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Chernobyl (HBO)


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On 5/31/2019 at 8:04 AM, lajoswinkler said:

After the system would fall apart, it was snatch time. No regard for anything. Stealing, destroying. Selected mobsters working with law enforcement, exchanging drugs and money, sometimes getting even more powerful than the town officials. It's a total mess and this circus with the facades is just a visible tip of the iceberg of all the horrible things that happen beneath. I live in such place and it's not even among the worst examples.

Have you seen The Wire? Things are pretty effed up in the US too.

*and as an architect I've loved the post soviet analysis. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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The main lesson of Chernobyl is:
a whole team of well-trained professionals, provided by extremely experienced scientists with the experiment plan, was torturing the reactor for almost two days, decreasing and increasing its power, trying every unusual mode they had found, switching off any protection system they could, switching off the turbopumps, draining the cooling system,
and at last they have found out the only unpredicted minor improbable bug, and the embarassed nature surrendered to the power of the human intellect.

See, how stable, well-protected, and safe is RBMK if you don't follow them step-by-step.

Compare this to an oceanic liner where you just turn a wheel - and catch an iceberg with comparable casualties.

Edited by kerbiloid
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Apparently Russia is so annoyed they're doing their own series:
https://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/447441-russia-planning-its-own-version-of-tv-series-chernobyl-blaming

Which is funny to me. Honestly, besides Dyatlov, Bryukhanov, Fomin and the fictional KGB agent almost all of the characters were depicted in unequivocally heroic, self-sacrificing terms. Dramatizations aside, I do think they captured the some of the human toll and effort that went into containing what happened. Thats the other part of this--obviously nuclear accidents have been incredibly rare, its not that its very likely--its how devastating the cost of those few accidents can end up being. Japan is already slated to spend almost 200 billion on Fukushima just in cleanup costs and likely much more over the next several decades, and that doesn't account for land and productivity losses, increased cancer rates, etc. 

The ironic thing about Russia taking such umbrage (and inventing a story blaming the CIA) is that one of the other big themes in the BBC/HBO series is how damaging it can be for a country to render itself incapable of self-criticism. A lot of people forget just how important that is, that the capacity for cultural and national self-reflection is a source of strength rather than weakness and is the very thing that allows us to grow and improve and solve problems. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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4 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

and at last they have found out the only unpredicted minor improbable bug, and the embarassed nature surrendered to the power of the human intellect.

See, how stable, well-protected, and safe is RBMK if you don't follow them step-by-step.

I’m not atomophobic but it does highlight the problem the nuclear industry faces. Radiation is invisble, and The Public has to trust experts who make claims that their systems are designed in such a way that it is impossible for things to go wrong. The same experts, after a slew of incidents, wonder why the public doesn’t trust them.

I’d think it would make more sense to educate people, how radiation near a coal plant is often higher (due to the shear mass of the fuel), how it’s much safer compared to other energy sources. And enforce a rigorous safety culture which is obviously lacking given the preventable nature of both Chernobyl and Fukushima.

4 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Compare this to an oceanic liner where you just turn a wheel - and catch an iceberg with comparable casualties.

But those disasters don’t affect hundreds of thousands of people, drive dairy farmers three countries away into bankruptcy, etc. Nobody is worried about a gas-powered plant 20 miles away, or a solar farm one town over, because it doesn’t have the potential to drive them out of their homes. On a global scale, with global scale statistics, nuclear power makes perfect sense.

It’s a much harder to sell it to “the locals,” who wonder when it will blow up and destroy their homes. Of course, the technology is 100% safe and reliable. And yet, as much as it would make sense to put one in Manhattan, Washington DC, downtown Berlin or in the center or Paris, there is a curious reluctance by governments to do so. Not a vote of confidence either. Countries tend to build them near their borders.

If the problem of nuclear energy is “between the ears” then very little is done to fight that perception, perhaps that’s where they should start.

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3 hours ago, Kerbart said:

Of course, the technology is 100% safe and reliable.

Well its clearly not 100% safe. And that's kind of the rub. Over time unlikely things happen. They just recently had to shut down the nuclear plant near us in Vermont because its aging pipes were leaking tritium into the ground water. That leak wasn't a health risk but kind of highlights some of the problems maintaining plants built in the 60's and 70's. 

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hum, sucricribed for a month for Got and Westworld (<= awesome) a few weeks ago.

hum ... may be gonna resub for that one too then. I had a few hesitation watching it before unsubing, but from what you all say might gave that one a look too.

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Watched some clips of it on youtube. At 1am in the morning, it felt so eerie and actually made me scared. The Pripyat evacuation scene really made me paranoid as I could just hear that woman's voice from the loudspeaker telling everyone to leave. And the helicopters dropping sand and boron... the rotors snapped off (that certainly gave me a fright).

