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Science

Putting A Lid On Chernobyl 293

Posted by chrisd
from the graphite-didn't-work dept.
slicer622 writes "Chernobyl is finally getting a containment structure (Washington Post). Billed as the largest moveable structure ever built, its designed to help take apart the wreckage and keep most of the radioactive material from spreading. It will be 800 feet across, and 300 feet high and will cost $800 mil."
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Putting A Lid On Chernobyl

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  • by kpdvx (546561) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:11PM (#4978078)
    I always wondered what a Quake 3 map would look like in real life... :)

    For those of you who map, you'll know what I'm talking about. :)
    • by Spyffe (32976) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:39PM (#4978204) Homepage
      I always wondered what a Quake 3 map would look like in real life... :)

      Pretty much the same. But maybe the frame-rate will be a little lower, and textures won't be as detailed.
      Most of the "real world" was actually produced for viewing using the ATI Rage 128. That's why computer games have become more and more attractive compared to the "real world" since nVidia unleashed the GeForce3.
      Making matters worse, the physics model in the real world is also limited. For instance, rocket jumps are impossible because of improper collision detection between shards of the rocket casing and the jumper, resulting in shards improperly embedded in the body.
      Unfortunately, the world was intended for full simulation on what was considered powerful in the 1980s. (The world existed before that, but only in a 2-dimensional form suitable for reproduction on thin, 35mm film.)

    • Care to explain exactly what you on about for the many of us who don't "map" in Quake 3, and don't know what it means?
  • by RobertTaylor (444958) <roberttaylor1234@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:13PM (#4978086) Homepage Journal
    "The shelter is designed to keep water out and dust in for 100 years"

    Great, in 2108 we are screwed again.
    • Great, in 2108 we are screwed again.

      That won't be our problem, though. ;)
    • Re:Hundred Years? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FTL (112112) <{slashdot} {at} {neil.fraser.name}> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:34PM (#4978186) Homepage
      > Great, in 2108 we are screwed again.

      This is actually really good design.

      The first sarcophagus was built in great haste over a hot reactor. The article points out there there are huge holes in the roof, but doesn't point out that the holes are a feature of the design, not a bug. If it were air-tight it would melt.

      It has been nearly 20 years, and the sarcophagus has done its job well. Conditions are much better, and it is time for a new containment structure that addresses the current requirements.

      In 100 years when the new structure is worn out, it will be time to reevaluate the conditions, and build a permenant enclosure. Suggestions I've heard are that a simple (but large) sand pile might be the best option at that time (presumably waterproofed on the outside).

      The requirement for a 100 year lifespan for the current enclosure is a good one. Any longer, and you end up designing something that has to perform two very different jobs.

      • ... the holes are a feature of the design, not a bug. If it were air-tight it would melt.

        So, reactor #3 is still in operation, which means that plant workers show up to work several feet away from a nuclear pile reacting in open air. I wonder what they have to be thinking every time a warm breeze wafts over from the sarcophagus.

      • by InfiniteWisdom (530090) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @05:02PM (#4978301) Homepage
        speaking of sarcophagi...

        why not just build a pyramid around it? They've lasted 2000 years, haven't they? (Dead pharaoh, nuclear reactor... pah... big difference)
      • Sand cannot be used as it is a insulator, and they need to control the temperature inside the (admitedly devastated) core. Basically if they did this then there is a small chance the core could get hot enough for another release.
      • Agree'd it was a good artical but not saying that it was never ment to be air tight was missleading.

        The other flaw of the article was it writes as if the core exploded which is incorrect. The explosion was a steam explosion when all the coolent boiled. This is what blew it apart. By some reports the rods from the core went for miles all around. It wasn't a nuclear blast. Thats why it was so bad from a radiation point. There was never a proper reaction to deal with the radiation. Now granted the explosion was caused by people doing something they shouldn't have causing the melt down. They had turned off all safty messures and were running an un-authorized experiment. It got away on them and there was no stopping it. This meltdown wasn't an accident. It was an orginized effort at being stupid. This is why chernobyl is a poor reason to call Nuclear power unsafe. It wasn't an accident, it wasn't a function of the reactor. Granted if they had a good containment dome everything probably would have been ok. Also if they hadn't done something they should have never been doing.

