HBO's Chernobyl was bleak and and yet insightful.

The series concludes after 5 episodes. I now know how horrifying the initial catastrophe was. And the horrific dangers of radiation are shown more clearly. And how much of this was made somewhat worse because of the politics involved.

Glad to see a historical series is made in this day and age in Movies and TV.

Excellent miniseries. Thoroughly enjoyed it so far, going to watch the last episode tonight. Bleak, yes, but soo well done. And the vfx have been... amazing ...you know, in that shuddery sense, where you're impressed and repulsed at the same time.

HBO's Chernobyl was bleak and and yet insightful.

I'm pretty sure CNET used that same header for their article...

OT: I don't think I can watch this on Netflix, so... *shrugs*

CaitSeith:
HBO's Chernobyl was bleak and and yet insightful.

I'm pretty sure CNET used that same header for their article...

OT: I don't think I can watch this on Netflix, so... *shrugs*

I literally made that title by myself. I did not see any article.

"HBO's Chernobyl was bleak and and yet insightful."

You should see Earth's Chernobyl, that's a whopper.

bluegate:
"HBO's Chernobyl was bleak and and yet insightful."

You should see Earth's Chernobyl, that's a whopper.

Can't find it this Earth's Chernobyl.

Also I cannot believe even the internet is meme-ing the hell out of this show:

image

bluegate:
"HBO's Chernobyl was bleak and and yet insightful."

You should see Earth's Chernobyl, that's a whopper.

Earth's Chernobyl's doing pretty good, actually. It's like a nature reserve now.

Samtemdo8:


And how much of this was made somewhat worse because of the politics involved.

I wouldn't say 'somewhat'. The entire catastrophe was caused by rigid communist hierarchy and the denial of the person in charge that they found graphite in the reactor. If they acted on facts instead of delusional propaganda they would have taken the proper steps to prevent meltdown instead of overriding the system pretending nothing can go wrong.

But anyways, totally agree that this was a phenomenal series. They really highlighted the accident from various viewpoints; the scientists, the communist leadership, the miners, the soldiers, the everyday families, the direct radiation victims whose DNA is destroyed. A catastrophe with potentially global implications all taking place in this one little town. When that one scientist tells that if the remaining reactor leaks into the river it would pollute the rivers and make the land infertile for thousands of years you see Gorbatsjov almost gasping for air as they tell him this would kill off an entire nation. The hectic and the drama is just palpable in this series. Amazing acting as well.

The series also shows that the Soviets do turn around admitting the problem, espescially when Gorbatsjov becomes involved and immediately recognizes the danger by completely following the scientists advice. Obviously there is still this preposterous apparatsjik command structure but the initial delusion quickly dissipates. Probably also because the accident happened fairly late in the Soviet Union, when the regime was already on it's last legs. I think had it happened 10 years earlier the accident would have probably escalated even more.

But yeah, best show I've seen in a long while. Another big plus of this miniseries is that it gets straight to the point and doesn't waste time. This show was more memorable than other shows that run for 8 seasons.

stroopwafel:
I wouldn't say 'somewhat'. The entire catastrophe was caused by rigid communist hierarchy and the denial of the person in charge that they found graphite in the reactor. If they acted on facts instead of delusional propaganda they would have taken the proper steps to prevent meltdown instead of overriding the system pretending nothing can go wrong.

I'd exercise an extraordinary amount of caution attributing the disaster to a particular political or economic system, rather than the actual cause: systemic corruption wrought by an environment of opacity and unaccountability, which can happen anywhere.

But hey, I'm more than happy to have a conversation about TEPCO if you are.

stroopwafel:

Samtemdo8:


And how much of this was made somewhat worse because of the politics involved.

I wouldn't say 'somewhat'. The entire catastrophe was caused by rigid communist hierarchy and the denial of the person in charge that they found graphite in the reactor. If they acted on facts instead of delusional propaganda they would have taken the proper steps to prevent meltdown instead of overriding the system pretending nothing can go wrong.

Communism has nothing to do with that mindset. They had the same mindset at Comanche Peak when they had an improperly installed nuclear reactor.The NRC, EPA and all government officials involved were bought off and tried to cover it up. My family went into hiding over this due to them blowing up one of my father's coworkers cars and sending men to threaten my mother while she was gardening in our yard. If the engineers, including my father didn't go to the press (multiple news agencies refused to run the story before they found ones that would mind you) they would have just tried to hide it even though it was leaking and affecting homes and a daycare. ALL capitalists involved didn't make the situation any better. Bad people do bad things. Actual communism should have more oversight, not less if their system was designed properly. I don't think anyone accused Russia or the US of designing it properly, however.

