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Og.klik påb For sources and references:
Og.klik påb Click on the yellow and see if you get useful details.
Og.klik påb Click on pictures for more details.

Chernobyl Disaster (1986)

The disaster at Chernobyl in Ukraine shocked the world and gained widespread publicity in the media.

Already eight years earlier, Western experts had warned on the use of
this reactor type.
Thus, the accident did not come as a real surprise to professionals
outside the Soviet Union.

  • This reactor type (RBMK) is physically unstable and, unlike other reactors, it will not automatically adjust if the load is too high or
    too low.
  • Despite persistent claims, this reactor was not protected by a proper (western) reactor containment.
    Such a containment is an about 1.4 meter thick reinforced concrete construction and is the last defense against the release
    of radioactive material.
  • Even the pressure vessel, which is the last but one of the safety systems, was missing.
    See (2) on the diagram below.

It was possible for the operators to bypass the automatic safety systems and thus “play a little with the reactor”.

  • Several vital safety systems were deliberately switched off during
    an experiment that allegedly was forced through by the
    “Politically Responsible”.
  • All indications point in the direction of Xenon-poisoning, not being understood or being neglected.

The disaster would probably have been avoided if only one of these, elementary safety measures had been in place.

The Media

As might be expected.
All this had lille interest for the majority of the media.
Shortly after the accident it could be heard in the Danish television that there were 1,000 dead and that satellite images showed dead bodies on the streets and dead animals in the fields.
It was added that these figures could be higher.

A look at any ordinary medical manual would have shown that even
if you get a lethal dose of ionizing radiation, still it will take some time
before you get symptoms and thus not ‘just’ lay down to die on the street.

It is not clear how this, unfortunately not unique, “information” was planted in the media.
In spite of requests, the Danish broadcasting cooperation felt no urge to deny, but merely to delete the critical broadcast from the archives.

At the accident itself there were only 5 who died.
They were not found dead on the streets.
Later 26 more died, most rescue workers who died from burns and radiation.
There were nine others who died of thyroid cancer.
For more see

Of course it should be remembered – –

Due to lack of reactor containment the graphite continued to burn for two weeks and spread much radioactivity into the atmosphere.
Yet this accident was far form being as serious as the accident at Bhopal, where several thousand people died and many more others suffered serious injuries.
It was poor Indians and it was not from radiation.
So it is almost forgotten.


This reactor type has never been considered outside the old Soviet Union.
Of course you will ask:
“Why did they built such a dangerous reactor?”
The answer may be seen as a combination of the following:

  • When the Cold War was at its height, there was a great desire to produce plutonium for nuclear bombs.
    The more the better.
  • In this period, military demands often took priority over safety.
    Probably most in the Soviet Union.


  • A proper reactor containment (1) and (2) is expensive.
    For this type of reactor it would have more than doubled the cost.
  • Although an ordinary reactor has plutonium as a by-product, this plutonium is contaminated by anothere isotope, which makes it inapplicable for nuclear bombs.
  • To produce plutonium of ‘weapons-grade’, the Chernobyl type is probably the only type that can simultaneously produce electricity.
    – – – In “The West” plutonium of ‘weapons-grade’ is produced in
    – – – special reactors without co-production of electricity.

I still remember being told:
“These reactors are made by the people, for the people and not for profit.”
“Unlike US reactors they are safe.”

Here I will use the opportunity to mention that, contrary to numerous horror stories, plutonium is far from being
“The most dangerous material known to mankind.”
Let us bring one more of the “green lies” down where it should be:
Back in the bottle.


After the accident, there was not distributed iodine tablets.
Perhaps because it was believed that the accident could be kept hidden.
However, it was not long before the West, using presise measurements, got clarity on the accident.
This was obviously trumpeted by anti-nuclear activists.

