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Is there any footage of the Chernobyl explosion?

Is there any footage of the Chernobyl explosion?



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I know there is a lot of footage of the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident, but is there any footage of the explosion itself?

In a documentary about the Chernobyl disaster it was stated that there were in fact a couple of persons close to the power plant at the time of the explosion, but did anyone actually capture it?

I'm also aware that back in 1986 not everyone was walking around with a camera in their pocket.


IIRC the station operators weren't sure what happened initially because they had no cameras looking at the reactor. The first sign of how bad the explosion had been, was someone opening a door and staring into a crater.

From this timeline:

01:21 - Caps to fuel channels on charge face seen jumping in their sockets.

Valeriy Ivanovich Perevozchenko, the reactor section foreman, was present on the open platform at Level +50 shortly before the explosion. He witnessed the 350 kg blocks atop the fuel channels of the Upper Biological Shield jumping up and down and felt the shock waves through the building structure; the rupture of the pressure channels was in progress. He started to run down the spiral staircase to Level +10, through the deaerator gallery and the corridor heading to the control room, to report his observations.

At 01:23, the reactor blew up.

at 01:26, it was unclear to the operators that the reactor had blown up:

Dyatlov ordered reactor cooling with emergency speed, assuming the reactor was intact and the explosion had been caused by hydrogen accumulating in the emergency tank of the safety control system. Other employees went to the control room, reporting damage. Dyatlov went to the backup control room, pressing the AZ-5 button there and disconnecting power to the control rod servo drives; despite seeing the graphite blocks scattered on the ground outside the plant, he still believed the reactor was intact.

… They went through a narrow corridor towards the central hall, entered the reactor hall, and found it blocked with rubble and fragments; dangling fire hoses were pouring water into the remains of the reactor core, the firemen not there anymore.

This timeline suggests the reactor crew relied on eyewitnesses in the reactor room, which means they had no camera view. That makes it unlikely the explosion itself was recorded.


I'm also aware that back in 1986 not everyone was walking around with a camera in their pocket.

Are you really?

It goes a bit further than that, my friend. Of course lots of people did carry cameras but usually for a reason. One didn't walk around with a camera 'just in case' or 'for the fun of it'. You don't do that with 'wet' cameras. Almost nobody had a mobile phone back then, and the few mobiles that existed didn't have cameras. A mobile in those days was huge. You needed a backpack to carry one. Literally.

However, the above is about the Western world, where people had the money and the freedom to walk around with cameras. Do mind that walking around with a camera near a nuclear facility in the west was and still is severely restricted.

Now we have a look at the USSR. A lot less people carrying cameras there. For two good reasons: USSR citizens had much less spendable income and the state wasn't particularly keen on people taking photo's without a good reason.

Next, we're talking about a nuclear facility in the USSR. That's a strategic asset of national importance. Photography there was absolutely forbidden. Merely walking around with a camera would get you arrested on the spot. Immediately. Even if you worked there, you had to have a bloody good reason to bring a camera to work. "Igor has his birthday party" was not a good reason.

Technical video camera's did exist, but they were both large and very expensive compared with modern equipment. So it is extremely unlikely the actual event has been or could have been taped.


This is so unlikely, I think its fair to even discount the possibility unless you hear otherwise.

Even in the USA in 1986 consumer video recording devices were a new luxury, and recording media had little capacity and was relatively expensive. As a result, very few people even in the richest country on Earth would just walk around randomly recording things. In the USSR consumer luxuries like this were pretty much unheard of.

Also, the Soviets were paranoid about attacks from the outside. As a result, they were super fussy about allowing any kind of pictures or recording devices of any kind around likely infrastructure targets like power plants. These weren't people amenable to innocent explanations. All the incentives set up in their system were to lock people up now, and ask questions never. So no person with a Wisdom score over about 6 would ever think to even bring a video recording device to that city.

There's pretty much no way someone would have had a video camera pointed in the right direction and recording at the exact moment the explosion happened.


I heavily doubt it because all the footage of Chernobyl is aerial so for it to be a video if it there would have to have been a helicopter flying over it before, and if there were footage of it we would know and probably have seen it.


