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Chernobyl by bike...
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Spheric Harlot
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Mar 6, 2004, 08:27 AM
 
18 years after the Chernobyl meltdown, a little photo-safari by a 25-year-old biker visiting the city of Pripyat in the "dead zone".

Surreal, and a testament to the horror of the accident.

http://www.angelfire.com/extreme4/kiddofspeed/

-s*
     
Face Ache
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Mar 6, 2004, 08:46 AM
 
     
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Mar 6, 2004, 08:52 AM
 
     
ryju
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Mar 6, 2004, 08:56 AM
 
     
voyageur
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Mar 6, 2004, 09:18 AM
 
Powerful.
Made me think of that short story "By the Waters of Babylon".
     
keekeeree
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Mar 6, 2004, 11:35 AM
 
Wow...

thanks for the link.
     
Fozz_uk
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Mar 6, 2004, 02:49 PM
 
Wow. Amazing.
Yadda, yadda, yadda...

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DeathToWindows
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Mar 6, 2004, 06:14 PM
 
deeply freaky.

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ghost_flash
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Mar 6, 2004, 06:25 PM
 
(( ))
     
John F. Smith
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Mar 6, 2004, 06:57 PM
 
Michael Jackson looks so manly next to that motorbike.
     
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Mar 6, 2004, 07:08 PM
 
yeah, i was rather at a loss tryin to determine the gender of bikerkid....
     
saranwarp
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Mar 7, 2004, 08:19 AM
 
Are there pictures anywhere of the "shining" she mentions?
     
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Mar 7, 2004, 10:36 AM
 


After local firefighters had contained or extinguished the more than 30 small fires burning in the area of Unit 4, efforts were directed at stopping the release of radionuclides from the burning core into the environment. Siege-mentality rhetoric was employed to rally workers to smother the principal fire -- the infamous "red glow" thought to be the burning reactor core -- within the reactor building.
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Mar 7, 2004, 10:38 AM
 
Oops.

CV

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memento
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Mar 8, 2004, 10:06 AM
 
Seems that the webpage is down? I want to see it! If that guy stayed in Pripyat for any length of time on his bike without protection, he's taking quite a risk. I studied Chernobyl in school (nuclear engineering) and after. I even got a hold of an "industry" report on what happened and why. Did anyone else see the special on Discovery channel? That was very accurate. This was a huge tragedy and people have to understand what happened and why it happened along with the horrific consequences of an accident like this. But we need to keep in perspective WHERE it happened and the political forces that were the real cause of the accident. Political forces forced the poor reactor design (RMBK) and political forces forced the testing that caused the accident.
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Xeo
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Mar 8, 2004, 10:12 AM
 
Originally posted by memento:
Seems that the webpage is down? I want to see it!
Found it. Seems the author took down page2.html which is the start of the main content, but left the rest.

Thank you Google cache!
( Last edited by Xeo; Mar 8, 2004 at 10:34 AM. )
     
mitchell_pgh
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Mar 8, 2004, 10:35 AM
 
The really scary part of this is that the USA almost had the same type of meltdown. We are incredibly lucky that three mile island didn't turn out the same way.

I would love to see the photos... can someone explain what they were?

I'm guessing photos of the town around the reactor... where basically there are burnt out building and things left or abandoned because of the radiation.
     
mitchell_pgh
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Mar 8, 2004, 10:46 AM
 
You need to google the first two pages, but you can use this link to read the remaining pages...

YIKES!!!

http://www.angelfire.com/extreme4/ki...eed/page3.html
     
Timo
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Mar 8, 2004, 11:46 AM
 
amazing
     
memento
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Mar 8, 2004, 12:30 PM
 
Originally posted by mitchell_pgh:
The really scary part of this is that the USA almost had the same type of meltdown. We are incredibly lucky that three mile island didn't turn out the same way.
You couldn't be any more wrong. By the laws of physics, an accident like Chernobly could never happen in a commercial power plant in the US or ANY other country in the world. If you want an explanation I can give it to you. But when I say never I mean never. The only designs that have similar characteristics that lead up to the explosion are military reactors. The control and discipline of those operators is so tight that it is very unlikely that a similar accident would happen there (but not impossible).

This is a common perception that I hear a lot from people. It's a shame because a bad design (that was even frowned upon by nuclear people in Russia) has caused a worldwide backlash of a great potential source of power.
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memento
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Mar 8, 2004, 12:53 PM
 
Thanks for the google cache! very cool site. It's rare to see it from that perspective. The pictures are mostly of the towns around the reactor that have been abandoned since 1986. The picture of the horses is freakin' wild. Brings tears to my eyes to see that.