  • It took a long time before you forgot the “information” about the 1000 dead on the streets.
    Of course, it was never denied.
  • On the other hand, it soon became an undeniable fact that this reactor, by chance the only one in the Soviet Union, was protected by a conventional reactor containment.
    Satellite images were dismissed as forgery.
  • Soon the media changed to report about the terrible effects of ionizing radiation.
    Thus it was quickly “found” a greatly increased incidence of
    various cancers.
    This should be seen in connection with that cancer from radiation, as well as from smoking or asbestos, can not be detected before
    a “waiting period” (latency period) between 5 and 20 years.
    Less for leukemia or thyroid cancer.

Obviously it was bypassed that, despite countless horror stories, there is very little correlation between cancer and radiation.

  • To “be sure” the authorities in Western Europe introduced unrealistically low limits on permissible pollution.
    Thus, it was necessary to destroy huge amounts of good meat.
    Both reindeer in Lapland and wild boar in Germany.
  • Contrary to all expectations and countless conspiracy theories, there has never been any cases of hereditary damage among children born to parents who had been exposed to radiation.
    Not even in Japan where people were exposed to much more radiation after the nuclear bombs.
  • Yet, one can still see how the media talks about mis-schabed children and collect money for the “poor children from Chernobyl”.
  • However, we know that for children who were irradiated during pregnancy, it can result in death-births and horrible defects.
    This was seen after the nuclear bomb attacks on Japan, but not
    at Chernobyl.
  • Except for rescue workers, of whom 26 died, there have been no cases of radiation sickness.
    —- Even after being exposed to about 500 mSv
    —- More than 100 times what is usually allowed
    —- and getting minor symptoms of radiation sickness,
    —- one need not be afraid of reduced lifespan.

AND NOW Dyr ved Tjernobyo

For years, both animals and plants have thrived in the forbidden zone that is closed to humans.
May be it is not that terribly dangerous.

If you search a little on the net you will easily find a thorough overview of the incident.
Halfway down you can find a table with terrifying figures for pollution.
There was much radioactive contamination associated with the disaster.
If you see how “back-movers” (Babushkas) live happily in areas contaminated with more than 500 kBq/m^2
Yes so – Then the numbers suddenly become not quite that horrifying.


– – – No matter how it gets distorted and exaggerated.
– – – No matter how many future deaths, are predicted.
– – – No matter how many possible and impossible conspiracy theories.

This serious accident is nothing compared to the pollution we ‘just’ accept:
– – – – More than 2,000 deaths in coal mines – each year.
– – – – Over two million died because of air pollution.
– – – – A looming climate catastrophe.

A major part of this could have been avoided if we at an early stage had expanded use of nuclear power, instead of being against.

Late and not even necessary

November 2016 it is announced with pride that now we have completed a sarcophagus which is a masterpiece of engineering and waste of money.
Long time after the radioactivity had subsided you have to show how to protect against a non-existent danger.

At the same time one reads that UNSCR has downgraded the number of later “radiation-deaths” at Chernobyl from about 4000 to “about zero.”
To round off the image, I mention that
75% of the evacuations
were unjustified and thereby harmful.
Draw the konsekvences yourself.


The forced resettlements of more than 300,000 people resulted in much suffering:
Deaths from stres, depression, alcoholism, and even suisides.
A later, and apparently honest, study showed that 75 % of the evacuations were not justified if you compare damage from the evacuations relative to the assumed damage from staying home and endure the very limited radiation.

The calculations in this study were based upon the LNT hypothesis.
However, using a more realistic concept would have shown that even much more than 75 % of the evacuations could not be justified by anything, but panic.

Here I dare to put the blame for this panic, and the much suffering, on the
“Professional Scaremongers”, wanting to change everything related to nuclear into a major danger.

