The next installment of my investigation* of the Chernobyl catastrophe shows how the disaster occurred, the results, the inside stories of the people on the scene fighting to save Europe from a chain reaction and potential nuclear detonation many times larger than Hiroshima. The radioactive contamination, and the way the authorities downplay it, has direct relevance to what is happening today in Japan.
In the documentary film The Battle of Chernobyl (Thomas Johnson, 2006), we see how military and miners were not counted by the "official" death tolls currently floating around from the UN and IAEA. The film, after interviewing numerous key first person sources tells that 600 of the helicopter pilots who flew over the reactor died. Another 2,500 miners who dug a tunnel and room below the reactor died. Other military died, as well as people left behind in the evacuations.
The Chernobyl Syndrome:
"We've all got a bunch of symptoms, heart, stomach, liver, kidneys, nervous system. Our whole bodies were radically upset by the radiation and chemical exposure."
"According to the military, of the 500,000 Chernobyl liquidators 20,000 have already died. 200,000 are officially disabled."
Dr. Yuri Badazhevsky shows his experimental findings concerning cesium contamination of food:
"Look what happened when the mother was contaminated with cesium (137) during pregnancy... Look how many deformations, hairless, missing eyes, deformed skulls."
"...I was horrified by how many deformed embryos developed in animals that had eaten cesium contaminated food. I obtained a horrible number of deformations in two weeks."
Four out of five children in Belarus are considered ill.
"In Belorussia, 300,000 children are currently suffering the consequences of contamination."
Mikhail Gorbachev laments the catastrophe and wishes for clean, safe alternative forms of energy, on camera.
"How many years is this going to go on? 800 years? 800 years! Until the second Jesus Christ is born, until he returns? Yes."
-Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union
* See yesterday's post: Nuclear Controversies.