It seems that she knows what she's doing. staying on the roads, avoiding dust, and carrying a dosimeter.

I think I'm going to send her an email to see if she wants help with the redesign and english.
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mitchell_pgh
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Mar 8, 2004, 02:08 PM
 
Originally posted by memento:
You couldn't be any more wrong. By the laws of physics, an accident like Chernobly could never happen in a commercial power plant in the US or ANY other country in the world. If you want an explanation I can give it to you. But when I say never I mean never. The only designs that have similar characteristics that lead up to the explosion are military reactors. The control and discipline of those operators is so tight that it is very unlikely that a similar accident would happen there (but not impossible).

This is a common perception that I hear a lot from people. It's a shame because a bad design (that was even frowned upon by nuclear people in Russia) has caused a worldwide backlash of a great potential source of power.
I would be interested in hearing why it couldn't happen again. I realize that the graphite-moderated (LGR) reactor, popularly called the "Chernobyl reactor." had design flaws, but what makes it unique to all of the other reactors.

What really scares me is that of the Chernobyl reactors, 3 are still in use! Also, while they may have "fixed" the LGR reactors, they are still in use in a few nuclear power plants.

I guess it's a good thing they didn't place these reactors in heavily populated areas like the designer had instructed!
     
memento
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Mar 8, 2004, 03:59 PM
 
Yeah - they should shut down all RMBK reactors. Not to make things worse for you, but Chernobyl is not the only site in Russia that uses this design. There are not many, but there are more than 3. I'm glad that you hit on the graphite issue. That's a part of it. I'm happy to explain it, and I'm sure most of us here are smart enough to understand, but how do you change the perception of Joe Sixpack and Eddie Punchclock? Especially when they are so easily swayed by enviro-nazi groups. anyway...

Here's a simplified explanation.

Picture a curve, bell shaped, parabolic. The extents are irrelevant. concentrate on the top. The x axis is temperature. The y axis is rate of fission reaction.

Military and RMBK reactors operate, by nature of their fuel composition (mostly) and geometry, at a specific point on the curve. That point is left of the peak.

Other reactors (PWR, BWR, etc) operate, again due to the fuel composition (mostly) and geometry, at a point to the right of the peak.

Take a very real example where the temperature starts going up in the reactor. The RMBK point on the curve allows for the rate of the fission chain reaction to increase. That's a bad thing. That's what started the problem with Chernobyl. Then they tried to insert the control rods to slow the reaction down, but their control rods have graphite at the bottom - they are inserted from the top of the reactor. Graphite is a moderator, which means that it slows down the neutrons, which drops their energy level to a range where they can react with other fissionable materials (specifically, below 10MeV). This causes the temp to increase, which causes a higher chain reaction rate (think about the curve), which causes a higher temp. These feed off each other in a matter of microseconds. BOOM! Pripyat evacuated.

Take that example with the other, more common design. Temperature goes up, and that causes the rate of reaction to slow down (the curve). Because it slows, the temp lowers. If the temp jumps significantly, the reaction slows or even stops accordingly. It's called "self-moderating". That's not a term that you'll hear outside of nuclear design discussions, though.

RMBK and military uses that design because it is more efficient. The rest of the world chose the other because of safety.

Another aspect of the poor RMBK design is that there are no containment buildings. Excperts have analyzed Chernobyl and concluded that our containment buildings would have contained an explosion like that. Chernobyl ONLY had a lead slab above it. 3 feet think and very heavy. I've see picture of this slab after the accident. It was thrown up in the air and landed back on the reactor.
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mitchell_pgh
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Mar 8, 2004, 04:20 PM
 
memento,

Thanks for the explanation.

After reading up a bit more, it sounds like the reactor design flaw was triggered by human error. If they wouldn't have put the reactor in to a situation KNOWN to cause issues (low power) this could have been avoided.

What a mess...
     
memento
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Mar 8, 2004, 05:02 PM
 
the political aspect (which fully shares the blame) is that the "lowly" reactor operator didn't want to do the test because he knew it was dangerous, but the political pressure going "up the chain of command" was such that if the operator didn't do it, his supervisor would have. All this because the government was pushing them to complete the test and would not be happy if they delayed it and said "no" because it's too dangerous. The basic test was to see how much reserve power could be harnessed from the remaining heat when the reactor is shutting down. What's *almost* funny is that they thought the plant was still operating, but in fact the fuel and core had been spewed all over the site by then. In a nuke plant, the control room cannot be in full view of the reactor due to the radiation while operating. They thought the loud noise was water hammer from the massive feedwater pumps. And to make things MUCH worse was that they tried to cover this up at every level so that each person would not get in trouble with their superiors. That's why it took so long for word to get out and for people to be evacuated. Immediate evacuation could have saved SO MANY lives.

