WI Leningrad Nuclear Plant instead of Chernobyl

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Roman E, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Roman E Well-Known Member

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    Leningrad Nuclear Plant uses the same RBMK design, with the same flaws that Chernobyl had. So what if the circumstances of the Chernobyl accident occurred at the Leningrad plant instead.
     
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  2. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    I have said elsewhere that Chernobyl was like the Tenerife disaater. It was a combination of things, each unlikely, which led the cumalativley led to the catastrophe.
    Anyone of the things not happening would have led to an uneventful service life for the Reactor 4 and until it was decommissioned in 2000.
     
  3. Roman E Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much. So let's say by laws of probability the same circumstances come to fruition in Leningrad instead of Chernobyl. It's not out of the question really. If it can happen in one RBMK reactor it could happen in another, as the issues that caused it were systemically widespread in the USSR and the design flaws of the reactors were the same.
     
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  4. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    Someone has been watching too much HBO. (;), no problem its a good show.
    The response to Chernobyl was due to Soviet problems (although despite protestations, I doubt western response would have been much more effective).
    The issues at Chernobyl, such as the test being delayed, leading to an inexperienced crew being incharge and **all** safety measure being removed (rather than only some) and the person incharge overruling the tecnical advice to delay further, are not exactly unique to the Soviets.
     
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  5. Roman E Well-Known Member

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    I agree that part isn’t unique to the soviets, it’s all too common in capitalist societies. What was a direct result of the Soviet system (although not unique to it either) was the fatal design flaw being hidden purposefully to the point that the emergency stop button is basically turned into a detonator under a worst case scenario without the knowledge of anyone at the plant who is operating the reactor
     
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  6. Deerwrecker2015 Well-Known Member

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    Another factor that lead to the Chernobyl disaster was that besides the design flaws the plant was rushed to completion (An extreme mistake here) with both of them (The design flaws of the reactors themselves and the construction if the plant itself) being due to the tendency of the Soviets to actually cut corners which should never happen.
     
  7. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    If the Leningrad plant goes, things are much much worse. There will be large numbers of deaths quickly, as the number of folks needing to be evacuated is much larger so more exposure, more panic etc. The radioactive cloud WILL make things unpleasant for Finland and Sweden for sure much more so than OTL, possibly other parts of Western Europe depending on the winds. Making part or even all of Leningrad a closed zone, like the area around Chernobyl will be a disaster for the USSR - housing millions overnight, losing all the industry etc.
     
  8. Histor32 Kicked

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    Depending on the direction if the wind:
    Stockholm, Helsinki
    Estonia, lativa, Lithuania, Belarus.. Yet again

    Moscow

    Plus St Petersburg.. Now that is all based on how the winds blow.. Actually winds would need to be due east (which is quite common to get leningrad.. Due west and its Helsinki south east which is also common would be Moscow.. South West Woukd be the Baltic states
     
  9. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

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    Who needs Containment Buildings, anyway?

    US scewed up too, like the Idaho naval SL-1 reactor meltdown in '61, where they screwed up a restart after maintenance.
    One of the poor bastards was pinned to the roof of the Containment Cell by a control rod, after it blew out the top from being manually withdrawn too far.
     
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  10. Deerwrecker2015 Well-Known Member

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    In the Idaho incident even without a Containment Building the actual building which housed the reactor which melted down contained most of the radioactivity but there was a real substational case for a Containment Building anyway.

    Properly designed Containment Buildings are a necessity for Nuclear Reactors but the only true containment building for any Nuclear Reactor is underground beneath a real substantial amount of Rock which would easily contain the reactor in the event of any meltdown (Just by blowing the tunnels leading to the reactor) which would really make a difference in containing the radiation.
     
  11. Rufus Shinra Statistical unlikeliness

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    IIRC, that show makes tons of nonsensical claims and outright falsehoods, like nuclear reactors that can explode like nuclear bombs - one of the funniest and most nonsensical claims ever propagated about nuclear plants - or the myth of the three divers being sent to their deaths - you can still find interviews of these divers made in the 2000s. I wouldn't call it 'good', except as a propaganda piece.
     
