March 01, 2006

Chernobyl: 20 Years On



The accident at Chernobyl was predicted three years before it happened.

A special inspection was carried out at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in 1983. At that time, Yevgeny Simonov and Yuri Laushkin, inspectors for Gosatomnadzor (State Oversight of Atomic Power), began issuing citations. They reported that there were a huge number of problems with the reactor type itself, that it was dangerous to work on, and that, sooner or later a serious accident would occur. But no one was listening. In fact, in 1986, after the explosion in the station’s reactor, Inspector Laushkin was one of the main defendants. He was convicted and sentenced to two years. He died in prison.

The fact that inspectors warned the leadership about the possibility of an accident at Chernobyl before it happened has only recently come to light. As to all of the other unpleasant and uncomfortable things that can be said about the Russian atomic energy industry? These hard realities, even to this day, 20 years after Chernobyl, are carefully ignored.


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