What’s in it for me? Come to grips with the Chernobyl catastrophe and its fallout.
Few events in modern history are as momentous as the explosion at Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986. But even as flames engulfed the building and the damaged reactor spewed incredible levels of radiation across the countryside, few knew the magnitude of the calamity. The response was, as a result, belated. The Soviets did not immediately realize that they were dealing with the worst nuclear disaster in human history. Why did it take so long for decisive action to arrive? What caused the meltdown in the first place? In these readims, you’ll discover the answers. Here, you’ll get inside the control room as the metaphorical doomsday clock ticked down to midnight, find out about the efforts to prevent further tragedy and learn about the heroic souls who sacrificed their safety to clean up the contamination. There’s also a political facet to the debacle, with the Soviet Union – already in a tailspin – being dealt a crushing blow to its legitimacy. Other reactors at Chernobyl might’ve been back up and running after the accident – they were finally decommissioned in 2000 – but the USSR itself couldn’t recover from the effects of 1986. In these readims, you’ll find out: who and what were responsible for the explosions; how the Soviet Union decontaminated the affected area; and why ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev blames Chernobyl for the USSR’s collapse.