Amazing assertions

  • Greenpeace has been promoting and explained that the radiation resulting from the Chernobyl disaster was 100 times more than from the nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    See the realities on
  • Perhaps the record is reached with “information” about 7 million future deaths.
    One is tempted to say that if we wait long enough, so we will be dead – all of us.
  • In spite of experience from Hiroshima, but maybe to find money
    for nonexistent orphanages, we are showed countless pictures of misshabed children.
  • Here I can continue.
  • Of course there are the usual conspiracy theories:
    “The hidden truth is – – – “

Decades of misinformation and fear of anything containing the word “nuclear” has a strong grip on the media.
Thus, a sober assessment from BBC: Chernobyl’s “Nuclear Nightmares” (2006) was quickly drowned out by the usual urban legends.

What we learned from the accident?

First of all we got more openness about safety and launched sweeping improvements on other similar reactors.
As it is apparent from the above, the well-being of the animals showed that even relatively high doses of radiation will not be harmful.

But strictly speaking, it was also learned that this very serious accident
on a hopelessly irresponsible reactor did not cause even a fraction of the damage that has been trumpeted in the media.

Unfortunately it proved impossible for the media to understand
how Greenpeace’s credibility is a myth when you see the following:
“It is now more than 20 years since the Chernobyl nuclear accident that affected millions of people in western Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
The disaster was the fault of a hundred times more radiation than the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Today, over twenty years later, the nightmare continues for thousands
of people. “

My assessment: See here

This obvious forgery is repeated many times and at many other places.
For example here,
where you can find the following:
“Meanwhile, the Belarus national academy of sciences estimates 93,000 deaths so far and 270,000 cancers, and the Ukrainian national commission for radiation protection calculates 500,000 deaths so far.”
The above calculations are clearly based on the LNT hypothesis.
However, this hypothesis has long time ago given way to reality, but clearly not to horror-stories.
An assessment can be found a bit down on another page.

Radiation Sickness

In the media we find so much, clearly falsified “information” about radiation sickness.
If you are not tired, you can see something – more realistic – at another post:

To round the picture:
Almost out of the blue air you read (2018 Jan 25) at that UNSCEAR has revised the death toll in relation to the Chernobyl disaster.
The wondering reader see the following:

  • “In fact, the UN (UNSCEAR) changed the estimate of further radiation-related deaths from the Chernobyl disaster.
    From about 4,000 to about zero. ”

Greetings from Thorkil Søe

Og.klik påb For sources and references:
Og.klik påb Click on the yellow and see if you get useful details.
Og.klik påb Click on pictures for more details.
It came as a surprise to me and it will probably come as a surprise to many that there has not been seen any kind of genetic damage to the descendants of persons who have been exposed to even very strong ionizing (radioactive) radiation.
This applies for survivors of the nuclear bomb attacks in Japan, for cancer patients who have been exposed to even strong dozes of radiotherapy.
Of course also to residents in the area near Chernobyl.

Background for the following

The damage from the nuclear bomb attacks was terrible, but still less than the damage from the firestorm in Tokyo.
Later, these injuries were highlighted, probably in the desire to prevent the future use of nuclear weapons.
But apparently also used by the old Soviet Union in a political desire to discredit the United States and its allies.
Thus, it gradually it became “an irrefutable fact” that exposure to radiation causes serious genetic damage to later generations.
For example, the nurses who worked with X-ray examinations were of such an age that they could not have more children.

As time has passed, and new material has come to light, we can now seriously question this old dogma.
But apparently, it is still found that people – at least in Denmark – are still being duped.
Now mostly because various self-styled experts and naïve peace activists, quite uncritically, have taken over from the old claims from the former Soviet propaganda.

The following is an attempt to collect and evaluate some of the material that gradually has came to light.

