WI Leningrad Nuclear Plant instead of Chernobyl

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

  1. Histor32 Kicked

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    sabotage by complete self inflicted gunshot to the head incompetent, reckless, self serving, self promoting arrogance .. the West didn't design the reactor nor the tests, nor select the time for the tests, or seclect the men to conduct the test, nor was the west even told about anything for 3 days.. let alone the poor chaps who lived in the area
     
  2. altamiro Well-Known Member

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    Radioactive does not automatically mean dangerous; it's always a matter of dosage, and European exposure limits use a safety factor of thousand - which results in serious overreactions like the boar situation I am very well aware of. Its different in the exclusion zone, but even there - unless you sit right in the Red Forest - we are talking about higher statistical likelihood of health issues due to radio isotopes, not getting immediately sick like the liquidators. The more radioactive something is, the shorter its half life, so the most dangerous isotopes are already gone.
    Basically, outside of the Red Forest and a few hotspots, the Exclusion Zone is today as "uninhabitable" as any big Chinese city nowadays or London in 19th century, that means, you are taking similar levels of risks to your health by being there. The main difference is that you don't NEED to take these risks in today's Chernobyl while Chinese city dwellers or Londoners mostly did not have this choice.
     
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  3. Histor32 Kicked

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    well just.. no offence .. better safe than sorry. Modern life and cities are not healthy anyways- hell im from Michigan, and I can tell you that what mankind has done to the lower part of the state is criminal. whats worse? not sure. but I don't live in either :) and i am willing to wager that you are not going to pack your bags and move to the exclusion zone and build a house and raise kids.

    I would prefer to error on caution .. I don't trust governments- im from flint Michigan and I now live just outside of the exclusion areas
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  4. altamiro Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I agree - there is no urgent need to take this (small) risk, there is not much you would gain. And I would not move there even if it were magically cleaned from all radio isotopes, but that is mainly because I have no desire to live in the middle of nowhere :) Visiting, certainly, but not living.
     
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  5. Histor32 Kicked

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    I will say this there was that part in the series where they did suggest that a thermal explosion would be immense .. not sure if that was intentional or not .. and yes it would be bad, but for different reasons, such as .. well the other three reactors.. then the other three reactors melting down. but the megatonnage that was described made me roll my eyes. maybe they meant by radiative effects.

    bottom line the series was good and could have been over the top good if it was like 10 episodes and they really put the extra work into it, which of course would have made the average person glaze over .. but at the same time would have been a lot more affective.

    I agree with everyone that what took place at Chernobyl required the magics wings to take place and could have been stopped as so well said in the show at any time.

    that said, the test was never carried out at other reactors, RBMK's carried this flaw of positive coefficient. and well hell it was just a perfect storm.

    so yes maybe it could happen at Leningrad, but Leningrad would have been detected immediately by Finland and Sweden ( assuming winds and stuff, or if the winds go north east .. well Leningrad is hosed.. the reactor is on the Baltic to the south west of the city)

    last note: they are correct, the radioactity isn't going to go away anytime soon and again it is fire season - all of that is in the soil - the plants and trees absorb it from the soil - fires start and spread it again.. or the wildlife eats the plants and we eat the wildlife. ( not going to say this isn't just as bad as lets just talk fish and mercury and PCB's. humans have truly screwed themselves on their only little marble they live on by pissing in their own living room.

    er.. okay one more.. look up mayak .. look up other nuclear accidents not only in the soviet union but other places - Then, of course if you undertand nuclear waste and the issue with where the (*U)(* do you put it.. eh..

    humans suck
     
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  6. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    Like other contaminants, think mercury or DDT, it concentrates as you go up the food chain. Mercury in plankton, not so bad, in tuna worse as they are several steps up the food chain. For carnivores and omnivores (boars) the level of radionuclides is not inconsequential - sausage made with wild boar from the exclusion zone, try it once not so bad, eat it regularly - not good.
     
  7. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    AFAIK, Leningrad’s plant and the plant had a more competent personnel than Chernobyl and, IIRC, reactor 4 on Chernobyl had constructive differences from the 1st generation of the RBMK 1000 installed in Leningrad and 2 first blocks of Chernobyl.
     
  8. Dementor Well-Known Member

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    Coincidentally I was thinking about writing a POD about the Chernobyl disaster happening at one of the other four RBMK plants. Probably not going to make it now, but having it happen at Leningrad is an interesting POD since a disaster at the Leningrad station is the worst possible of the five RBMK stations, at least from the point of view of the population size affected (though a disaster at Ignalina would have possibly even worse long term political consequences). Of course, political consequences would be severe here too, what with the large chances of areas in Finland (possibly even in Sweden, considering their more stringent restrictions) being declared uninhabitable. For a start, I imagine Finland would be as hostile against Russia as most of their other neighbors.