Horrifying photos of Chernobyl and its aftermath

Cavan Images

The HBO drama mini-series "Chernobyl" revisits a terrifying event in world history with horrific detail. On April 26, 1986, the No. 4 nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded the resulting fires and nuclear fallout spurred a crisis for the people of the nearby city of Pripyat, Ukraine. and for those living miles and miles away.

Here's how it really looked during that deadly season in 1986. and the eerie scene that still exists at that ill-fated site.


Plenty of Fantasy in HBO’s ‘Chernobyl,’ but the Truth Is Real

Ahead of the series finale, a science writer who has toured the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster weighs in.

Henry Fountain is a science writer on the Climate desk of The New York Times. He toured the Chernobyl plant and the exclusion zone around it in 2014.

The first thing to understand about the HBO mini-series “Chernobyl,” which concludes its five-part run on Monday, is that a lot of it is made up. But here’s the second, and more important, thing: It doesn’t really matter.

The explosion and fire at Chernobyl’s Unit 4 reactor on April 26, 1986, was an extraordinarily messy and grim event, a radioactive “dirty” bomb on a scale that no one — certainly not anyone in the Soviet Union — was prepared for. It remains the worst disaster in the history of nuclear power, killing more than 30 people initially (and more in the years that followed, though the numbers are much disputed) and spreading radioactive contamination across large swaths of Soviet and European territory.

In the immediate panicked aftermath, and in the months of crisis and confusion until the completion seven months later of the concrete-and-steel sarcophagus that entombed the reactor’s lethal remains, the heroes and villains numbered in the hundreds, and the supporting cast in the hundreds of thousands.

The producers of the mini-series don’t sanitize the disaster (sometimes the gore even goes a little too far: The radiation victims are often covered in blood for some reason). Instead, they simplify. They leave the grim alone, but the demands of Hollywood, and of production budgets, take a toll on the messy.

Image

That’s not to say there aren’t many touches of verisimilitude. The rooftop scene in which conscripts have just seconds to toss radioactive debris to the ground is as otherworldly as it must have seemed to those who were there three decades ago. And the Unit 4 control room is faithfully re-created, from the control-rod dials on the walls to the white coats and caps worn by the operators. (When I visited the adjacent Unit 3 control room five years ago, I had to wear the same odd outfit, which seemed more appropriate for a bakery than a nuclear power plant.)

But if you didn’t know much about Chernobyl you could be forgiven if, after watching, you thought the entire response and cleanup was run by two people, Valery Legasov and Boris Shcherbina, aided valiantly by a third, Ulana Khomyuk.

You could also be forgiven if you thought they were all real characters. Legasov and Shcherbina were real, though their roles were twisted and amplified to meet the script’s need to keep things moving. Khomyuk, on the other hand, was made out of whole cloth, and her actions strain credulity, from traveling to Chernobyl, uninvited, to investigate the accident to being in the presence of Mikhail Gorbachev at the Kremlin not much later.

The producers mention some folderol at the end, that Khomyuk was a composite character created to represent all of the scientists who helped investigate the disaster. Fine, I guess. But much of the rest of “Chernobyl” gets the simplistic Hollywood treatment, too.

There are the brave, doomed firefighters, ignorant of the radiation hazards they encountered (though nobody climbed up over the reactor debris, as portrayed in the series they were working the roof to prevent fires from spreading to the undamaged Unit 3). The plucky, can-do miners, brought in to excavate under the reactor to stop the meltdown, stripping naked to get the job done (the series doesn’t say this, but their work ended up largely for naught). The no-nonsense helicopter pilots, risking radiation sickness to drop their loads of lead, boron and sand on the reactor (while one helicopter did crash, killing its crew, the accident happened months later, and radiation had nothing to do with it).

I could go on. Don’t get me started about that blue light from the exposed reactor shining high into the night sky in the first episode. Yes, nuclear reactors can produce a blue hue, from something called Cherenkov radiation, but no, there’s no way Unit 4 would have looked like the “Tribute in Light” in Lower Manhattan on the anniversary of Sept. 11.

