DBWI - What if the Chernobyl Steam Explosion was averted?

Hi everyone,

I know technically today is only the anniversary of the explosion of Reactor 4 at Chernobyl itself and that the steam explosion did not occur for another 2 days, but I was wondering, what do you all think would have been the consequences had it not occurred?

For those who don't know the details, after the explosion that destroyed the core of Reactor 4 at the Vladimir I Lenin nuclear power station near Pripyat, Ukraine, the ruptured core of the reactor continued to burn at temperatures exceeding 1200 degrees C (some estimates put the corium itself at 2800). This melted through the concrete floors under the reactor itself and began working its way down through the structure of the building. By the end of the first day of the disaster, the authorities had identified that the basements underneath the building were flooded with more than 7,000 cubic meters of water and sent in three volunteers to open a release valve and prevent that water from being turned into steam by the reactor core.

Now, I know the topic of why the valve failed is a topic of controversy with multiple theories about why the plan did not work, but what is known is this: on April 29th, 1986 at approximately 4am local time, the corium from Reactor 4 melted through the final layer of concrete between it and the flooded basement. The resultant steam explosion was measured at approximately .1 kilotons, annihilating the remains of the reactor building, spreading radioactive debris for kilometers around, and sent a massive cloud of steam carrying particles of reactor fuel and byproducts into the atmosphere. Steam would continue pouring from the ruined basement for more than an hour.

But what if this had not occurred? How do you think the world would be different if this disaster were avoided by something as simple as an operable valve?
I'm pretty sure that, if the steam explosion had not occurred, the Soviet nuclear scare (for a brief time the rest of the world thought someone had just nuked the USSR), the Second Russian Civil War (the democratic folks rebelled using the cover up of the steam explosion and Stalin's atrocities as a reason to try to secede), the Indo-Pakistani Nuclear War (India also thought the steam explosion was a genuine nuclear one and tried using the same type of apparent secrecy on Islamabad. It failed. Badly.), AND the War of Turkestani Independence (Turkestan broke away once the commies won the civil war and had to fight a war for liberty) would have been averted.
(OOC: I don't think anyone is starting a nuclear war over a less than 1 kiloton steam explosion.)

(OOC: Yeah, I doubt it either.)

I think what happened at Chernobyl was a dark cloud with a very bright silver lining, as the massive advances in nuclear safety and technology related to environmental remediation that have come about since then would have happened, and the proving of these points made life so much easier in America after what happened at Davis-Besse and Fukushima, where what could have been Chernobyl Round Two in both cases ended up being ruined reactors and massive losses for their owners, but nobody died and outside the plant no harm was done. Imagine what could have been before Chernobyl taught so much about nuclear accident cleanup....
It might seem tasteless, but without the Chernobyl cataclysm we would never have had Star Trek V: The Undiscovered Country, or at least it would have been a very different film.

Shatner's script was unsubtle and the ending was essentially recycled from Star Trek II - with Kirk sacrificing himself to seal off the reactor instead of Spock - but the subplot about the Klingon Empire was uncannily prescient, particularly given that the film was released just eight days after the events in Russia (I learn from Xanadu that it premiered on 21 June 1989).

It's ironic that the only genuinely accurate piece of predictive sci-fi in the Star Trek films was written by William Shatner. Of all people.
Easy... I think we would not see a bankrupt Soviet union. From what I heard, Chernobyle was one of the primary factors behind the collapse of said Union.
As far as local effects, we might see a more prosperous Belarus. The steam explosion essentially annihilated any chance for the southern half of the country to be used for anything, and the sheer humanitarian crisis afterwards led to a loss of life and resources that was (and still is) hard to replace.

I wonder how Lukashenko's rule would have turned out if he hadn't been exposed during his time running a collective farm within the exclusion zone; many speculate that this exposure contributed to the heart issues which caused his death barely a year into his term. He seemed pretty hardline communist from what I read of the guy.