        3 mile island had and accident, though once again it was do to something stupid, a pump turned off and no one knew. A good part of the core melted. But since there was a proper dome no radiation was released. And because of what was learned there plants are even safer now.

        Nuke power is very safe, and clean. I much prefer one of them then a coal plant around. Also considering how shady reactors in countries like russia are it's very impressive there has only been one bad incident and it wasn't do to a design flaw.
        • UniverseIsADoughnut wrote:

          > They had turned off all safty messures and were
          > running an un-authorized experiment. It got away
          > on them and there was no stopping it. This
          > meltdown wasn't an accident. It was an orginized
          > effort at being stupid.

          [and later...]

          > 3 mile island had and accident, though once
          > again it was do to something stupid, a pump
          > turned off and no one knew.

          In 1999 in Tokaimura, Japan had its greatest plant accident. Again, it was stupidity: discard all safety measures to save money and mix uranium power with nitric acid in a bowl with a great big spoon until it boils from the uranium spontaneously reacting. Two people died, and Tokaimura got a nice dose of radiation.

          It isn't that surprising that stupidity would be at the root of these disasters. After all, stupidity is at the root of a lot of factory accidents too. Budgets get cut, people get complacent and lazy, and bad things happen.

          Of course, inviting Godzilla over to film an attack on your plant on location, while engaging in bad safety practices is the height of stupidity. Life has a nasty habit of imitating his movies. Take, for example, Godzilla's love for power plant cuisine and the nuclear accident the Russians have in "Gojira", 1984 (Japanese version, the American version is a hatchet job as it was in the original movie).

          > Nuke power is very safe, and clean.

          We discovered fire thousands of years ago; but last summer's rampaging wild fires are testament to how much we don't have that under our control. What makes you think that our control of the fire of the atom, after a paltry few decades, is somehow perfect? There will be accidents, because humans are stupid, lazy and greedy. There will be accidents, because nature is chaotic, and the fire of the atom is not truly tamed. And there will be accidents, because our knowledge is imperfect and our experience is lacking.

          Then there is nuclear waste, which is neither safe nor clean. Especially when you have a Godzilla sized lump of it to sock somewhere, and your President wants to put it in a heap of volcanic ash with many fault lines and seven young volcanos nearby, 100 miles from a major city.

          > I much prefer one of them then a coal plant
          > around.

          I live near a coal plant, and my sinus problems are a serious pain. On the other hand, I'm kind of glad that when three trains collided in my town, turning their engines to scrap metal (they looked like they were made of crumpled tin foil), they were carrying coal, not nuclear waste. (And yes, I know coal can have a little uranium in it.) That accident was another example of monumental stupidity, with extra credit for the creativity needed to get three coal unit trains to collide head on, considering the limitations of train tracks.

          I don't care what kind of container they put waste for Yucca Mountain in, it is not going to be able to withstand an accident like that.

          Sonora:"New Godzilla reading. He's moving inward toward Tokai."
          Shinoda: "The nuclear plants, I knew it.
          Sonora: "Afraid so."
          Yuki: "Well, that's just lovely. Another Chernobyl."
          "Godzilla 2000" (US version dialog)
          • We discovered fire thousands of years ago; but last summer's rampaging wild fires are testament to how much we don't have that under our control.

            That's because many environmentalists chose to have the forrest burn "naturally". With a little bit of preventative maintenance, those wild fires could have been prevented.
            http://pushback.com/ [pushback.com]
            http://greenspirit.com/ [greenspirit.com]

            • The same people who would have these forests clear-cut 20 years ago are still running these companies and writing policy for the administration. Why the hell should we trust these greedy lying venal sons of bitches to not completely rape the environment until we're left with parking lots and strip malls coast to coast? Fox guarding the goddam henhouse indeed...
          • I'm kind of glad that when three trains collided in my town, turning their engines to scrap metal (they looked like they were made of crumpled tin foil), they were carrying coal, not nuclear waste.


            Nuclear waste containers are designed (and have been tested) to survive any train crash. Train engines are not.

          • Re:Hundred Years? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Obasan (28761)
            A little extra-curricular work if you are interested in the subject.

            How many people die every year as a result of coal mining, and respiratory related illnesses due to our use of coal as a source of energy?

