into infinity from the reactor. It was like a laser light, caused by the ionisation of the air. It was light-bluish, and it was very beautiful. I watched it for several seconds. If I'd stood there for just a few minutes I would probably have died on the spot..."
posted by edgeways
on Sep 3, 2004 -
Is Elena another Kaycee?
(Scroll down to posts by "dizzy') Someone who claims to have knowledge of the Chernobyl Dead Zone posted to a number of motorcycle forums claiming that Elena coloured the truth quite a bit with her highly publicized Chernobyl motorcycle trip. [More inside]
posted by SpecialK
on May 15, 2004 -
"People had to leave everything,
from photos of their grandparents to cars." One brave (or foolish, depending on your view) girl, and her Kawasaki motorcycle take a tour through the Chernobyl "dead zone
". An astounding an eyewitness photo-essay of chernobyl
today. (Note that the first link is a google cache, but subsequent pages are available from the site when you click the "next page" link...Angelfire, go figure.)
posted by dejah420
on Mar 8, 2004 -
Tarkovsky's Stalker coming as video game in 2003.
I always wondered how long it would take for a more artistically-informed bunch to come to the $18B/year video game market (bigger than Hollywood). Will our generation have its video-game counterparts to Faulkner and Fitzgerald? A David Foster Wallace or Don Delillo authored game? Are there other video games that can stand up as "Art?"
posted by minnesotaj
on Dec 3, 2002 -