Categories: Chernobyl / Energy issues / Reviews

12 May 2019


Chernobyl book review: Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future by Kate Brown

Allen Lane imprint Penguin Books 2019

ISBN-13: 978-0393652512

The shocking truth about Chernobyl is how few people were killed or made ill by radiation.

I’m getting an adrenaline rush watching HBO and Sky TV’s five-part dramatisation of the Chernobyl accident, because in 1995 I spent six months working at the heart of the disaster. At that time, I was the only Westerner permanently based at the site. So I’m pleased that – so far – the Chernobyl drama has delivered a riveting portrayal of blundering bureaucrats and their betrayal of plant operators. It stirs my heart to see proper credit given to those involved in the heroic effort to contain the accident and clean up the mess. The scale of the fallout, which displaced hundreds of thousands of people, affecting millions living in designated contamination zones, was massive. The response to it was courageous and inspirational.

Read on ›

Categories: Chernobyl / Crisis management / Energy issues / Fukushima / Policy

17 March 2011


Reset for nuclear PR

The media says Fukushima is awful because it is worse than Three Mile Island (TMI), even if it’s nowhere near as bad as Chernobyl. But the case for nuclear power survived TMI and Chernobyl, so it can easily survive Fukushima. In fact, even with its accidents, nuclear energy is still worth the cost and it remains the safest of all the major energy sources. Here are some PR messages we need to get out… Read on ›

Categories: Chernobyl / Energy issues / History of PR

12 March 2011

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Living and working at Chernobyl, 1995/6

Working at Chernobyl in 1995 was an amazing experience. I was the only westerner living in the new town of Slavutych that was built to replace the abandoned city of Pripyat. In addition, I was the only westerner working full time at the power station. This gave me an insight into a closed world that was as thrilling as it was unique. Read on ›

Categories: Chernobyl / Energy issues

26 April 2010

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Taking the terror out of nuclear power

Terrorists are spoiled for choice. Their targets are very varied: wedding parties in Jordan; tourists in Bali; train and bus passengers in Madrid and London; skyscrapers in New York. Radioactive material from nuclear power programmes is bound to be in the frame, not least because the public has a horror of it. Read on ›

Categories: Chernobyl / Energy issues / History of PR

26 April 2010

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Brilliant BBC Horizon

Horizon, the BBC’s science flagship has – rather belatedly – reported research which suggests that low-level radiation is not a risk to humans. This should reassure people worried about the “victims” of Chernobyl and the danger posed by the rest of the nuclear power industry. Read on ›