In the end, though, none of this really matters. For the mini-series gets a basic truth right — that the Chernobyl disaster was more about lies, deceit and a rotting political system than it was about bad engineering or abysmal management and training (or, for that matter, about whether nuclear power is inherently good or bad).

“Chernobyl” is grim only partly because of all the destruction and death. The need to constantly lie (or cope with the lies of higher-ups) weighs on its characters as heavily as all the lead that was dropped on the reactor.

Yes, this basic truth is simplified, too, especially in the final episode, which portrays the trial of three power plant officials.

I don’t want to give away much about these scenes, though I will reveal that the geeky term “positive void coefficient” — one of the reactor’s design flaws — was uttered . (As a science writer, I was overjoyed.)

The scenes have a lot of tension, and are among the best in the whole mini-series. But they seem drawn more from American movie courtrooms than from Soviet jurisprudence. The idea of someone speaking truth to power in this court seems about as far-fetched as anything else in the whole of “Chernobyl.”

How the show gets to its truth, however, is less important than that it gets there. Viewers may come away from “Chernobyl” realizing that, together, people and machines can do awful things — like create a nuclear catastrophe for the ages. If they also come away understanding that in this case, that outcome was more the fault of a government and its apparatchiks, so much the better.


Trinity Blast

The first atom bomb in history, dubbed "the gadget," was detonated at the Trinity Site near Alamogordo, N.M., in 1945, exploding with a force of roughly 20 kilotons of TNT. Scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer later said that while he watched the test, he thought of a line from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita: "I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." Nuclear weapons later ended World War II and ushered in decades of fear of nuclear annihilation. Scientists recently found that civilians in New Mexico may have been exposed to thousands of times the recommended level of public radiation.

Jack Aeby took the only known well-exposed color photograph of the detonation (shown here).


18. 30 People Died Within 1 Month

On the night of the explosion, two workers inside the power plant died. Within a few weeks, 28 more people died due to acute radiation poisoning. When Chernobyl melted down, at least 5 percent of the reactor core was released into the atmosphere. That’s 5200 PBq, for the scientists out there. There has been an increase of thyroid cancer in the area, according to the World Nuclear Association, as a result of the lingering radiation. A total of 134 people were confirmed to receive radiation poisoning directly from the event. Hundreds of thousands were ultimately affected by the Chernobyl disaster.


A cautionary tale

It is important not to underestimate the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. Studies have found an increase in thyroid cancer, mainly due to the failure of the Soviet authorities to prevent consumption of products contaminated with short-lived radioactive iodine-131 in the weeks after the accident.

Recent analyses of affected populations up to 2015 found 5,000 out of a total of 20,000 thyroid cancer cases to be due to radiation. Fortunately, though serious, thyroid cancer is treatable in 99% of cases. Some reports suggest that the consequences of relocating hundreds of thousands of people, the economic consequences of abandonment of land and the understandable fear of radiation have had greater negative effects than the direct health consequences of radiation.

Chernobyl the series is amazing to watch, and the reconstruction of events before and during the accident was remarkable. But we should remember that it is a drama, not a documentary. In the years since 1986, many myths have been perpetuated about the accident, and these myths have unquestionably hindered the recovery of the affected populations.

More than 30 years on, this recovery continues. If it is to have any chance of success it must be based not on the emotion and the drama, but on the best available scientific evidence. Evidence which shows that, except at the extreme doses which plant operators, firemen and helicopter pilots received during the Chernobyl disaster, the risks of radiation are tiny compared to other health risks we all face in our lives.


How fatal was the ɻridge of Death'?

In the series, Pripyat residents rush to a railway bridge for a better view of the fire, unaware of the exposure. Children are shown playing in the radioactive dust, which falls from the sky like snow.

This later became known as the "Bridge of Death" after reports that those who stood there allegedly died from radiation sickness.

But Mr Breus believes most Pripyat residents would have slept through the explosion, and he only learned of the accident when he arrived at work the following morning.

"I've never heard there was a crowd of people who went to watch the fire at night," he says.

"In hospital, I was treated with a guy who biked to that bridge in the morning on 26 April to watch it. He got a mild type of acute radiation syndrome, a doctor said.

"Another friend treated at the same time said he had a date with his girlfriend close to the bridge that night. He had health problems afterwards."