There was a documentary on the Discovery channel that was very accurate. Very worthwhile. The inside report I got, which was translated from Russian, matches very well. I was impressed because shows like that tend to be a little skewed.
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mitchell_pgh
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Mar 8, 2004, 11:30 PM
 
I really wish I could order that documentary... does anyone know where I could pick it up?

Also, isn't the main issue regarding the nuclear physics side of the reactor the positive void coefficient?
     
Spheric Harlot  (op)
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Mar 9, 2004, 07:00 AM
 
So what happened at Three Mile Island?

From what I gather, it was pretty much exactly the same situation, and nobody knows quite why it stopped short of a total meltdown?

-s*
     
memento
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Mar 9, 2004, 09:16 AM
 
mitchell - check www.discovery.com - I'm sure you can get it from them or wait for it to repeat. It may take a year or 2 but I think it will. I've seen a couple of great shows more than once, but very far apart. And yes the fundamental difference is the positive (RMBK) or negative (USA) coefficient.

spheric - Now that I explained Chernobyl, you think that's what happened at TMI? They're like not even close. Chernobyl exploded like a bomb. TMI had a LOCA (Loss Of Cooling Accident). TMI is very complicated, but it was a human decision to shut off the feedwater pumps. It was an educated decision based on the info at hand to the operator.
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memento
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Apr 8, 2004, 04:02 PM
 
The Pripyat website is back up. Some new pictures and better text. very surreal. Those horses. so sad and depressing because they're so happy.
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Apr 8, 2004, 04:35 PM
 
Please keep in mind the ambiguously selective general understandings we've all agreed upon...
     
Shaddim
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Apr 8, 2004, 05:28 PM
 
Very surreal. She should make a a short about her trips, I'd pay to see it.


Plus, she's a definite hotty.
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Jaey
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Apr 8, 2004, 05:49 PM
 
Originally posted by MacNStein:
Plus, she's a definite hotty.
No she's not.
     
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Apr 8, 2004, 05:55 PM
 
Originally posted by Jaey:
No she's not.
     
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Apr 8, 2004, 08:36 PM
 
3MI was no Chernoyl. Unless the government is hiding info from us. ...or the power company that ran it.

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Shaddim
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Apr 8, 2004, 10:09 PM
 
Originally posted by Jaey:
No she's not.
Hey, I've always been attracted to bike-riding-eastern-block women.
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Apr 9, 2004, 12:53 AM
 
Originally posted by MacNStein:
Hey, I've always been attracted to bike-riding-eastern-block women.
BINGO
     
pyramids
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Apr 9, 2004, 07:43 AM
 
Complete tragedy. The site takes me back to the time I lived in Vladimir in Russia ('91). I met people who were involved in the immediate clean up. They were waiting to die...

And several teachers and school kids from Pflavsk, just north and east of the "dead-zone". They were living with the effects (birth defects, increased cancer rates, basic malaisse) every day of their lives. Year after year, classmates would pass away as a direct and indirect result of the meltdown.

But Chernobyl was not even the worst nuclear reactor accident in the old Soviet Union. It was the only one that Europe heard of, because the radiation drifted over Germany, Denmark and Scandanavia. The worst accident happened outside the city of Omsk, east of the Ural mountains. Radiation stayed mostly within the USSR. Details are sketchy at best, but the amount of radiation released was around three times that of Chernobyl.

It might be interesting, for those who want to know, to read Garbachov's book - Perestroika (there's a chapter on Chernobyl)- to see how the Soviet propaganda machine has steadfastly refused to deal with the event, acknowledge the extent of the disaster or accept any responsibility for the accident. (In case you don't know, Mr. G is and has always been part of that machine.)

I agree with memento though about the shame that it has killed the future of a rational energy resource. This was an accident that belongs completely to the USSR (and her successors) , the most polluted, backwards industrial nations on the earth.
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Apr 9, 2004, 08:13 AM
 
Originally posted by MacNStein:
Hey, I've always been attracted to bike-riding-eastern-block women.
Yeah but do you want your dick to glow in the dark?
     
