Apr. 26th, 2011

solipsistnation: (ChNPP)
Well, okay, not HAPPY so much, but anyway. 25 years ago today, reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat, Ukraine, exploded. Spare a thought for the Liquidators, mostly enlisted soldiers who were flown in to shovel burning radioactive graphite off of the roof of the reactor enclosure and who really didn't know what they'd been ordered to do. They got medals out of it:

...and cancer. Yeah. They could only work for seconds at a time because they were standing on top of a reactor that was melting down. Hundreds of thousands of liquidators flew in and out.

Here's some of the only footage know to exist of Pripyat and Chernobyl around the day of the disaster. Watch it in silence for the full effect.

And a little song:

So, yeah. There you go.


Apr. 26th, 2011 09:41 pm
solipsistnation: (radium)

That's the face of a man who may have shoveled burning radioactive graphite off of the roof of a nuclear power plant that was melting down a few hundred feet below him. He apparently survived until 1991-- I have no idea if he's still alive today, but considering that I, a random American, have not only his medal but the document for his medal (this has been verified by people who are experts in such a thing-- and it wasn't expensive, which on the one hand is cool because I could afford it, but on the other hand is sad because it was his life). If he was alive, would his medal and the document have made it out of the ex-Soviet states? I don't know.

He looks like the kind of guy who would be good to have a drink with. He looks a little sad, but also like the kind of man who could tell a good joke if he wanted, the kind of man who smiled easily. I may be projecting because I want to think he was a good person. Either way, he worked a terrible job and we should remember him as a good person for that.


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