            How many people die every year in oil extraction & refining? How many from petroleum based airborn pollutants released when petroleum products are burned in generating stations? (In fact, to make it easier, just look at Nigeria. One country alone is more than sufficient to make my point.)

            Now I'll do this bit for you. :) Not a single worker or member of the public has been killed by a commercial nuclear power plant in any country using nuclear power with the exception of Chernobyl and more recently Japan (2 deaths). There are currently 103 nuclear plants in the US providing some 20% of US power. France has 56 nuclear plants generating some 76% of their electricity. Yet there have been no fatal accidents in these countries. Compare this with the hundreds+ dead every year in oil and gas explosions in developing countries, dozens of miners killed every year even in North America where safety standards are very high... not even looking at the closer to hundreds or thousands of coal miners that die in poorer countries like the Ukraine.

            If this is not enough to persuade you, consider this. Oil funds terrorism. It is that simple. It was oil money that allowed Sep. 11 to take place. If you are going to follow the full cycle "toll" of using fossil fuels, you had better tally in another 3000 dead for the year 2001, and who knows how many in the future. Bush's claims that drugs fund terrorism is a red herring - the Taliban had banned and actively executed those who cultivated opium poppies. It was the Northern Alliance that was exporting heroin as a means of funding their civil war. (Hint: they are our ALLIES).

            "Nuclear" has become a bogeyman, when you look at the facts, it is the safest alternative.
            • While you're basically right, it's a bit unfair to include coal mining deaths and not include uranium mining in your nuclear statistics.

              I'm still wondering how anyone gets the three trains in the previous post to collide head on, but I've seen photos of (empty) nuclear fuel containers after a deliberate test train crash, and they were still intact. The little uranium in coal is no problem in a train crash, but it does mean that most (all?) coal burning plants release more radioactivity than nuclear power stations are allowed.
              On the other hand it's hard to see how a coal power station can do as much damage in a single incident as Chernobyl when the people in charge do something really stupid (long term effects on climate change from continuous normal operation of lots of coal and gas powered plants compared with nucleur is another question).
  • by dirkdidit (550955) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:20PM (#4978120) Homepage
    what happens if the existing "sarcophagus" fails after the bigger one is built over top of it? Couldn't this still be a disasterous problem? After all, I've heard before that if it were to cave in, it'd be like having the accident all over again.
    • what happens if the existing "sarcophagus" fails after the bigger one is built over top of it?

      If the existing sarcophagus fails inside the new one, the dust and debris that are kicked up will remain inside the outer structure. The purpose of the outer structure is to prevent this dust from being picked up by the wind and contaminating the surrounding countryside.

    • what happens if the existing "sarcophagus" fails and there's no new one over it?

      I don't see how having a new one over it could make it any /more/ dangerous...
      • I completely agree that something needs to be built over the existing containment building, but do they plan to dismantle the current structure after the new one is built? Even with a larger structure over top of the exisitng sarcophagus, in the event of a collapse couldn't that mean that the larger building would fall as well, creating much more material to be irradiated?
        Just my two cents.
  • by yoyona (620892) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:21PM (#4978122)
    Because Chernobyl Fallout.
  • by Spudley (171066) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:22PM (#4978129) Homepage Journal
    Ties in nicely with the story today about radioactive Christmas trees [bbc.co.uk] being sold by russian businessmen.
    • Ties in nicely with the story today about radioactive Christmas trees [bbc.co.uk] being sold by russian businessmen.

      Hmmm. Reindeers with glowing noses may not be myth after all.
    • Ties in nicely with the story today about radioactive Christmas trees [bbc.co.uk] being sold by russian businessmen.

      Heh, at least you don't have to worry about the lights burning out on those trees. The tree is its own light, glowing eerily over your Christmas presents.
    • > Radioactive Christmas trees (Score:4, Funny)

      Only on Slashdot could this be modded as 'Funny'. I suggest doing a Google search for "Chernobyl Pictures".
  • I'm curious about how much the surrounding areas have been irradiated...as far as how much the 'hot zone' has grown. Has anyone given any concern to the groundwater contamination? The dome is a great plan to prevent atmospheric contaminants, but I've not seen any below-ground plans. This seems like a half-baked (no pun intended) plan to me...at least they're doing SOMETHING.
    • See my post below yours for some info on that.
    • Re:Surrounding areas (Score:5, Informative)

      by dirkdidit (550955) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:41PM (#4978221) Homepage
      About 7 years ago they built a huge concrete wall that goes underground and is meant to stop the flow of groundwater(to some extent) from the contaminated areas. The last I read of this said that the wall had begun to fail. The Pripyat River, which was Chernobyl's water supply, was severely contaminated.