Haunting Drone Footage of Chernobyl Town

Thirty-five years ago, Pripyat—a Ukranian city near the country's northern border with Belarus—was a thriving town of 50,000 residents built in the shadow of the Chernobyl Power Plant, where many of the town's residents worked. Then, in 1986, the plant suffered a catastrophic power increase in one of its reactors, causing an explosion at its core that released an estimated 3 billion curies of radioactive particles into the air—over seven times the amount purportedly released into the atmosphere in the week following the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The explosion constituted the worst nuclear disaster in history, and within days, Pripyat—the closest town to the reactor—went from a bustling nuclear hamlet to a near-ghost town.

Related Books

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster

The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era

In early 2014 Danny Cooke, a British freelance filmmaker, visited Chernobyl to film the location for a 60 Minutes piece, "Chernobyl: The Catastrophe That Never Ended." While on location, Cooke used a drone and camera to capture aerial footage of Pripyat, seemingly suspended in time for the last three decades. He compiled the footage—along with the eerie background song "Promise Land," by Hannah Miller—into a three-minute short feature titled "Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl," the first film to provide a drone's-eye perspective of the abandoned town. The result depicts a haunting juxtaposition of an area shocked by catastrophe, with trees and nature beginning to reclaim empty structures.

"Chernobyl is one of the most interesting and dangerous places I've been. The nuclear disaster, which happened in 1986 (the year after I was born), had an effect on so many people, including my family when we lived in Italy . " Cooke wrote of the experience. "It caused so much distress hundreds of miles away, so I can't imagine how terrifying it would have been for the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens who were forced to evacuate."

During my stay, I met so many amazing people, one of whom was my guide Yevgen, also known as a "Stalker." We spent the week together exploring Chernobyl and the nearby abandoned city of Pripyat. There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place. Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.

The disaster claimed the lives of 31 workers and emergency responders, and sparked international debate about the long-term potential health impacts of the catastrophe (the exact number of deaths caused by the fallout might never be known). Nuclear experts estimate that it will take 20,000 years for the area to be safe for humans to live in once again. Still, potential health dangers haven't dissuaded tourists from exploring the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, which was declared a tourist attraction in 2011. A headline in the Atlantic from the same year touted Chernobyl as a "tourist hotspot," noting that visits to the area had been increasing to nearly 10,000 visitors a year. The tours were briefly suspended after reports suggested that the tourism revenue—around 𧴜 per visitor—was ending up in mysterious hands and being spent in opaque ways. When the tours began anew, ticket sales were higher than ever—and new tours allowed an unprecedented level of access, taking visitors as far as areas around the reactors themselves. A 2014 article in National Geographic revisited the idea of nuclear tourism: In the wake of nuclear disaster and abandonment, Chernobyl seems to be finding new life as a destination for thrill-seeking tourists.

But a September 2014 post from The Bohemian Blog paints a more complicated picture of Chernobyl's ascent to the top of tourism must-see lists—one that shows the city not as an abandoned, post-apocalyptic ghost town, but a crowded, trampled tourist trap:

By the time I’d sorted all my photographs from the Zone, I had a powerful collection of images which seemed to show an untrodden wasteland littered with the debris of lives long-since departed. But that’s not the full picture. The truth is, for every image I kept there were at least another nine I had to trash… obscured as they were by the arms, cameras, heads and tripods of the 30-or-so other people clustering around me to get the same shot.

Unless you book a private tour, making Pripyat look like a ghost town can often be hard work.

Some tourists, the author notes, even pick up artifacts and move them around to create better shots. "I watched a photographer arrange stuffed bears and little dolls so that they sat in line along the edge of a bare, metal-framed bed. I'm sure it made for an excellent photograph… but if my group was by any way representative, then just imagine the cumulative effect of as many as 10,000 visitors interacting with the Zone every year."

Cooke's drone-eye film certainly captures a particular image of Pripyat and the surrounding area—if that's the image you'd like to associate with Chernobyl, it might be best to stay at home with your Geiger counter and camera.