Eacaraxe:

stroopwafel:
I wouldn't say 'somewhat'. The entire catastrophe was caused by rigid communist hierarchy and the denial of the person in charge that they found graphite in the reactor. If they acted on facts instead of delusional propaganda they would have taken the proper steps to prevent meltdown instead of overriding the system pretending nothing can go wrong.

I'd exercise an extraordinary amount of caution attributing the disaster to a particular political or economic system, rather than the actual cause: systemic corruption wrought by an environment of opacity and unaccountability, which can happen anywhere.

But hey, I'm more than happy to have a conversation about TEPCO if you are.

Exactly right, that level of corruption DOES happen everywhere, especially in the US as well. All they do is try to cover it up rather than try to resolve the problem and save lives. Years ago we had a lengthy discussion on this in R&P, had links to all the information on NRC region IV and Commanche Peak, the whistleblowers and now it looks like they are trying to bury it and make it impossible to find the links online. Even after they were exposed years ago, they are STILL trying to bury it even after they lost a lawsuit stating they couldn't. Go figure.

One of the whistleblowers involved did manage to set a precedent, but then they cover it up anyways and you can hardly find anything about it now:

https://www.whistleblowers.org/members/joe-macktal/

Lil devils x:
Communism has nothing to do with that mindset.

I never said a cover-up wouldn't take place in a 'capitalist' company(it has and it will) but that holding on to propaganda at all costs is very typical of communist ideology and the distortion of facts is something Russia still hasn't completely shaken off. And not in the 'fake news' sense of the U.S. but in the entirety of it's institutions, legislative branches and media. Political dissent is as good as absent. That was obviously at it's zenith in the communist era but it demonstrates how harmful the secrecy and denial of facts are. Not just after the accident happened but at the very moment it was unfolding. When that one scientist said he found graphite in the reactor and the apparatsjik in charge says ''you have not seen that'' do you honestly believe dissent would be silenced as easily in a capitalist company? In what political system do you run the risk of being executed when going against orders? I'll give you a hint: not one where there is separation of powers.

That cocktail of paranoia, fear, manipulation of the facts and a delusional belief in propaganda all directly contributed to the accident in Chernobyl. And yes, these are all symptoms of the communist system.

stroopwafel:

Lil devils x:
Communism has nothing to do with that mindset.

When that one scientist said he found graphite in the reactor and the apparatsjik in charge says ''you have not seen that'' do you honestly believe dissent would be silenced as easily in a capitalist company?

"You have not seen cancer in those lungs"

"You have not seen brain damage in those former football players"

"You have not seen temperature raising in that global chart"

etc, etc, etc...

CaitSeith:

stroopwafel:

Lil devils x:
Communism has nothing to do with that mindset.

When that one scientist said he found graphite in the reactor and the apparatsjik in charge says ''you have not seen that'' do you honestly believe dissent would be silenced as easily in a capitalist company?

"You have not seen cancer in those lungs"

"You have not seen brain damage in those former football players"

"You have not seen temperature raising in that global chart"

etc, etc, etc...

You conflate disinformation with complete intolerance for any form of dissent. That is what a communist system is, complete repression of anything that goes against authority even if it's to prevent a nuclear meltdown. You defend something what even Gorbatsjov considered was probably the defining moment of Soviet collapse in his memoires.

stroopwafel:
And not in the 'fake news' sense of the U.S...

A short story in four chapters, as told via hyperlinks.

Chapter 1.
Chapter 2.
Chapter 3.
Chapter 4.

Yes, in exactly that sense.

...do you honestly believe dissent would be silenced as easily in a capitalist company?

Pretty sure Edward Snowden might have a thing or two to say about that. At least, in the broader societal sense, especially given the all-too-comfy relations between FANG's and the major telecoms, and our intelligence and defense agencies. Pretty sure James Damore might have something to say about that, too; remember how he was defamed light of his memo coming to public attention, meanwhile Google and Alphabet execs were getting #MeToo'ed and it was in the middle of a gender pay discrimination scandal?

Eacaraxe:

stroopwafel:
And not in the 'fake news' sense of the U.S...