      This map [brama.com] shows the "hot zone." It actually covers quite a large area.
      • Bad to reply to your own comments I know but I forgot to mention that the wall was built very near to the plant. I did, however, manage to did up some more information on it.

        From Chernobyl.com:
        "To stop rising ground water (Chernobyl is next to the Prypiat river) a concrete wall was built 30 meters into the ground between the riverbank and the reactor. That wall is now acting like a dam."
      • On the map the link to you posted, shows basically two patches: one around Chernobyl, and the other nort-east of it. What's that other patch, whre did it come from?
        • AFAIK, the other patch that's further away from Chernobyl is where much of the radioactive dust came to rest after being blown many feet into the atmosphere. The night of the accident there was enough of a wind to cause the dust to travel a few hundred miles before settling.
  • by core plexus (599119) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:25PM (#4978144) Homepage
    They want to reopen Chernobyl. This article [bbc.co.uk] states "Officials from the European Bank for Reconstruction have criticised plans by the Ukrainian authorities to reopen a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. They say they are concerned about the safety of reactor number three, which sits next to the remains of the world's worst nuclear disaster, because of a failure to put in place extra safety measures that had been agreed. " Here is a link about the facilities. [chernobyl.com]
    • I'm pretty sure that Reactor 3 is shut down now, but that only happened recently.

      Tim
    • by FTL (112112) <{slashdot} {at} {neil.fraser.name}> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:51PM (#4978259) Homepage
      > They want to reopen Chernobyl.

      It's not as scary as it sounds. Two reasons:

      1. The Ukranian government has a history of politically milking Chernobyl for all it's worth. Need some foreign loans? No problem, just pull out the Chernobyl reactivation plans (again) and watch Europe go nuts and provide aid (again). Rinse, repeat. Take these plans with a grain of salt.
      2. Even if Chernobyl were reactivated, it isn't that big of a deal. Chernobyl isn't as ludicrously safe as western reactors, but it isn't bad. The only reason it blew up is that the _mechanical_ engineers were running a test to see what would happen if they turned off all the safety systems, removed all the control rods, and shut off the power (duh). The _nuclear_ engineers were horrified at the proposed test, but under the Soviet system they didn't get veto power.

      • The RBMK reaktor design is a piece of crap. It has a positive void coefficient, which means that coolant failure could lead to a strong increase in power output from the fission process. Worse still, the design has no containment dome. If Three Mile Island didn't have a containment dome there would've been a serious radiation release there as well.

        maru

        maru
      • Close but no cigar.

        They were running a low power test yes, that required them to turn off many of the plants exteranious support devices yes.
        What caused the reactor to blow up was a FUNDAMENTAL design flaw which allowed for pockets of gas to get trapped within the core when operating in low power mode.

        What happend was that during the low power test a system failed and the "operators" turned the reactor back to near full power (to get the emergency backup systems online) without purging the gas pockets they had created.

        Boom.

        The accident was caused by design flaw, broken system, followed by human error. Reving #3 back up is like blowing on dice for luck.
  • by limekiller4 (451497) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:35PM (#4978187) Homepage
    Leave it to the Russians to come up with a solution that is, in essence, one big matrioshka doll [www.arsa.ru].

    Now I want to see the heir of the peasant who invented these things sue for IP infringement.
  • Twighlight Zone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by checkitout (546879) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:35PM (#4978188)
    This reminds me of a "new" Twighlight Zone episode circa 1987, where a guy has a fallout shelter in his basement.

    His wife and kid go to the grandmothers for the weekend. Meanwhile, he's chilling with his friend drinking a beer, and a nuclear bomb touches down. They both go into the fallout shelter. They guy thinks he's lost his wife and kid forever.

    Months go by in the fallout shelter, and external radiation levels aren't going down. They can't tell if the detector is broken, or what. Eventually some "scavengers" come pounding on the door, and the father has to stop his friend from making any noise.

