Mar. 12th, 2011

solipsistnation: (ChNPP)
It's kind of strange to think that all that reading I did about Chernobyl is suddenly relevant, and gives me a little perspective on the current Fukushima Daiichi plant explosion. There are a couple of parallels-- the failure of electric power to the cooling system, and the roof blowing off the building, releasing some amount of radioactive material-- but otherwise they're pretty different. In Chernobyl, the failsafe designed to keep the cooling system running as the plant shut down either wasn't installed correctly or, possibly, at all. It was also a much older and more complex graphite-core reactor, which led to the graphite fire that caused the plume of material that, you know, caused all those problems. There also wasn't already a containment building around Chernobyl Reactor 4-- Japan won't need to build a sarcophagus from scratch. Fukushima Daiichi is older, but still quite modern, especially compared to the cheesy old Soviet design. The use of cleaner fuel, and less of it, will make a big difference here.

And, of course, they didn't sit on the problems for a week, flying in soldiers to spend 30 minutes each shoveling sand onto burning graphite as if that would do much more than give them cancer and give the Soviet medal-production industry a couple of new designs to produce by the hundreds of thousands. Japan, being an ally and all, started rolling trucks while the problem was still small and mostly hypothetical, and asked for help when they needed it.

On the other hand, a version of STALKER set in Japan would be pretty awesome.


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