Big Picture Science – Rethinking Chernobyl

by Gary Niederhoff on May 6, 2019


Big Picture Science – Rethinking Chernobyl

The catastrophic explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in April 1986 triggered the full-scale destruction of the reactor. But now researchers with access to once-classified Soviet documents are challenging the official version of what happened both before and after the explosion. They say that the accident was worse than we thought and that a number of factors – from paranoia to poor engineering – made the mishap inevitable. Others claim a much larger death toll from extended exposure to low levels of radiation. But with nuclear energy being a possibly essential component of dealing with rising carbon dioxide emissions, how do we evaluate risk under the long shadow of Chernobyl?

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Adam Higginbotham / Inevitable Disaster
Part 2: Kate Brown / Deeper Disaster
Part 3: James Smith / Disputed Disaster
Part 4: Ted Nordhaus / Nuclear Solution

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