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Name: Mike R Swartz
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Question:
Do you think that Chernobyl was a full nuclear meltdown or a partial meltdown like the Soviet government has said?



Replies:
I think the Soviet government (and certainly the Russian government) were pretty open about the accident at Chernobyl - it is pretty hard to hide a nuclear accident that sets off radiation alarms as far away as Sweden! It was a full nuclear melt-down, no doubt about it. Many people died trying to put out the fire, maybe more will die from the long-term effects of radiation. For now, it is fairly safe though, because the whole building has been encased in an even larger building called a "sarcophagus." National Geographic Magazine devoted a whole issue to the accident (cannot recall the date, but I think it was published since 1990), and the PBS series "NOVA" did an excellent documentary, showing footage of the molten mess that the nuclear core made when it melted and ran down into the basement. You can write to NOVA (ask your local PBS station how) and get a video tape of the program. Maybe your science teacher would show it to your class.

Mortis



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