A short story in four chapters, as told via hyperlinks.

Chapter 1.
Chapter 2.
Chapter 3.
Chapter 4.

Yes, in exactly that sense.

...do you honestly believe dissent would be silenced as easily in a capitalist company?

Pretty sure Edward Snowden might have a thing or two to say about that. At least, in the broader societal sense, especially given the all-too-comfy relations between FANG's and the major telecoms, and our intelligence and defense agencies. But, speaking of Alphabet as a FANG, remember James Damore?

Snowden leaked classified information. If he did that in the SU(or modern Russia for that matter) KGB hitters would have found him a long time ago. Probably everyone close to him as well just to be sure.

The fact you can debate these issues at all is exemplary of the freedom you would never have in a communist system. There would be bigger concerns to worry about than Trump's tax returns.

stroopwafel:

CaitSeith:

stroopwafel:

When that one scientist said he found graphite in the reactor and the apparatsjik in charge says ''you have not seen that'' do you honestly believe dissent would be silenced as easily in a capitalist company?

"You have not seen cancer in those lungs"

"You have not seen brain damage in those former football players"

"You have not seen temperature raising in that global chart"

etc, etc, etc...

You conflate disinformation with complete intolerance for any form of dissent. That is what a communist system is, complete repression of anything that goes against authority even if it's to prevent a nuclear meltdown. You defend something what even Gorbatsjov considered was probably the defining moment of Soviet collapse in his memoires.

Comanche Peak Nuclear Power plant's private investors had people blow up a man's car in an attempt to silence him about an improperly installed nuclear reactor. They had armed men threaten the wives and children of employees that brought up the extremely dangerous radiation leaks and covered up falsified safety inspections. They had the NRC that oversaw their plant in their pocket and instead of oversight they agreed to not only look the other way, but actively cover it up for them. Even the vast majority of the press was terrified to be the person to report it even given a massive pile of documents by dozens of men but kept silent until it was already out there elsewhere. How can you get any more intolerant than that? This happened under Reagan and Bush and Rick Perry specifically lobbied for them to have lax regulation, not some failed soviet state. Instead of punishing those who did this, they promoted them. He is now head of the department of energy for doing these things instead.

Is there anywhere other HBO to watch it? Region lock sucks

Samos205:
Is there anywhere other HBO to watch it? Region lock sucks

Illegal streaming sites with fishy names.

stroopwafel:

Eacaraxe:

stroopwafel:
And not in the 'fake news' sense of the U.S...

A short story in four chapters, as told via hyperlinks.

Chapter 1.
Chapter 2.
Chapter 3.
Chapter 4.

Yes, in exactly that sense.

...do you honestly believe dissent would be silenced as easily in a capitalist company?

Pretty sure Edward Snowden might have a thing or two to say about that. At least, in the broader societal sense, especially given the all-too-comfy relations between FANG's and the major telecoms, and our intelligence and defense agencies. But, speaking of Alphabet as a FANG, remember James Damore?

Snowden leaked classified information. If he did that in the SU(or modern Russia for that matter) KGB hitters would have found him a long time ago. Probably everyone close to him as well just to be sure.

The fact you can debate these issues at all is exemplary of the freedom you would never have in a communist system. There would be bigger concerns to worry about than Trump's tax returns.

Communism =/= Authoritarianism

stroopwafel:
Snowden leaked classified information. If he did that in the SU(or modern Russia for that matter) KGB hitters would have found him a long time ago. Probably everyone close to him as well just to be sure.

Or, perhaps, we in the West learned from the mistakes of the "great" totalitarian regimes of the 20th Century, realized the folly of the Streisand effect, and taken the tact of "discredit and defame" instead. One might learn well from the fossil fuel industry's attempts to discredit and defame Clair Patterson and Herbert Needleman, for example.

Or, for that matter, how M. King Hubbert's and Kenneth Deffeyes' work on peak oil theory has been "discredited" despite the fact the theory is that a resource we know beyond a shadow of a doubt to be finite will eventually run out, simply because in the decades since we found new proven reserves -- and because Hubbert and Deffeyes never predicted we'd be stupid enough to resort to tar sands, oil shale, and high-volume fracking.

They knew about the serious issues with Comanche Peak in the 70's and managed to continuously cover it up until the mid 90's. When I posted on these forums a few years ago, the same man responsible for the NRC cover up, the same man who was bought off still held a senior position within the NRC. Go figure.

