Hot babe on motorcycle rides through Chernobyl

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Hot babe on motorcycle rides through Chernobyl

Post  pinhedz on Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:02 am

pinhedz
Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:46 pm

Elena Filatova--"kid of speed"--put her tour of the Chernobyl area on the internet a few years ago:

http://www.kiddofspeed.com/





I like Elena. She's been accused of telling a bogus story (she admits to "poetic license"), but she's attracted more attention with her story than any dry, stodgy reporting ever could. At one time she claimed that she had a special pass to the Chernobyl site because her father was a nuclear physicist, so she could enter the site by herself with her motorcycle. The truth is that she went there with a guided tour, and set up all her photos to make it look like she was by herself. She's made a lot of changes to her story in response to charges that her story was a hoax (which it's not, really).

There's a lot of confusion about radiation and contamination (which are two very different things). The radiation levels Elena talks about are not dangerous for a short time (which is why she was allowed to visit those locations). When you get irradiated, it's just like light--you don't get contaminated (i.e., you don't get anything on you that stays with you). A sample of plutonium will irradiate you a little bit if you stand close to it, but as long as you don't get it on you, no problem.

There are many naturally occurring sources of radiation that people don't know about. Granite buildings are radioactive and many people have radon gas in their basements. Some people's houses and/or work places are more radioactive than the levels permitted at nuclear weapons laboratories. Even a transatlantic airplane flight will irradiate you, because there is radiation in space that never makes it to the earth's surface (that means pilots get a considerably higher dose over their lifetimes than people who stay at sea level).

What Elena says about a prompt dose of radiation killing you is correct, if it's intense enough, even though you don't get it on you. But after the radiation drops to the microrem level, the long-term hazard is contamination by radioactive substances. The biggest worry is that it contaminates the soil and gets into the food. Children are particularly susceptible, and the biggest risk seems to be thyroid cancer and leukemia, but there are also lymph node problems.

Anti-nuclear protesters seem to pay relatively little attention to cancer and leukemia, and instead show pictures of malformed newborn babies and children. The birth defects are awful, and focussing on them without a doubt has the desired effect, but linking them to radioactive contamination is probably wrong in most cases. Birth defects are attributable to many different things--insecticides (which were used recklessly in the Soviet Union), industrial waste (recklessly disposed of in the Soviet union), many of the geographical areas mentioned are disease-ridden, and some of the photos were not of birth defects--they were the effects of insect-born diseases. And some birth defects happen by themselves--a few percent (certainly all those cleft palates are not attributable to radioactive contamination).

The most preposterous charge is that birth defects in Iraq are due to munitions containing depleted uranium. Depleted uranium is not good to eat--it's a heavy metal, like lead--but no one in Iraq could be ingesting it at levels that affect their newborns, and it's less radioactive than naturally occurring uranium.

The contamination from fission products scattered by Chernobyl will decay in a matter of decades. The claim that the land around Chernobyl will not be safe for a million years is no doubt based on the plutonium. Plutonium is produced in all reactors that use uranium fuel, and it has a half life of 24,000 years. One million years is over 40 half-lives, so I reckon that ought to take care of it.

The good news is that a half life that long means the material isn't all that "hot." The hottest contaminates are the things that decay away fastest. Nonetheless, the US has never established an "acceptable" level of contamination for plutonium. The only acceptable level is zero.

I'm not a fan of nuclear power myself, mainly because the developers never thought through the problem of waste disposal. They computed how cheap the production of electricity would be once the facilities were built and the reactors started running with fresh fuel. They didn't consider that spent fuel--which is full of very nasty fission products and plutonium--would have to be stored for decades and then reprocessed to remove the plutonium, and it will accumulate faster than it can be disposed of. Plus, it's just plain nasty.

The waste disposal problem is really the big issue. The Chernobyl accident was inexcusable, but reactors can be made so that they won't actually blow up. The radioactive release from 3-mile island was not in the same league. People around the site were exposed to a hazard comparable to smoking a cigarette one time.


pinhedz
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Re: Hot babe on motorcycle rides through Chernobyl

Post  Yakima Canutt on Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:20 am

That was then. This is now.


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