Attempting a critical assessment

From Wikipedia and from many other writings, it can be seen that there has not been any increased number of birth defects as a result of the parents have been exposed to even strong influence of ionizing radiation.
The following are excerpts from the link above:

  • No increase is expected in the incidence of congenital or developmental abnormalities, including cognitive impairment, attributable to children within the womb radiation exposure.[47] 
    As no radiation induced inherited effects / heritable effects, nor teratogenic effects, have ever been definitely demonstrated in humans, with studies on the health of children conceived by cancer survivors who received radiotherapy, and the children of the Hibakusha, not finding a definitive increase in inherited disease or congenital abnormalities.[48] 
    No increase in these effects are therefore expected in or around the Fukushima power plants.
  • For the survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who are known as the Hibakusha, no statistically demonstrable increase of birth defects / congenital malformations was found among their later conceived children, or found in the later conceived children of cancer survivors who had previously received radiotherapy.[14][15][16][17]
    The surviving women from Hiroshima and Nagasaki who were able to conceive, though exposed to substantial amounts of radiation, went on and had children with no higher incidence of abnormalities/birth defects than in the Japanese population as a whole.[18][19]

However slightly different information is given by World Nuclear.

  • Teratogenic effects on fetuses was severe among those heavily exposed, resulting in birth deformities and stillbirths over the next 9 months.
    Beyond this, no genetic damage has been detected in survivors’ children, despite careful and continuing investigation by a joint Japanese-US Foundation.

There are of course many estimates of the number of birth defects, obviously depending on how it is defined.
The following is a guideline.

  • About 3 % of new-borns have a “major physical anomaly”, meaning a physical anomaly that has cosmetic or functional significance.[7]

Thus it will be easy to “find” children born, for instance after the accident at Chernobyl, to show images of sometimes serious malformations, thus appealing to human compassion or sensationalism.
And possibly collecting gifts for so called green organizations.

Some, seemingly credible information, see Annex C: Overview of radiation epidemiology, which is a part of a longer article from WHO:
Here you can find an overview of damage from radiation but find no mention of congenital malformations.

From Wikipedia I quote the following:

  • Radiation sickness struck 60,000 Hiroshima citizens to death before the end of the year, but in contrast to popular belief, none of the children who were born of survivors after the attack, showed signs of malformation [24]

Based on the above and much more, I dare to say that everything about congenital malformations and chronic radiation sickness is based upon rumors or falsification.
Even clever use of Photoshop.

In addition, it can be stated that:

After the nuclear bomb attacks in Japan it came as a surprise to the scientific world that there was not identified hereditary damage.

  • From World Nuclear I quote that there have been found genetic mutations in flies, plants and animals that have been exposed to ionizing radiation.
  • At the same post, it will be seen that:
    Some 75,000 children born to parents who survived high radiation doses at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, have been the subject of intensive examination.
    This study confirms that no increase in genetic abnormalities in human populations is likely as a result of even quite high doses of radiation.
    Similarly, no genetic effects are evident as a result of the Chernobyl accident.
  • Apart from conspiracy theories and the like, there is not found anything that questions the above.
  • The old Soviet Union, and for that matter others, have often been skilful at spreading false information that could support their ideological theories.

I might have excluded this last link, if it was not because I was in Tanzania at the time when “everyone knew” that AIDS was developed by the CIA, who had engineered in order to destroy Africa.
This was supported by numerous articles in the media, where “independent experts” presented “scientific evidence”.
Later, but with limited success, some rabid Catholics and Muslims tried to explain that you got AIDS by using condoms.


Earlier I tried to make sense out of conflicting information on related topics and have written the following:

Nuclear power – What is wrong ?
Gives a little of how the media, and especially Denmark’s Radio, uncritically passed on false information about the accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Unfortunately, without withdrawing.

Radiation Hormesis 
Deals with one, if possible, even more taboo topic:
Apparently beneficial effect of moderate radioactive irradiation.
Here you will find references to other material that can be said to be relevant in this context.

Radon and More 
Here I have tried to shed some light on the many hopelessly conflicting informations about Radon.
You will also find an assessment of the obvious false information on the radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean following the disaster at Fukushima.

Of course, I will be grateful to receive comments on factual errors, which will be corrected. Proposed amendments will also be received with pleasure.

Thorkil Søe
I am a civil engineer, retired
Address: Brogårdsvej 60-307, 2820 Gentofte, Denmark