Sixty percent of the welds on pipes that would carry radioactive water were found to be defective, but the NRC said the system to detect errors was obviously working because the bad welds had been found. Then came a major mistake: TU built the concrete and steel supports for the reactor in Unit 2 out of alignment by 45 degrees. TU jack-hammered out the bad supports and rebuilt them in the right place. The NRC said the event did not indicate any major problems at the plant. Ellis was livid. It showed, she says, just how much attention to detail TU was paying as it built the new nuclear plant, and she contended that the same type thing might be happening all over the plant. But with the NRC supporting TU, the ASLB would not take Ellis's concerns seriously, despite her growing pile of documentation.

WHILE ELLIS WAS DOCUMENTING THE PROBLEMS of Comanche Peak, the whole nuclear industry was being shaken by two unprecedented accidents that terrified the public and pressured the NRC to crack down on every plant in the nation. Comanche Peak was no exception. In 1975, at the Brown's Ferry nuclear reactor in Alabama, an electrician using a candle flame to check for air leaks caught some electrical insulation on fire. The fire threatened the control of the reactor, and a meltdown was only narrowly avoided. The NRC responded by changing the design and construction regulations for all nuclear plants being built. One of the changes was to require two widely separated sets of electrical wires leading to the reactor control room, where before there had only been one, and to use better, less flammable insulation material. TU had to go back and redesign major portions of Comanche Peak.

Then came the worst nuclear disaster in the history of the country, and the nuclear industry was changed forever. On March 28, 1979, Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island Unit 2 went out of control. A pressure relief valve on the reactor's cooling system stuck open and most of the coolant leaked out. The control room indicator light for that valve showed that it was closed, which confused the operators. While they made a series of wrong decisions, such as turning off the flow of coolant, the reactor temperature soared to more than 5,000 degrees, and the core partially melted and fell to the bottom of the reactor vessel. The danger of radiation leaking into the environment lasted for weeks before the situation was brought under control. A small amount of gaseous radiation was released, and some 120,000 gallons of radioactive water escaped into the Susquehanna River. Nuclear engineers, perpetually optimistic, point to the Three Mile Island incident as proof of how well their hardware works. "Three Mile Island," says John Beck, vice president for nuclear engineering with TU, "is a dramatic example of how that multiple layer of protection has actually worked."

As construction proceeded at the plant, confusion mounted. A construction crew was dispatched to install a door in a wall that wasn't there-but was shown on the current blueprints to have already been built. Or a crew would be ready to put up a pipe support-and find an electrical cable tray already occupying the spot. The construction crews would do the best they could, improvising on the spot to make things fit, constantly assured by management that this procedure was normal and that any problems would be caught by the iterative process. Another as-built would be drawn of what the crew had designed and built on the spot, and sent back to the engineers. At any one time it was difficult or impossible to know which part, if any, of the plant conformed to federal safety regulalions.

Most of the construction problems at Comanche Peak, taken singly, were relatively minor, but the sheer numbers were daunting. More than 85,000 reports of potential safety violations (a large portion of them, by the way. filed after TU said the plant was ready to start up in 1982) have been filed by TU and the NRC to date at the plant-so the overall cumulative problem is enormous. In places the plant doesn't remotely resemble the original design. It has become difficult to determine whether all the pieces of the final plant will work together correctly and whether the plant will be safe. Incredibly, that confusion took about eight years to show, Then, in 1982, Juanita Ellis's efforts finally paid off.

IN THE SUMMER OF 1982 ELLIS GOT A call that changed everything. Mark Walsh, an engineer for TU. had quit his job in exasperation a few weeks earlier. He worked in the pipe-support group, which designed and checked the safety of brackets that held up the pipes that would carry coolant to the core. Walsh was convinced that the supports were unsafe, but none of his bosses seemed to care about his concerns. A couple of weeks after he left TU. he heard about Juanita Ellis.

https://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-magazine/1987/december/cloud-over-comanche-peak/

My Dad was involved with them much later, but it was still these problems being discussed here that were never properly repaired even then. They just kept lying, threatening and burying no matter who got hurt.

I'd argue in a capitalist democratic society a power plants owner would be even more worried about covering up a nuclear disaster. Because there was no alternatives in Communism, all monopolies no competition. They would fear a public outcry against nuclear use, meanwhile in communism its like "Oh you're worried about nuclear power? Shut the fuck up Boris, eat your bread rations and keep working on that power plant."