    More months go by, there's an argument and the friend finally says fuck it and leaves. Now the father is by himself, and even more months go by... finally he decides it's hopeless, puts on his sunglasses and heads out of the fallout shelter.

    Next scene, the wife and son are looking at the father's grave. Talking about him, etc. Then the camera pans up, and there's the city about 10 miles away with a huge glass dome over it.

    I found this summary of the episode as well:

    Shelter Skelter
    Teleplay by : Ron Cobb & Robin Love
    Based on a story by : Ron Cobb
    Directed by : Martha Coolidge
    Starring : Joe Mantegna; Joan Allen
    Summary : A survivalist believes he has lived through a nuclear war in his shelter. In reality, it was an accident which destroyed his town and contributed to bringing peace to Earth, and he has been entombed for ever.
    • Re:Twighlight Zone (Score:3, Informative)

      by phillymjs (234426)
      I have this episode sitting on my TiVo right now, and you're almost right. This is one of my favorite NTZ eps, so allow me to summarize:

      The wife and kid are out of town at a relative's house.

      The nuclear detonation is from an accident at a nearby airbase while the crews were preparing the planes in case of war.

      The 'scavengers' Joe Mantegna and his buddy hear are actually recovery crews looking for survivors, and bulldozing the contaminated rubble into as small an area as possible prior to encasing it in the concrete dome later to be known as the "Peace Dome."

      Eventually Joe Mantegna's buddy goes stir crazy and leaves the shelter, against Mantegna's wishes. He later returns and begs for readmission to the shelter, but Mantegna refuses because the buddy is now contaminated.

      The ending is great-- the camera focuses in on Joe Mantegna, sitting alone in his shelter/tomb... it slowly pulls back, 'through' the door and into the dead world outside. Mantegna's buddy is lying dead outside the door, IIRC. We get to see a lot of blackened rubble and destroyed cars (think the scenes from 2029 in the Terminator flicks), and it's dark as night. The camera keeps pulling back, and then goes through another wall, and boom, suddenly there's birds singing, green grass, blue sky, and sunshine. Cut to a reporter who fills the audience in on the Peace Dome. Then we see the wife and kid. Presumably the wife knows Mantegna is still in there, but has decided that since he was so overbearing and loved the shelter so much, she'll just let him die in it so she can be free.

      ~Philly
    • The Twilight Zone is some of the most enjoyable entertainment I've ever had the pleasure of watching. Brilliantly done, didn't require a huge budget, and looks gorgeous.

      Of course, I've only seen "old" ones, but it's one of the very few TV shows that I really enjoy.
  • Cost (Score:5, Informative)

    by dokutake (587467) <peter@NOsPam.epiccentre.com> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:37PM (#4978199)
    It will be 800 feet across, and 300 feet high and will cost $800 mil.

    The dome itself will not cost $800 million, the whole project, including cleaning up inside the dome once it's there, will cost $768 million.
  • by muonzoo (106581) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:38PM (#4978200) Homepage
    I stumbled (ok Googled) across some interesting and moving photos from Pripyat [wsu.edu], the town where the Chernobyl workers were housed.
    Shocking and worth a read / look.
  • Great, Bechtel. If the budget is $800M, Bechtel will blow $4B for evaluation and planning, never build the thing, then punt the project off to the next biggest bribery outfit. Bechtel's main accomplishments have been building a massively overpriced and non-standard rail system in the Bay Area, screwing up the water distribution systems of several nations, ripping off Malta, and repeatedly gassing the residents around the Carquinez Strait.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:48PM (#4978246)
    A lot of stories about the Chernobyl accident can be found here. [chernobyl.co.uk]

    Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster On April 25th -26th, 1986 the World's worst nuclear power accident occurred at Chernobyl in the former USSR (now Ukraine). The Chernobyl nuclear power plant located 80 miles north of Kiev had 4 reactors and whilst testing reactor number 4 numerous safety procedures were disregarded. At 1:23am the chain reaction in the reactor became out of control creating explosions and a fireball which blew off the reactor's heavy steel and concrete lid.

    The Chernobyl accident killed more than 30 people immediately, and as a result of the high radiation levels in the surrounding 20-mile radius, 135,00 people had to be evacuated.
  • Cover Story (Score:3, Funny)

    by limekiller4 (451497) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @04:53PM (#4978265) Homepage
    I've seen more than enough movies to realize that this is a mere cover story to hide the real purpose of this "container" -- sheilding a priveleged few thousand against a rogue earthbound asteroid.