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16 hours ago, The_Cat_In_Space said:

At 1am in the morning, it felt so eerie and actually made me scared. 

It's an emotionally intense show. And structured expertly to maximize its abuse of your emotions, too.

 

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6 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

It's an emotionally intense show. And structured expertly to maximize its abuse of your emotions, too.

 

Correct. The music, the way the shots are done, it's designed to stay in your memory  for a long time

The scene that I still remember, thanks to the evacuation order broadcast

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On 6/7/2019 at 1:36 PM, DDE said:

Well, looks like the show’s as melodramatic and atomophobic as expected.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/06/06/why-hbos-chernobyl-gets-nuclear-so-wrong/#11396e97632f

Looks like author of that article could not be bothered with basic fact checking. I mean, I have issues with the series, but it's obvious Mazin did  a lot of research.

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20 hours ago, radonek said:

Looks like author of that article could not be bothered with basic fact checking. I mean, I have issues with the series, but it's obvious Mazin did  a lot of research.

I can say with 100% confidence that he did less research than I did back in highschool (break of the century) when I gathered more facts about it over a dial-up modem.

One thing his team did really well is the visuals - everything is very 1980s USSR and you can almost smell cigarette tar everywhere (since most people were smoking everywhere all the time).

 

There are some things with the miniseries which are unneeded and unacceptable historical fabrications. I love the miniseries but I hate those mistakes and how they tainted what could've been almost perfection.

Edited by lajoswinkler
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And the debunking on YT started.

 

There's also doctor Gale who treated ARS patients in USSR which did not hesitate to accept his offer. I'm glad people are reacting and opposing lies this miniseries portrays, but I'm afraid the series is one of the things that will cause a huge social and environmental damage. Laymen's fears of "nuclear" has been reset to start, in times when we need fission to help the biosphere as there is no other way that is remotely significant.

My god, the producer is apparently pro-nuclear and he's not even aware of the disaster he unleashed.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/06/11/top-ucla-doctor-denounces-depiction-of-radiation-in-hbos-chernobyl-as-wrong-and-dangerous

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8 hours ago, lajoswinkler said:

doctor Gale

A famous person on TV in 1986, I remember.

Quote

“We estimate incorrect advice from physicians regarding the relationship between maternal radiation exposure from Chernobyl and birth defects,” writes Gale, “resulted in more than one million unnecessary abortions in the Soviet Union and Europe. Ignorance is dangerous.”

This strange moment when you realize that the 1 May demonstration was much safer than panic.

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finally binged the whole thing and was rather impressed by it. 

though i have to ask, with this and many other western shows and movies about the soviets, were they really that bad? they are always depicted as having a strong cya tendency and like to keep vital information out of the hands of those who need it. id expect that kind of thing in the stalin era of the soviet union but i would figure by the mid '80s they would be over that kind of thing. or is it all just western propaganda?

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1 minute ago, Nuke said:

finally binged the whole thing and was rather impressed by it. 

though i have to ask, with this and many other western shows and movies about the soviets, were they really that bad? they are always depicted as having a strong cya tendency and like to keep vital information out of the hands of those who need it. id expect that kind of thing in the stalin era of the soviet union but i would figure by the mid '80s they would be over that kind of thing. or is it all just western propaganda?

I don't know what "cya tendency" is, but regarding the overall feeling of citizen freedom, the show did overdo it... but not a lot. Even though it's true that the openly displayed state terror diminished a lot by 1980s, the state never bothered to say it's not that brutal anymore, and the public doesn't forget easily such things.

So basically it was enough to simmer the society using strict behaviour, stories circulating, and being inhumane to criminals (extermination, torture, etc.) to keep a decent level of fear. There was always the "what if they come for me? I better not do this/that, better keep quiet." And that's just the worst poison for a society. It breeds corruption, bribery, covering up, intimidation and worse.

 

If one didn't try to meddle into politics and behaved as a good drone living in prefabricated concrete boxes, life could've been decent. But not decent in a Western style. This is where Westerners usually make a mistake - they think that decent in France is same as decent in USSR. Those are two very different decents.

I wouldn't call it golden cage because there was no open trade - one couldn't just buy some foreign import clothes, technology such as electronics was severely lacking progress (not keeping up with miniaturization of transistors, relying on bulky circuits with electronic tubes). It was a cage and it was kind of rusty, but one had daily fodder to munch on.

Also, if one did not want to be a member of the Communist party and clap at the meetings, any even remotely serious career advancing was basically impossible.

 

There was one notable exception called Yugoslavia, country of neither one of the blocks and AFAIK the only socialist country where, even though economy was planned, repression towards import and especially towards youth who wanted to sport jeans and share and create popular music - was very weak. But basic simmering I mentioned earlier was evident.

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