23 December 2008

The Truth About Chernobyl - Grigori Medvedev

I have read a lot of books and articles about the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Usually the writings are far too general, far too technical, or are written with some anti-nuclear bias that wants you to view all nuclear power plants as unsafe and time-bombs waiting to kick you in the balls.

This book on the other hand was about what really happened. Why didn't the Soviet government respond immediately? What mistakes were made that caused the problems? What mistakes were made during the aftermath? What was done right during the same periods? What were the design flaws in the reactors that caused this problem?

This book went through a chronological breakdown of the disaster...minute by minute. This exposed many mistakes and systemic as well as bureaucratic reasons for the failure.

I loved it. I got a lot of answers.

I learned the following about Grigori Medvedev:
Medvedev served as deputy chief engineer at the No. 1 reactor unit of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the 1970s.
In 1986 Medvedev was deputy director of the main industrial department in the Soviet Ministry of Energy dealing with the construction of nuclear power stations.
He was sent back as a special investigator following the disaster because he knew the Chernobyl plant very well.

1 comment:

  1. Well, to begin with, Medvedev left the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1974, three years before the plant's first reactor was put into operation. He lived in Moscow ever since and served as an ordinary official in the Ministry of Energy, which, if you care to find out, was NOT the main government body responsible for nuclear power plants... So don't be misled into thinking he's a that big expert on NPPs. As for his book, it's full of incosistencies, not to mention the fact that there are cases of blatant lie as well. It's a pity you don't speak Russian, because here (www.forum.pripyat.com) the book is slammed by nuclear reactor operators and physicists as complete crap. Also, there's a book written by Anatoly Dyatlov, but unfortunately it's never been translated.