  12. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    It was not purposefully hidden. It was well known to the experienced operators, who were absent. And it only acted in such a way under unique circumstances.
    There is a lot of Western propaganda with respect to the accident, both anti-Spviet and a result of the anti-nuclear movement.
    There were lots of flaws in the design. There are flaws in any designs. Engineering is about compromises.
     
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  13. mattep74 Well-Known Member

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    Well, for one thing Finland will be able to see the explosion and the big fire. Helsinki will call Moscow the same day as the incident instead of Sweden Calling two Days after the event. The Finnish president might actually know something is seriously wrong Before the Russian Premier.
     
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  14. Sauna_Operator New Member

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    Wasn't it mentioned even in the HBO's Chernobyl that the safety test was proposed to the management of the Leningrad
    Atleast HBO didn't jump into the train for the insane asylum like the Russians did. I read that the Russian-made Chernobyl series, sponsored by the Russian government will explore the theory that agent(s) of the CIA was present at Chernobyl when the accident happened. After all, there has been complaints how the HBO's Chernobyl is mean, dishonest and full of Russophobia.
    As for the three divers it's shown how they survive their little radioactive trip and at the ending it's told that two of them are alive today.
     
  15. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    Thats the claim made, lets see if they actually do.
    OTL, the Soviets seriously considered sabotage as a cause....since the actual chain of events seemed very unlikely.
     
  16. MFP4073 Well-Known Member

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    The HBO show didn't claim that nuclear reactors can explode like a nuclear bomb. I definitely agree that there are a lot of falsehoods out there, but that is not one that the show repeated.
     
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  17. sendô Well-Known Member

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    The programme didn't spread a myth that they died - it stated that the people that sent them into the water worried that it was a death sentence, but then showed all three making it make out safe and clearly stated at the end that 2 of them were still alive today.

    It also didn't claim that the reactor could explode like a nuclear bomb.
     
  18. altamiro Well-Known Member

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    The show didn't make any claim like that, what they did claim was that a steam explosion could take place and that this steam explosion would make "the entire Eastern Europe uninhabitable". The steam explosion was originally indeed a possibility until the water in the absement was drained, but the "Eastern Europe uninhabitable" stuff was BS - in fact the existing 30 km exclusion zone was set based on the assumption that the steam explosion WILL take place.
    Another piece of bull was the supposedly radioactive firefighter who was irradiating his girlfriend when she visited him in hospital. There is nearly nothing in the human body that would produce radioisotopes even by neutron capture, and most of the exposition was from gamma radiation anyway which does not make ANYTHING radioactive. The reason for "no touching" rule is that the immune system is entirely destroyed by the irradiation; any touching, even breathing, will expose the body to bacteria which will kill the victim even if he could survive the radiation dose.
    What the show actually did not mention (reality worse than show) but is claimed by a few engineers was that a large part of the reactor innards was actually thrown out of the pressure vessel and landed in the completely destroyed control room - and when it did, parts of the pile went critical on and off, giving massive neutron and gamma radiation pulses to liquidators from an unexpected direction and resulting in a far higher exposure than originally expected.
    And obviously the "KGB controlling everything" was pretty anachronistic... by the 1980s, KGB was already pretty thoroughly defanged, the time they did not spend spying on other places was spent fighting bitter interservice rivalries with GRU and other such. The shitty safety culture, the secrecy etc were not because "otherwise KGB will get you" - those weren't the 1950s any more - but an absolutely atrocious, toxic office culture permeating the USSR administration without even them realising that it could be any other way. Basically if you admit even a slightest mistake, all yoru colleagues will pin their own failings to you, and your career chances will be permanently destroyed.
     
  19. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    Of the three people who went into the pool, two are alive today and one still works in the industry.
    The third one did indeed die, 20 years later and of a heart attack.
    I liked the show, but it was just that, a show.
     
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  20. Histor32 Kicked

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    there are liberites taken in the movie.

    now 1. the exclusion zone is and still is radioactive
    2. wild boar in Europe are killed because of this
    3. hey if you don't believe me.. go to the exclusion zone. or hey .. you know what come to Belarus and go to the southern parts and go drink milk or go pick wild mushrooms or berries. now the reactor control room bit .. yes. the KGB being defanged.. not so much, but the infighting part yes.
     
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