Chernobyl: full or partial meltdown
Name: Mike R Swartz
Do you think that Chernobyl was a full nuclear meltdown or a partial meltdown
like the Soviet government has said?
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.
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Update: June 2012