03/25/2011 - 11:27

From the Bulletin archives: Selected readings on Chernobyl

Lisa McCabe

Lisa McCabe

McCabe was named director of finance in September 2009. With 18 years of experience in not-for-profit financial management, McCabe manages all aspects of the Bulletin's finances including...

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The crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, has brought the past tragedies at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island into the spotlight again. To offer a more thorough understanding of Chernobyl, the Bulletin has compiled this reading list from its archives. Dating from 1945 to 1998 and 1998 to present, the Bulletin's archives are a valuable resource for those interested in additional materials.

Chernobyl: Answers slipping away PDF
BY ROBERT GALE, BAS SEPTEMBER 1990
After the 1986 explosion, about 135,000 people were evacuated from a zone 30 kilometers in radius around the reactor complex. Four years after the accident we know little more than when it happened but the news is growing worse.

Nuclear power browning out PDF
BY CHRISTOPHER FLAVIN AND NICHOLAS LENSSEN, BAS MAY/JUNE 1996
When Unit 4 blasted radionuclides all over the Northern Hemisphere, it all but wrecked the global nuclear power industry.

Truth was an early casualty PDF
BY ALEXANDER R. SICH, BAS MAY/JUNE 1996
Soviet and Russian authorities have never told the full story of the critical first ten days.

The decade of despair PDF
BY DAVID R. MARPLES, BAS MAY/JUNE 1996
A decade after Unit 4 exploded, there is no consensus on the number of victims, nor are Soviet-style reactors any safer.

Inside the beast PDF
SERGEI KISELYOV, BAS MAY/JUNE 1996
Six who were there tell their stories.

Estimating long-term health effects PDF
BY FRANK VON HIPPEL AND THOMAS COCHRAN, BAS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 1986
Hippel and Cochran delve into the long-term health effects that followed the 1986 accident that occurred at Unit 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station.

How radiation victims suffer PDF
BY HERBERT L. ABRAMS, M.D., BAS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 1986
Chernobyl represented the largest recorded experience of the effects of whole-body radiation and should serve as a warning about more than just nuclear power plants.

What happened at reactor four PDF
BY GORDON THOMPSON, BAS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 1986
The accident began Saturday, April 26. A sudden increase in power was followed by an explosion of hydrogen. This was followed by a fire in the reactor building and a separate fire in the reactor core.

A nuclear power advocate reflects on Chernobyl PDF
BY ALVIN M. WEINBERG, BAS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 1986
“…humans, in opting for nuclear energy, must pay the price of extraordinary technical vigilance for the energy they derive from nuclear fission if they are to avoid serious trouble.”

Chernobyl in context PDF
BAS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 1986
The word “Chernobyl” abruptly entered the world’s vocabulary in 1986. In addition to causing death and disruption to citizens living in the plant’s vicinity, the accident sent radioactive clouds drifting over a wide area of the western Soviet Union, Europe, and other parts of the globe.