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Author Topic: Chernobyl  (Read 1306 times)
Chimpy
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on: May 13, 2019, 09:33:04 PM

This is some pretty powerful TV. Second episode was tonight, definitely worth watching.

We of course all know how it ends but learning about the journey is fascinating and horrifying.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Korachia
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Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 12:30:28 AM

I was absolutely horrified by the intense scenes in the control room in the first episodes. Great atmosphere and acting. I can´t think of a horror film that have induced the same amount of terror in me as this.



I can´t wait to see the second episode later today.
WayAbvPar
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Reply #2 on: May 19, 2019, 10:18:15 AM

Watched the first two eps last night.  Very good, and just terrifying.

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Cyrrex
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Reply #3 on: May 20, 2019, 10:00:06 AM

Sounds promising, going on my list.

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Korachia
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Reply #4 on: May 21, 2019, 01:33:20 PM

That 3rd episode... That was a crushing experience seeing Vasily waste away in his wife´s presence. This is heartbreaking.
Abagadro
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Reply #5 on: May 21, 2019, 03:35:44 PM

Ya that was a grim episode except for the miners (who IRL were the only people in the USSR that the communist party was actually afraid of and didn't mess with).

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

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Gimfain
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Reply #6 on: May 27, 2019, 01:59:38 PM

I feel mentally exhausted just by watching this show.

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Chimpy
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Reply #7 on: May 27, 2019, 02:11:49 PM

I feel mentally exhausted just by watching this show.

Definitely not a binge show.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Chimpy
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Reply #8 on: May 27, 2019, 09:07:34 PM

“Bio-robots”

Jesus Tapdancing Christ

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Soln
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the opportunity for evil is just delicious


Reply #9 on: May 29, 2019, 10:10:37 AM

Everyone should watch this.

It’s one of HBO’s best.
Chimpy
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Reply #10 on: May 29, 2019, 02:49:55 PM

Everyone should watch this.

It’s one of HBO’sTV history’s best.

FTFY

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disKret
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Reply #11 on: May 29, 2019, 03:01:34 PM

Ppl should bing it. 4th episode is a little bit slower than first 3 and loose some of the atmosphere build by first 2.
Selby
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Reply #12 on: May 29, 2019, 06:53:29 PM

Ppl should bing it. 4th episode is a little bit slower than first 3 and loose some of the atmosphere build by first 2.
It's less imminent disaster mitigation and more human fallout from the accident. Very difficult to watch.
01101010
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Reply #13 on: May 29, 2019, 07:39:23 PM

As someone with a complete fascination with this disaster, I am going to wait to binge on this. I read everything I could on it so seeing how it gets portrayed puts this high on my must watch list.

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Chimpy
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Reply #14 on: May 29, 2019, 09:32:26 PM

I usually binge stuff but I am glad I decided to watch this one episode at a time.

I don't think I could sit through all five episodes back to back.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
Soln
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Reply #15 on: May 29, 2019, 09:33:54 PM

The actor who plays Legasov (Jared Harris) plays Anderson Fucking Dawes on The Expanse.
Khaldun
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Reply #16 on: June 01, 2019, 06:58:15 AM

The simple intensity of this is fantastic but also really hard to take.
Brolan
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Reply #17 on: June 01, 2019, 09:05:31 PM

Watching those episodes is like getting punched in the stomach.
Abagadro
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Reply #18 on: June 02, 2019, 04:45:10 AM

The actor who plays Legasov (Jared Harris) plays Anderson Fucking Dawes on The Expanse.

He also played Layne on mad men and is Richard Harris's kid.

He elevates everything.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

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Tale
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Reply #19 on: June 02, 2019, 06:23:18 AM

I hope this revives the sense of nuclear dread we Cold War kids learned.
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Reply #20 on: June 02, 2019, 05:37:18 PM

I think he's actually a better actor than his dad.

I did some re-reading on the disaster and of course some of this is seriously fictionalized. Legasov definitely had some courageous things to say, but not right after the explosion--he followed the party line for a while. There were other leading scientists at that first emergency meeting--he didn't have to play at being the lone hero. The Byelorussian woman scientist is completely invented, but the woman architect who designed and built Priapyat organized and led the evacuation. Relatively few people died right away in the plant; most of the very bad radiation burn deaths took place 3-6 months later.