Fieldy409:
I'd argue in a capitalist democratic society a power plants owner would be even more worried about covering up a nuclear disaster. Because there was no alternatives in Communism, all monopolies no competition. They would fear a public outcry against nuclear use, meanwhile in communism its like "Oh you're worried about nuclear power? Shut the fuck up Boris, eat your bread rations and keep working on that power plant."

Care to remind me which electric power provider alternatives to TEPCO the individuals living at Fukushima had to power their homes?

Hawki:
https://au.ign.com/articles/2019/06/07/hbos-chernobyl-russia-planning-its-own-series-blaming-cia?abthid=5cfad52fe371294f36000059

This is gold.

Irradiated gold, but still, gold.

And most of the actual show is bullshit in terms of the science according to Forbes:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/06/06/why-hbos-chernobyl-gets-nuclear-so-wrong/#70973956632f

Samtemdo8:
And most of the actual show is bullshit in terms of the science according to Forbes:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/06/06/why-hbos-chernobyl-gets-nuclear-so-wrong/#70973956632f

That article is...rather fast and loose with the very record they claim to be correcting. At least, in a couple spots I noticed offhand.

Lyudmila Ignatenko's child did die shortly after birth, of congenital cirrhosis and heart failure and it was almost certainly due to exposure. This is well documented, by the woman herself, in _Voices from Chernobyl_. The notion the fetus "absorbed" the radiation sounds preposterous on its surface, but fetal uptake of radionuclides is actually a studied and known phenomenon. Rather important when it comes to nuclear medicine and pregnant women.

No, radionuclides do not stop emitting once they've been internalized by a human body. Beta, gamma, and X-ray emission as a byproduct of decay still occurs. No, this is not stopped by disrobing and washing exposed persons.

Meanwhile, they said nothing about the "two to four megaton" potential bubbler pool steam explosion. The number was actually 3-5, and came from Vassili Nesterenko, who was quite the hyperbolic kook to begin with, and whose "plan" to stop the reactor core fire got more than his fair share of people killed. Said plan being to fly helicopters directly over the exposed core and into the smoke plume while it was still burning, and drop tanks of pressurized liquid nitrogen directly onto it.

The only justification I've heard for that figure that even approaches the boundary of realism, or even possibility according to the laws of physics as we know them, is the steam explosion would have generated fallout equivalent to a multi-megaton groundburst. Except in reality, it likely would have been equivalent to a multi-hundred-megaton groundburst.

Hawki:
https://au.ign.com/articles/2019/06/07/hbos-chernobyl-russia-planning-its-own-series-blaming-cia?abthid=5cfad52fe371294f36000059

This is gold.

Irradiated gold, but still, gold.

So, will Comrade Putin travel back in time and force the radiation to submit before the awesome power of his dad-bod?

I was curious to see if they mentioned why Chernobyl was built in the first place, and that giant Over the Horizon Radar array it powered, but they didn't. The one thing I definitely wanted them to cover though was the liquidators doing the 90 second dash to remove graphite from the roof in the lead suits that were good for one-use only.

The show did not disappoint.

MrCalavera:

bluegate:
"HBO's Chernobyl was bleak and and yet insightful."

You should see Earth's Chernobyl, that's a whopper.

Earth's Chernobyl's doing pretty good, actually. It's like a nature reserve now.

True.

That might be the key to protecting the environment; irradiate enough places so that nature can still thrive, but humans can't "safely" live there.

Samtemdo8:

bluegate:
"HBO's Chernobyl was bleak and and yet insightful."

You should see Earth's Chernobyl, that's a whopper.

Can't find it this Earth's Chernobyl.

I was joking; I was talking about the actual Chernobyl and what happened there in the 80's, not about a different network's series.

I'm watching it now. It's great. And also bleak, and harrowing, and more than nightmarish.
Having said that it's amazing it only got as awful as that, considering all of the apocalyptic predictions they were making at the time. I don't know how true to life this is but Legasov makes it sound like the whole of Europe was this close to getting fucked.

Samtemdo8:
Also I cannot believe even the internet is meme-ing the hell out of this show:

Actually meme-ing the show went viral in Argentina last Sunday when the entire country suffered a historical power outage. Everybody was making jokes about Dyatlov running the guilty power plant.

 

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