Chernobyl Rising

My neighborhood is very culturally diverse. We have people from all corners of the world, and many of them are from Ukraine. So when I see this story, I wonder how the citizens of Ukraine are infinitely more idiotic than my neighbors.

A Ukrainian dredging company, Sobi, is doing construction work in the Chernobyl area that some experts warn could cause more people to get sick and spread radioactive waste.

Specifically, Sobi has been dredging the Pripyat, a river that runs past the Chernobyl reactor, in order to create an inland shipping route, according to The Guardian. Groups that attempt to protect the public from nuclear radiation, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, have warned that the dredging could cause radioactive sludge from the 1986 disaster to leach into the drinking water consumed by 8 million Ukrainians. Other NGOs, including the World Wildlife Fund and BirdLife, have accused the Ukrainian government of breaking the law by allowing the dredging despite not performing an environmental impact statement, which is mandated by Ukrainian regulations.

Despite these concerns, Sobi has continued with its work since July.

Look, I understand Ukraine has been as corrupt – or more so – than Russia has recently, but dredging the Pripyat would poison their own water supply. I mean, most men there will likely die from liver failure before they’re forty, but at least give the women a chance. Morons.

Springtime In Sievertstown

A group of eggheads from the University of Bristol planned the greatest Spring Break of all time. They loaded up the truck and moved to Chernobyl.

Last month, researchers from the University of Bristol mapped that radioactivity in a comprehensive survey of a fraction of the exclusion zone, uncovering surprising hotspots local authorities had no idea existed.

One specific feature that held the researchers’ interest was the 10-square-kilometre (4 square miles) Red Forest – a dense woodland of dead pine trees near the ruins of the old reactor. The forest weathered the brunt of the station’s cloud of debris, and to this day contains some of the most intense patches of radioactivity you’ll find anywhere on Earth’s surface.

Amid the rusting remains of an assortment of vehicles in an old depot, radiation levels surge magnitudes beyond anything found nearby, providing any daring visitor with a year’s worth of sieverts in the space of a few hours.

So it’s the perfect setting for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential debates! Not for nothing, but did these scientists actually believe the radiation would have subsided after thirty-three years? The fact some places are worse should be a lesson to the next generation of Einsteins.