But close enough, and I think they've been thoughtful about where they've taken license.
Selby
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Reply #21 on: June 02, 2019, 05:57:51 PM

Relatively few people died right away in the plant; most of the very bad radiation burn deaths took place 3-6 months later.
They're showing the people dying from radiation poisoning in the later summertime on the last show, so somewhat within the timeframe of reality. If recall only one person was actually killed in the plant during the accident and the rest were after-affects of radiation exposure - the firefighters were the first to die followed by the ones who looked into the reactor core, but as you said it was some months afterwards (some very unpleasant months).

The producers have pointed out that things have been somewhat altered due to constraints of television - there was no lone hero and the woman scientist is fabricated - they said they have added them to represent the hundreds of people who worked on the cleanup and science side to keep it manageable and moving. The dialog and material is well written enough and plausible that I don't think it's overly jarring or taking too many liberties to break suspension of disbelief. I say this as someone familiar with the incident who remembers reading about it 30 years ago and many times since. The scenes of the plant itself are extremely accurate, including the destroyed reactor housing (the photo that was shown to Dyatlov in the last episode, I remember seeing one just like it in 1987).
disKret
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Reply #22 on: June 03, 2019, 01:29:59 AM

This is a simplified graph summary of what happened (3 mins) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5ptI6Pi3GA
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Jeff Kelly
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Reply #23 on: June 03, 2019, 05:08:32 AM

It's also very hard to research the actual death count and after effects of the disaster since Russia didn't really have any interest in disclosing them.

The 'offcial' death toll given out by Russian officials is 30 people. 2 people died from the reactor explosion and 28 who died from radiation exposure over the following weeks. The 'estimated' death toll given out by the Chernobyl-Forum (lead by the WHO and IAEA) is 'less than 50 people' who died from the immediate effects of the disaster and about 4000 cases of cancer related deaths connected to the reactor explosion.

More than 240,000 people were tasked with cleanup duty and decontamination in the exclusion zone between 1986 and 1987. More than 350,000 people lived in the exclusion zone and only 110,000 of them (Pripyat and a 10 mile radius zone around the reactor) were evacuated in the immediate aftermath (8 days) following the explosion. The remaining 200,000 still living in what is now the exclusion zone (35 mile radius) were evacuated over the following years (it took at least until 1988). More than 2,6 million people were living in areas of Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia that were directly contaminated by the nuclear fallout of Chernobyl (estimated to more than several trillion becquerel) and the radioactive cloud formed by the explosion contaminated most of Europe.

Where I grew up (West Germany) most of the fauna and flora is still so contaminated that it is not fit for human consumption. Especially plants that tend to accumulate radioactive elements (like mushrooms and certain berries) or the animals that eat them (wild boar, deer). Only 1 out of 10 boar that get's killed is below the legal limit for radioactive isotopes (a limit the EU actually increased a few years ago).

This is where the estimates come in that vary wildly. The USSR didn't track the people exposed to Chernobyl contamination, except for a few groups (school age kids and thyroid cancer), and actively buried a lot of the cases and so there exist no reliably numbers. So there exist a lot of estimates which vary from 'about 4000 cases' (official WHO) to 'about 60,000' to 'more than 1.6 million' depending on the model used and the ideological background of the organization doing the estimates. What is well researched is that the occurence rate of cancers related to radiation exposure (especially thyroid) went way up following the disaster as well as failed pregnancies and children born with genetic defects all over Europe.

Due to the lack of actual hard numbers and the noise of the data it's still not more than a pretty significant correlation though because even if there's a significant increase in occurance rates it#s hard to pinpoint it exactly to a single cuase over a time frame of 30 years.
Jeff Kelly
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Reply #24 on: June 03, 2019, 05:35:53 AM

It's not even clear how much of the nuclear material actually 'escaped' during the explosion and the meltdown. USSR officials claimed that more than 95% of the nuclear material is still inside the reactor and that the fallout mostly consists of material that was melted/burned during the graphite fire and carried into the atmosphere by the (very hot) fumes from the graphite fire. As soon as the graphite fire was put out (by dumping tons and tons of boric acid, dolomitium, lead and sand on it) officials claimed that exposure of the core and therefore exposure to the nuclear material inside had stopped.