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Apr 9, 2004, 08:13 AM
 
In my mind, this was not a technological disaster, but rather a governmental disaster. The mentality of the USSR was more of a bruit force approach to things. Build a nuclear facility in three years or end up in prison or dead (that may be a bit extreme, but such things happened).

Commands would trickle down with very few checks and balances.

The real horror was, they actually thought they may be able to hide this from the people. It wasn't until half of the world said "Ummm, what just happened" that they came out with the real story, and even then it wasn't complete."

I mock the US government at times, but things in the former USSR were a joke.
     
memento
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Apr 9, 2004, 10:01 AM
 
Originally posted by pyramids:
...But Chernobyl was not even the worst nuclear reactor accident in the old Soviet Union. It was the only one that Europe heard of, because the radiation drifted over Germany, Denmark and Scandanavia. The worst accident happened outside the city of Omsk, east of the Ural mountains. Radiation stayed mostly within the USSR. Details are sketchy at best, but the amount of radiation released was around three times that of Chernobyl....
Omsk. I have more research to do! I never heard of that incident. I guess the former gov't did a good job of covering that up, but there may be more info now.
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memento
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Apr 9, 2004, 10:17 AM
 
http://www.antenna.nl/wise/390/3797.html

Tomsk-7 Plutonium plant. Thanks for the info pyramids.
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Apr 9, 2004, 11:25 AM
 
Thank you for the link Spheric Harolot it is an great link, thank you!
-zoom zoom

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Apr 10, 2004, 01:13 PM
 
a very interesting read, thx for it
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memento
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May 31, 2005, 04:46 PM
 
the site's been updated

http://www.kiddofspeed.com/
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May 31, 2005, 06:54 PM
 
I had heard a long while back that the whole thing was questionable. I just found this link after a second of google searching:

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Kidofspeed

Here is a much better post:

http://www.uer.ca/forum_showthread.a...&threadid=8951

"I am sorry to report that much of Elena's story is not true. She did not travel around the zone by herself on a motorcycle. Motorcycles are banned in the zone, as is wandering around alone, without an escort from the zone administration. She made one trip there with her husband and a friend. They traveled in a Chornobyl car that picked them up in Kyiv."
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May 31, 2005, 08:09 PM
 
Wow.

Thanks for that update and heads-up.
     
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May 31, 2005, 08:15 PM
 
[bizarre double post]
     
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May 31, 2005, 10:44 PM
 
TMI's accident resulted in the release of a small amount of radioactive steam, which was quickly diluted by the air into a very small and localized increase in local background radiation. Basically the local background went up to about the level of a modern chest x-ray. There is NO comparison to Chernobyl.

A vessel-type reactor heats its cooling water, which is circulated into a heat exchanger to pass the thermal energy to a steam-powered turbine system which generates electricity. The primary cooling loop is what is responsible for keeping the reactor temperature at the desired level, while the reactor power is controlled by cadmium control rods (that absorb neutrons and thus slow or stop the reaction). At TMI, the primary cooling loop experienced an accident, and the reactor became hotter than it should have been. Some parts of the core's support structure were weakened by the excessive heat. However, the operators were able to shut down the reactor, and using an emergency cooling system, they flooded the vessel with water, reducing the temperature quickly. The radioactive steam was apparently vented from the primary cooling loop, and seems to have been a side effect of the loss of coolant accident.

A much more serious accident occurred at the Enrico Fermi power plant south of Detroit. It suffered a serious meltdown, one that destroyed the reactor core. The reason everyone in the world isn't saying "Fermi" at the same time they're saying "Chernobyl" is that the Fermi plant was also a vessel-type reactor, and the operators cooled it down effectively before the containment building was damaged. No steam was vented, no localized increase in background radiation was noted, and everybody involved probably got to have a nice case of the shakes after their shift was over. The book "We Almost Lost Detroit" chronicles the accident, its causes and aftermath. When I was growing up, my school (5th or 6th grade) took us on a field trip to see the new reactor they were building to replace Fermi I. Fermi II has been in operation for decades with a very strong saftey record-a testament to both the design of the basic reactor and its support systems, and to the operators who pay a LOT of attention to what goes on there.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
memento
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Jun 1, 2005, 10:30 AM
 
true or not - still a great site, IMHO. As with anything controversial, you can find a site out there that tries to debunk it.
"Destroy your ego. Trust your brain. Destroy your beliefs. Trust your divinity." -Danny Carey

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mitchell_pgh
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Jun 1, 2005, 10:45 AM
 
I've come to understand that the Soviet Union used/uses a very different (and considerably less safe) method of controling their nuclear power plants.
     
 
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