26 April 2012, 14:29

Chernobyl tragedy: the last "gift" from the Soviet regime

Chernobyl tragedy: the last "gift" from the Soviet regime

Exactly 26 years ago there was an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Whole regions in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus have become unfit for life, and the number of victims has reached one million people today. And experts are still disputing about long-term consequences of the disaster.

During the seventy years of its existence the Soviet regime "presented" the rest of the mankind with a lot of problems namely the spread of the "red plague" throughout the world, including China, Vietnam and some countries of Africa and Latin America; and occupation of half of Europe alongside with planting socialist principles on these territories with the help of bayonets and tanks; and the invasion of Afghanistan for the purpose of promoting its "dogma" in the southern direction.

All these movements have cost the world enormous human, financial and moral losses.

And yet all these "gifts" were of an archaic nature, as if from the depths of centuries, when the defeat of an enemy was achieved through the seizure of his territory, or through the victory of your ideology (or religion). Therefore, the consequences of such actions were, first of all, finite, and, secondly, reparable. Meanwhile the Chernobyl catastrophe is an event of a different kind, if we regard it as a "gift" to the mankind from a decrepit regime.

First of all, two seemingly incompatible factors have joined each other: scientific-technical progress and intellectual helplessness. That is, the Chernobyl NPP (like dozens of others) was successfully built, but its safe operation turned out to be a daunting task for the sluggish Soviet bureaucratic system.

Secondly, it turned out that the habit of classifying the whole lot as secret for the sake of the country’s prestige can cause irreparable damage even without malicious intent.

I would like to remind you that the Soviet party leadership was concealing the information about the explosion throughout the whole week. As a result tens of thousands of unsuspecting people came out on May-Day demonstrations in Kiev, Minsk, Bryansk, and many other cities, exposing themselves to the risk of getting a serious dose of radiation.

In the absence of truthful information vague rumors caused an unprecedented panic; salt and matches were sold out in a flash, and the South-Western direction railway line came in a state of collapse because of the enormous number of refugees.

And, finally, the third distinguishing feature of the last "gift" of the Soviet regime is the fact that its consequences are endless and uncontrollable, and it is impossible to count the exact number of victims. Scientists are still arguing if the number of one million deaths is valid, but when such big numbers are taken into account, the one thing is absolutely clear - things are in a bad way. Besides, no one can count how many babies could not be born, and on the lives of how many subsequent generations this disaster will tell in the form of cancer.

It is also worth mentioning that, if on April 26, 26 years ago the wind in the Chernobyl area was a little stronger, then, depending on its direction, today either Moscow, or Scandinavia, or the Western Europe would be a desert.

A quarter of a century after the Chernobyl tragedy, an accident occurred in the Japanese Fukushima. This event caused a temptation to draw a parallel, the basic meaning of which is simple – such things happen not only in our country. From the formal point of view, it is true, but there are a few circumstances that make such a comparison incorrect.

The Fukushima reactor was damaged as a result of a terrible natural disaster; it did not explode because of the negligence and carelessness of those who were obliged to prevent it.

The Chernobyl accident has long been veiled in strict secrecy. Meanwhile the Fukushima events were literally happening in a live broadcast, which made it possible to mobilize not only the Japanese, but all the world’s forces and means on their localization and to prevent unnecessary losses.

And, finally, a difference in the government’s attitude to those who liquidated the consequences of the two accidents at the cost of their health is obvious.

Nevertheless serious differences between these disasters occurring with the difference of twenty-five years cannot serve as a consolation. Fukushima showed that Chernobyl has not served as a lesson to mankind - the nuclear energetic continues to develop, threatening the world with new troubles. Global security is sacrificed for the sake of efficiency, low prices and profit.

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