The 'Elephant's Foot' is to this day used as 'proof' that most of the nuclear material is still contained inside of the sarcophagus.

There are competing claims however by physicists and even a few people that were actually allowed inside the sarcophagus for inspection purposes that due to the nature of the 'power excursion' and the resulting graphite fire most if not all of the nuclear material actually escaped the reactor. There's at least two prominent figures who had actual access to the confines of the reactor who claim this.

This is relevant because if that was the case the estimates of the consequences would be off by several magnitudes.
Chimpy
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Reply #25 on: June 03, 2019, 10:13:08 PM

This is the Schindler’s List of television.

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01101010
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Reply #26 on: June 04, 2019, 06:07:29 AM

I am on a nationally funded trauma study and have to report to the NHLBI and NIH. The main guy there overseeing the study was one of the first responding medical personnel at ground zero for this catastrophe. That said, the people connected with the study told me this in passing and relayed to me not to approach him with the subject. I suppose he is either reluctant to talk about the horrors or under some gag order or both... probably follows the same tradition as WWII vets not talking about the War.

But I really really want to sit down and pick his brain and get his account of things.

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Reply #27 on: June 06, 2019, 01:46:23 AM

HBO Now doesn't work in Japan apparently so finally was able to watch ep 5.

Holy fuck that was amazing.  Being a "Sovietologist" in the late 80s I've been somewhat obsessed with the event since it happened, but I finally understand the minute mechanics of it despite reading gobs and gobs about it. So well done Mr. Mazin.

Give this show ALL the awards. Like, in every category that a miniseries can compete in, just don't nominate anything else.  Some of the most amazing TV I've ever seen. Harris was just out of this world.  I'm literally gobsmacked thinking about it as a whole.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

-H.L. Mencken
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Reply #28 on: June 06, 2019, 04:20:59 PM

Oh wow. Now I really have to see this.

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Chimpy
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Reply #29 on: June 06, 2019, 07:07:16 PM

Oh wow. Now I really have to see this.

It is literally the best piece of Television produced in decades. I can’t think off he top of my head of anything that is close. Maybe the first season of The Wire? But it is a totally different beast.

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luckton
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Reply #30 on: June 07, 2019, 05:23:28 AM



Chernobyl Drinking Game: Take a shot everytime someone drinks vodka in the show  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

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Reply #31 on: June 07, 2019, 11:40:28 AM

I've made it through the first two back-to-back before it got too late and I had to sleep.

Wife had to check out when they showed the kids/adults with baby partying in the fallout.  Can't stand to see bad things happen to children.

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Reply #32 on: June 07, 2019, 04:57:52 PM

I have seen the first episode. The actor playing Dyatlov was absolutely great.

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luckton
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Reply #33 on: June 08, 2019, 06:47:18 PM

Watched and finished this over the course of the weekend. Fucking magnificent miniseries. I was holding back tears as they did the aftermath review at the end. I knew of Chernobyl and it's impact on the region, but to have it portrayed in this fashion is just sublime.

"Those lights, combined with the polygamous Nazi mushrooms, will mess you up."

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Zetor
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Reply #34 on: June 08, 2019, 11:00:18 PM

I've been holding off on watching this because Chernobyl has a lot of personal/emotional impact for me.

In particular, I remember the kindergarten I was in getting an order to have us kids attend a Worker's Day (May 1) celebration in 1986, which turned out to be one of the biggest in recent history... in retrospect, the government may have just done this to make it look like everything was fine. Reading up on it further, some Hungarian scientists have identified the problem and privately called kindergartens / schools to stay inside because "the sun's radiation is going to be particularly strong and may harm the children"... guess not all of them got the memo. There was also a radio news anchor trying to repeat the BBC's statement about the catastrophe, but it was shut down and the guy was disciplined.

Basically, the only reason we were not completely screwed by this was pure luck about where the winds were blowing (literally), because Hungary got relatively little fallout despite being adjacent to Ukraine...


edit: BTW, 'biorobot' became part of Hungarian slang after the incident
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 11:08:09 PM by Zetor »

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