    I'll bet you ten bucks that nobody knows where Bruce Willis is right now, either.

    Can't fool ME.
  • by nurb432 (527695)
    Hmm ' will keep MOST of the material from spreading '.

    Glad i dont live around there.. :)

  • It will be 800 feet across, and 300 feet high and will cost $800 mil."

    How cheaply could we hurl the whole thing out of orbit?
  • ...The City of Cincinnati has offered the Bengals another new stadium 'out in the suburbs.' Mayor Charlie Luken Deemed the new stadium a 'multi-use facility' and plans are in place to have the team moved within the next 90 days.
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ecirpdrahcir.> on Sunday December 29, 2002 @05:14PM (#4978344)
    according to this article [accessexcellence.org] The impact on wildlife and even humans is not as worse as people thought it would be.

    For example: Years ago, some researchers theorized that a severe nuclear accident like the one at Chernobyl would cause such severe genetic damage that animals would be born showing drastic changes in appearance. So far, the Chernobyl accident has not borne that out, the researchers note.
    and
    "For instance, there are probably two million people in the contaminated areas, and only a few thousand are actually sick from diseases than can be reasonably linked to the high levels of radioactive contaminants. We really don't know why this is yet," said Dallas.

    • Years ago, some researchers theorized that a severe nuclear accident like the one at Chernobyl would cause such severe genetic damage that animals would be born showing drastic changes in appearance.

      I don't know squat about nuclear radiation, so I'm honestly curious about this. How bad would it be? We all know "blinky", the three-eyed fish...

      Mutation is a normal and necessary component of evolution. Is the kind of mutation caused by radiation inherently bad, or is it possible that there might be some positive long term side effects (at the expense of some organisms dying because of the radiation poisoning)?

      • result in sterilization. Nature's way of saying 'shit, something aint right here. You're not breeding.'

        Thus mutations which propagate are quite rare.


      • This is going to sound like a joke, but it isn't. One of the primary mutations found in animals was missing anus. The detectable mutations weren't of the kind that would benefit the evolutionary process, they were of the type that would commonly rapidly result in death: absence of one or more extremities, deformation of the skull or spine, absence of eyes, overgrowth of the eyelids, lack of hair, exposed internal organs, or absence of an anus.

        maru

    • That's a study primarily about fish.

      Try reading up on what Chernobyl did to Ukraine's neighbor Belarus (where most of the radiation came down, partly thanks to the Russians seeding rain clouds so it didn't make it as far as them).

      About 1/3 of Belarus is contaminated. In an already poor country people can't pick wild mushrooms, berries etc in contaminated areas because of it.

      The biggest suffers from this are young children - there are much increased rates of blood diseases like Leukemia in Belarus as a result of it.

  • Mutants? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by haggar (72771)
    I have been thinking about this for a very long time: since we have this exclusion area around the reactor since 1986, animals were exposed to the radioactivity and no doubt, many died. But did any survive? Did the radioactivity produce some major genetical changes (some believe that the increase of cranial capacity in the Homo Sapiens was due to mutations from increased gamma rays)?

    • Re:Mutants? (Score:5, Funny)

      by glwtta (532858) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @05:59PM (#4978509) Homepage
      Of course all the animals were radically affected. Approximately half of these animals are now gigantic and are terrorizing Japan as we speak. The other half have become smart-talking, hip ninjas.
  • by Boiling_point_ (443831) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @05:24PM (#4978388) Homepage
    Psssst - I know where you might be able to pick up a suitable enclosure really cheaply, if you don't mind using second hand [millennium-dome.com] equipment. As an added benefit - it seems to do a good job of discouraging tourists! ;-)
  • How wonderful... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ATAMAH (578546) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @06:12PM (#4978562)
    After this tragedy occured soldiers were volunteered
    to go there and die fighting with fire and radiation. Many lost their homes and were evacuted to the town i lived in. We got lucky - the wind was in the other direction. Nevertheless streets had to be washed literally - trucks were spraying water everywhere trying to wash off the radioactive dust.