Uncategorized

Almost 30 years ago, Pripyat&mdasha Ukranian city near the country's northern border with Belarus&mdashwas a thriving town of 50,000 residents built in the shadow of the Chernobyl Power Plant, where many of the town's residents worked. Then, in 1986, the plant suffered a catastrophic power increase in one of its reactors, causing an explosion at its core that released an estimated 3 billion curies of radioactive particles into the air&mdashover seven times the amount purportedly released into the atmosphere in the week following the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The explosion constituted the worst nuclear disaster in history, and within days, Pripyat&mdashthe closest town to the reactor&mdashwent from a bustling nuclear hamlet to a near-ghost town.

In early 2014 Danny Cooke, a British freelance filmmaker, visited Chernobyl to film the location for a 60 Minutes piece, "Chernobyl: The Catastrophe That Never Ended." While on location, Cooke used a drone and camera to capture aerial footage of Pripyat, seemingly suspended in time for the last three decades. He compiled the footage&mdashalong with the eerie background song "Promise Land," by Hannah Miller&mdashinto a three-minute short feature titled "Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl," the first film to provide a drone's-eye perspective of the abandoned town. The result depicts a haunting juxtaposition of an area shocked by catastrophe, with trees and nature beginning to reclaim empty structures.

"Chernobyl is one of the most interesting and dangerous places I've been. The nuclear disaster, which happened in 1986 (the year after I was born), had an effect on so many people, including my family when we lived in Italy …" Cooke wrote of the experience. "It caused so much distress hundreds of miles away, so I can't imagine how terrifying it would have been for the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens who were forced to evacuate."

During my stay, I met so many amazing people, one of whom was my guide Yevgen, also known as a "Stalker." We spent the week together exploring Chernobyl and the nearby abandoned city of Pripyat. There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place. Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.

The disaster claimed the lives of 31 workers and emergency responders, and sparked international debate about the long-term potential health impacts of the catastrophe (the exact number of deaths caused by the fallout might never be known). Nuclear experts estimate that it will take 20,000 years for the area to be safe for humans to live in once again. Still, potential health dangers haven't dissuaded tourists from exploring the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, which was declared a tourist attraction in 2011. A headline in the Atlantic from the same year touted Chernobyl as a "tourist hotspot," noting that visits to the area had been increasing to nearly 10,000 visitors a year. The tours were briefly suspended after reports suggested that the tourism revenue&mdasharound £100 per visitor&mdashwas ending up in mysterious hands and being spent in opaque ways. When the tours began anew, ticket sales were higher than ever&mdashand new tours allowed an unprecedented level of access, taking visitors as far as areas around the reactors themselves. A 2014 article in National Geographic revisited the idea of nuclear tourism: In the wake of nuclear disaster and abandonment, Chernobyl seems to be finding new life as a destination for thrill-seeking tourists.

But a September 2014 post from The Bohemian Blog paints a more complicated picture of Chernobyl's ascent to the top of tourism must-see lists&mdashone that shows the city not as an abandoned, post-apocalyptic ghost town, but a crowded, trampled tourist trap:

By the time I&rsquod sorted all my photographs from the Zone, I had a powerful collection of images which seemed to show an untrodden wasteland littered with the debris of lives long-since departed. But that&rsquos not the full picture. The truth is, for every image I kept there were at least another nine I had to trash&hellip obscured as they were by the arms, cameras, heads and tripods of the 30-or-so other people clustering around me to get the same shot.

Unless you book a private tour, making Pripyat look like a ghost town can often be hard work.

Some tourists, the author notes, even pick up artifacts and move them around to create better shots. "I watched a photographer arrange stuffed bears and little dolls so that they sat in line along the edge of a bare, metal-framed bed. I'm sure it made for an excellent photograph&hellip but if my group was by any way representative, then just imagine the cumulative effect of as many as 10,000 visitors interacting with the Zone every year."

Cooke's drone-eye film certainly captures a particular image of Pripyat and the surrounding area&mdashif that's the image you'd like to associate with Chernobyl, it might be best to stay at home with your Geiger counter and camera.


Watch the video: 6 ΑΠΙΣΤΕΥΤΑ στιγμιότυπα από την καταστροφή στο Chernobyl. (August 2022).