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Previous | Next :: Sacrifice and Heroism from the Nuclear Disaster at Chernobyl : Moscow : Russia | March 15, 2011, 8:05 pm

Sacrifice and Heroism from the Nuclear Disaster at Chernobyl : Moscow : Russia
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I read this on the CNN website about the stricken nuclear facilities in Japan :

"There is still a very high risk of further radioactive material coming out," Prime Minister Naoto Kan said, asking people to remain calm.

About 200,000 people living within a 12.4-mile radius of the plant already had been evacuated.

Authorities also banned flights over the area and evacuated most workers from the plant.

Those who remained behind continued a last-ditch effort to cool reactors with seawater to prevent a wider environmental and public health catastrophe.

High levels of radiation led the crew to abandon the plant control room Tuesday night, Kyodo News reported, citing plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company.

"Their situation is not great," said David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University. "It's pretty clear that they will be getting very high doses of radiation. There's certainly the potential for lethal doses of radiation. They know it, and I think you have to call these people heroes." "

.......... I read it and felt sad. So sad for the people of Japan . So sad for those nuclear workers left behind at the plant risking all...... possibly sacrificing their health...... maybe even their own lives for the good of others.

Such a terrible scenario ........ Such heroism.

It reminded me immediately that I had once met with some of the brave few who at the time still survived the clean up and the attempt to 'make safe' at the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

They were there after the world's worse nuclear disaster had left the plant spewing radiation because a huge explosion had destroyed the containment and sent nuclear material into the sky. The "Liquidators" as they were know were involved in the construction of a sarcophagus that encased the stricken plant in concrete......... they also attempted to clean up the area of nuclear material.

They paid a high price for their heroism.

The firefighters first to arrive on the scene tried to put out the blaze....... their heroism saved the fires from reaching the other reactors..... but the men were exposed to huge doses of radiation. Many died rapidly and were honored as 'Heroes of the Revolution' their lead lined grave even though they are buried under a huge thickness of concrete is said to be the most radioactive place in Moscow.

The Liquidators came immediately afterwards to try and 'make safe'........... all were exposed to unsafe doses of radiation many were still alive years later when I met them ......... all those I met were ill.

Such a terrible story of error and ineptitude and of such heroism and sacrifice........ I hoped it was peculiar to the old Soviet Union.......... Sadly it may not be.


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