    Many thousands of people died in Chernobyl. Many more are STILL dying from this disaster. It was a tragedy. Please don't joke about it. It's beyond "dark humor" IMHO.
  • Widespread Payment (Score:2, Interesting)

    by handy_vandal (606174)
    "In 1997, the Group of 7, plus Russia, the European Union and Ukraine, set up the Chernobyl Shelter Fund with the European reconstruction bank in charge. The bank established a shelter implementation plan, estimated the project cost at $768 million, and funded it with donations from 28 nations, ranging from $170 million from the United States to Iceland's $10,000."

    Interesting: far too expensive for the Ukraine, but the consequences are global, therefore countries around the world share the expense. This gives me a modicum of hope that people will put aside their national differences for the sake of planetary survival.
  • Chernobyl: The results of a Russian Homer Simpson working at a nuclear power plant :P
  • by sstory (538486)
    "It's so big, it could even rain inside, so we have to keep the moisture down,"

    Wasn't there something like this in Clive Barker's Imajica? A building, owned by the Autarch, so large it contained weater systems? How cool is that? Sure, not as big as Slartibartfast's shop, but still....

  • by miketang16 (585602) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @06:54PM (#4978725) Journal
    "If it weren't for the radioactivity, I could almost call the job 'a piece of cake,' but the radiation makes it hugely complex and extremely difficult."

    Yea... and if it weren't for the radiation you wouldn't even be building the 'piece of cake'.
  • by maluke (451507)
    come on, i live mere away 70km from the 'object' and i'm fine, actually i'm doing better than most people are. it has nothing to do with the incident - it was not SUCH a disaster after all. talking about some 'danger' from Chernobil is not even funny, it's like speculating about tv radiation effects on health while puffing a cigar.

    incident was local, incident didn't spawn no monster populations (some mutants - yes, but those don't replicate, you know), that's it.

    if anything is worth discussing in the story it's a technical side, so please reduce your speculations about 'Chernobyl danger' to a minimum - those make my bald head itch.
    • The subject is only overhyped if you are ignorant of it. Where is you research that everyone affected by the radiation doesn't reproduce? Are you not aware of the fact the contaminates can spread if not contained? Why should we belive anything you say when you don't give a shread of evidence?
  • The project design consortium is headed by Bechtel. We should perhaps be concerned:

    "Although Bechtel did not build the ill-fated Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant, as co-manager of the cleanup operation at TMI it did help make a bad situation worse. The NRC's Office of Investigations found that Bechtel schemed to avoid making the necessary repairs and that the company "improperly classified" modifications to the plant as "not important to safety" in order to avoid safety controls. When workers such as Senior Safety Start-up Engineer Richard Parks complained that Bechtel and TMI's owner were deliberately circumventing safety procedures, they were harassed and intimidated. In 1985, the NRC fined the two companies for this abuse. Bechtel also disregarded the health and safety of the cleanup crew at TMI. A 1985 series in the Philadelphia Inquirer revealed the details of the neglect: workers were sent into radioactive sections of the plant without adequate protective clothing or respirators; workers were routinely given clothing that was already contaminated; and equipment intended to detect radiation hazards often malfunctioned. Contamination incidents have been routine since the accident, averaging two a week.

    Source: http://multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/issues/1989/ 10/mm1089_08.html [multinationalmonitor.org]
  • by csguy314 (559705) on Sunday December 29, 2002 @07:16PM (#4978804) Homepage
    It will be 800 feet across, and 300 feet high and will cost $800 mil.

    And after being used to move the Chernobyl remains, Cowboy Neal will be using it as a car.

  • From the article; The new shelter will not "contain" the core's radioactivity but will be weatherproof.

    So the idea is to make it "weatherproof"

    The article is very vague as to how much of the sarcophagus they are going to deconstuct, or how they are going to "stabalize" the core for the long term.
  • Any chance we could put one of these over Hilary Rosen?

    -
  • This is yet another patch on a dike that will one day burst.
    Unfortunately the burst will not be visable as it would be with a water dam.

    The only fix today, is the one that should have been put in place at the time of the original disaster. Time will not be a friend in fixing this problem, it will only make the fix impossible if the wait is too long.

    The entire site needs to be encased in high lead glass.

    Yes the lead provides a hazard, but one much lower than radioactive contamination of the water table, and bio-spread by insects and birds [www.nea.fr].

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