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Clues from Chernobyl

May 4th, 2019 No comments

In the past century, no technology has held such potential for both wonder and terror as nuclear power. Whether it is used for ill or good, the underlying physical mechanism presents an inherent danger to those constructing, handling, and ultimately living with the device and its constituent parts (and waste). As a symbol of the atom’s destructive power if things go wrong, no event resonates more than the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.

In the Sunday, April 7 New York Times Book Review, Robert R. Crease reviews two books on this nuclear subject: Midnight In Chernobylby Adam Higginbotham, and Manual For Survivalby Kate Brown. According to Crease’s review, Higginbotham recounts in his book the mistakes made that caused the nuclear reactor explosion, “the world’s greatest nuclear disaster,” in what is now Ukraine. Brown’s book is “an exposé of the attempts to minimize the impact of Chernobyl.” In her work she “sought measurements of radioactivity in such things as wool [and] livestock.” read more