    Depends of course on the wind direction and even more importantly on where it rains: this is where the worst affected long term areas were in OTL. If the claim that clouds heading from Chernobyl to Moscow were seeded to prevent the capital from being affected, the same could certainly be expected here.

    I don't think this would be possible: the fire would not be visible from Finland. But it's true that the disaster will be detected immediately, especially if the wind is blowing in Finland's direction: one of their nuclear plants (which would probably not last long in this scenario) is very close to the Leningrad plant.

    I'd say we should wait until such a movie is actually completed. It wouldn't be the first time that some sensational claims about Russia later turns out to h
    As for the accusations against the series, they're at least partially correct. The portrayal of the Soviet leadership would fit more in 1936 than in 1986, for example and the portrayal of some key figures is substantially distorted.

    They claimed that if the molten fuel reached the flooded basement, it would cause a four megaton explosion - more than that of an average thermonuclear bomb. This is not even close to being possible.

    Could you elaborate? I've read elsewhere that the design faults applied to all reactors. In fact, the power surge after pressing SCRAM was discovered at Ignalina in 1981
     
  9. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the 1st,HBO (I did not see the series) is not really to blame: the story to this effect was circulating in the SU (among the people with a reasonable level of competence) immediately after the disaster.

    As for your question, unfortunately I don’t remember technical details I was told few decades ago. However, I remember that Chernobyl Plant had a “reputation” as far as competence of its personal was involved. OTOH, a person who visited Leningrad plant told me that it’s reactor was requiring a very intensive control so it is not like reactors there were problems free. Well, the whole idea behind the RBMK was to get a lot of power cheap and a free cheese usually can be found in the mousetraps so the problems more or less to be expected.

    Construction of Ignalina (besides lunacy of spolining a popular resort area) was famous for “Карибский кризис» (sounds as “Caribbean crisis”) named after Deputy Minister in charge of automation: it was found that a proposed computer system is mostly a product of imagination of a couple of incompetents (*) after which there was usual Sturm und Drang effort to produce something workable at the last moment (participation in which I managed to escape :)). While the effort to write it was going on, couple hundred people had been commandeering just to provide around the clock imitation of activity (3 8 hour shifts to have a person sitting at every monitor doing nothing useful but punching at the keyboards when the top bosses were appearing). :)

    (*) One of them was sincerely unaware of the fact that connecting the blocks (computers) with the lines on a piece of paper is not a substitute for the absent communication software and another was routinely telling the boss that all required software is already “95% ready”.
     
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  10. BELFAST Irish Confederate

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  11. altamiro Well-Known Member

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    Indeed... surely wild boar is really tasty, but who eats wild boar sausage regularly? Never mind what else concentrated up the food chain that doesn't give a signal on the Geiger counter. I stopped eating tuna after I saw mercury analytics on random tuna samples, and tuna are basically wild boar of the seas...
     
  12. BELFAST Irish Confederate

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    Some animals in the zone have low radiation levels, other animals of the same species can have massive amounts. Depends on if the were feeding in a hot spot in the zone.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  13. altamiro Well-Known Member

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    In the zone itself this is pretty obvious but the "radioactive wild boar" issue was and still is cropping up all the way into Bavaria and Austria, where wild boar shot by hunters needs to go through a health check before being released to be eaten, and this includes radioactivity check. If you set the limits low enough, everything will be radioactive and can be rejected if that is desired. An average human being is radiating at about 6000-8000 Bq just due to K-40 everywhere in the body, a wild boar is probably the same or more depending how potassium-rich its diet was.
     
  14. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    Interesting Vlogbrothers video about the accident.


    Once again, what happened, only happened due to some really unlikely set of occurances.
     
  15. Chris Triangle Triangulator

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    Yeah, it's rather convenient that radioactive isotopes constantly broadcast their location, concentration and identity. Not so easy with chemical toxins.
     
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  16. Spiritual Sausage Well-Known Member

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    But the radioactive firefighter scene did happen in real life? Vasily and Lyudmila Ignatenko were very real people
     
  17. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    Yes. The reason there is a "no touching rule" is not because humans become radioactive, but
    i) The irradiated dust may not have been properly cleaned.
    ii) One of the outcomes of Acute radiation sickness is thata person immune system is destroyed, worse than AIDS actually. Its to prevent you dying of a cold.

    Raadioactivuty is not contagious.
     
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