Saturday, April 22, 2006


The twentieth anniversary of the Chernobyl melt down is on the 26th of this month. The world actually didn't find out about the accident until two days later on the 28th, because the Soviet authorities didn't bother to tell anyone. In the meantime, the radiation cloud spread over a large part of Europe, possibly putting tens of thousands of people in danger of developing cancer and dying in the future. Or not...

All the old arguments about how many people actually died are back again. I seem to remember an interview NPR did back on the tenth anniversary with some shill from the nuclear industry who claimed casualties from Chernobyl so low as to be inconsequential. And, anyway, such a thing could never happen here because American nuclear power plants are so much safer. (By the way, have you heard about the new unsinkable ocean-liner called the Titanic?)

There's a new Greenpeace report out which says that 90,000 people were likely to die from the fallout of Chernobyl. A UN study, on the other hand, says fewer than 10,000 will. No doubt, the nuclear industry stands behind the UN report because, after all, nuclear energy is a green technology. It wouldn't the help the Bush administration's effort to have the tax payers subsidize the nuclear industry and the building of new plants if people thought a nuclear accident could be dangerous or that the effects of such a disaster would last for centuries. No, no! And even when accidents have happened in American ---which they haven't ---like Three Mile Island; everything was handled expertly and safely and not even a cow was harmed. The World Nuclear Association assures us that, "There were no injuries or adverse health effects from the accident."

All those lefties out there who are making a big stink about W. using nukes in Iran should just shut up. So what if our nuclear-tipped bunker-buster bombs turn out to actually create a radiation cloud that spreads throughout the Middle East and South Asia? No one was hurt from the cloud from Chernobyl, right? And if this is really a concern, I'm sure we'll decide to drop our bombs when the wind is blowing away form Israel. So what's the big deal?

Anyway, all this talk about the horrible deaths of some of those who helped put the fire out at Chernobyl, like the fireman who took fourteen days to die as his organs melted and came out through his mouth, are just scare tactics used by the anti-nuclear crowd, who really want more greenhouse gases. The UN report says that out of the 600,000 people involved in the clean up of Chernobyl, only about 4,000 have been affected. (Wow, radiation really is safe!) Greenpeace, on the other hand, says that statistics from Belarus alone showed 270,000 cases of cancer related to Chernobyl. Out of that number they estimate 93,000 will die.

But who are you going to believe? A lefty bunch of whale huggers or an organization that puts a few hundred refugee Gypsies in a camp on top of a former lead smelting factory and then leaves them there for six years?


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