WI: Aftermate of a way worse Chernobyl desaster.

Basically the PoD is that either Brezhnev is granted five more years of life or he notices that his time is short and appoints a hardliner with a similar mindset, that with his support manages to gather enought votes to replace him on the aftermath.

When the Chernobyl desaster happens, a very sickly and old Brezhnev or a close headed hardliner are succesfully deceived by the local administration, thus the problem goes unproperly adressed until the chemical clouds are detected in western europe, and the government still acts in denial trying to push that it was a explosion of a water tank and not of the nuclear reactor. Eventually the radiation breaks the base of the reactor going underground and infecting the water supply of Kiev, then infecting the dnieper river and moving from it until the black sea. What happens on the aftermath?
 
Basically the PoD is that either Brezhnev is granted five more years of life or he notices that his time is short and appoints a hardliner with a similar mindset, that with his support manages to gather enought votes to replace him on the aftermath.

When the Chernobyl desaster happens, a very sickly and old Brezhnev or a close headed hardliner are succesfully deceived by the local administration, thus the problem goes unproperly adressed until the chemical clouds are detected in western europe, and the government still acts in denial trying to push that it was a explosion of a water tank and not of the nuclear reactor. Eventually the radiation breaks the base of the reactor going underground and infecting the water supply of Kiev, then infecting the dnieper river and moving from it until the black sea. What happens on the aftermath?
Well..

1. The government knew the situation even if they didn't want to admit it. Now that said the politburo didn't really care about human lives in as much a point to an end.

So. You want a worse chernoybl..

Just have the winds point south. Douse kyiv with what went to gomel and Belarus.

Now for your full on meltdown scenario. You would need negligence of even levels that are just unfathomable. Note they were sending in firefighters on day 1,2, and 3 before the west knew.

But okay.. So it does breach
This doesn't mean the ground water is anymore hosed than it already was.

You do realize that chernobyl and it's container pond is the dnipro, / pripyat confluence.. After that you are in the resoviour.

Just have winds blow south.
 
Well..

1. The government knew the situation even if they didn't want to admit it. Now that said the politburo didn't really care about human lives in as much a point to an end.

So. You want a worse chernoybl..

Just have the winds point south. Douse kyiv with what went to gomel and Belarus.

Now for your full on meltdown scenario. You would need negligence of even levels that are just unfathomable. Note they were sending in firefighters on day 1,2, and 3 before the west knew.

But okay.. So it does breach
This doesn't mean the ground water is anymore hosed than it already was.

You do realize that chernobyl and it's container pond is the dnipro, / pripyat confluence.. After that you are in the resoviour.

Just have winds blow south.
What are the effects? How does this USSR responds after that? Does it survives or collapses faster? How does Ukraine and Belarus looks today?
 
What are the effects? How does this USSR responds after that? Does it survives or collapses faster? How does Ukraine and Belarus looks today?
If kyiv is a ghost town?

Most assuradly falls apart. They can't hide that as much as hiding rural Belarus.

KYIV is a major city of importance.

So effects would be
1. A very hostile Ukraine.. Though it wouldn't matter at gun point. But in the event the gun is lowered.. They would leave and keep their nukes.

2. Kyiv would require international assistance to be cleaned up.

3. The river, prpyat, the water would all need major help.

4. You can't hide evacuating a major city.. The west would know.

Now by the time the water got down to the toliet bowl Of the black sea, who knows how much radioactivity is carried along. Could be alot, could be a little. Either way it flushes into the toliet and settles to the bottom making a mucky polluted sea more so.
 
If kyiv is a ghost town?

Most assuradly falls apart. They can't hide that as much as hiding rural Belarus.

KYIV is a major city of importance.

So effects would be
1. A very hostile Ukraine.. Though it wouldn't matter at gun point. But in the event the gun is lowered.. They would leave and keep their nukes.

2. Kyiv would require international assistance to be cleaned up.

3. The river, prpyat, the water would all need major help.

4. You can't hide evacuating a major city.. The west would know.

Now by the time the water got down to the toliet bowl Of the black sea, who knows how much radioactivity is carried along. Could be alot, could be a little. Either way it flushes into the toliet and settles to the bottom making a mucky polluted sea more so.

Gomel didn’t become a ghost town, it wasn’t evacuated, and thyroid cancer rate, while very high of course, didn’t lead to any significant death toll. The excess thyroid cancer case in Belarus between 1986 and 2000 was “only” about 5-6,000 (bad but not devastating to the USSR), and the total number of additional cancer is, an average of studies, about 50,000. and the region about the size of Gomel Voblast south of Chernobyl including Kiev is 4 times lore populated approximately.
You’re looking at a couple hundred thousands additional lifelong cancer, and a nearly negligible increase while the USSR still exist.

No need to evacuate Kiev (from a soviet point of view) I’d be more worried about the Dniepr tho, I don’t know how bad internet can get.
 
While the recent HBO series did include some rather extreme possible scenarios, I believe that a large scale type of worst case scenario that made Europe uninhabitable was never in the cards. A much larger number of locals and across the continent may have died of cancer if things had been handled worse, but nothing world changing. I think we might have looked at a disaster the scale of Bhopal or something a bit larger at worst.

I think the greatest danger from the Chernobyl incident was not to the people directly, but to the state and the party and its reputation.

Admitting the disaster had become inevitable once foreign countries had their alarm bells going of and Gorbachev and his politburo reacted the only sane way they could.

If someone less sane had been in charge and tried to deny and downplay the incident more than they did in OTL that would have potentially been very bad for the USSR.

Authorities in western Europe knew that there was something going on and even without admission of the USSR would not have been shy about letting the public know. Growing up in Western Germany at that time I remember children TV shows teaching kids about nuclear radiation and how it works and why they weren't supposed to play outside and eat homegrown food. I remember news shows about border guards with Geiger counters turning back some trucks at the border and reports of milk being poured down the drain.

All that would have still happened even without a soviet admission of there being a big problem. If they were worse at damage control the reactions would have been more extreme.

The thing is that despite the iron curtain people east of the border would have been able to see all that reaction and without official communist news on the topic they would have spread the news from the west even into regions that could not directly receive it.

The communist leaders could try to claim that it was all fascist propaganda and that there was nothing to worry about and that anyone spreading any further lies would be punished, but that would not really work as well long term.

If they took measure to limit the danger even just for the elite that would undermine their message and if they did not do anything to limit the damage they would only make things worse.

In the end such lies could not be upheld indefinitely and the lingering distrust and the knock on effect to the economy would have made things worse and worse.

In the end instead of a relatively peaceful revolution a more hard line stance at Chernobyl may have contributed to a more violent fall of communism a few years down the road.

That way lies about could cause Chernobyl could cause far greater damage than an exploding RBMK reactor ever could.
 
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