Chernobyl (HBO miniseries)

Moosedrool

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Why are they suggesting it will go up like a nuclear bomb in the series?

Also. "Until the entire continent is dead!!!" ugh...
 

Sinbad

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Why are they suggesting it will go up like a nuclear bomb in the series?

Also. "Until the entire continent is dead!!!" ugh...
The water tanks would have been pretty spectacular and would have spread radioactive debris over a very large area. Then it gets into the ground water and they're not far wrong
 

Moosedrool

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The water tanks would have been pretty spectacular and would have spread radioactive debris over a very large area. Then it gets into the ground water and they're not far wrong
And spread "2 - 3 megatons" of radiation?
 

Moosedrool

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No, the explosion would measure 2-3 megatons. Ie, the equivalent explosive power of 2-3 million tons of tnt.
But it wouldn't.

That's a pretty hefty carefully designed thermonuclear weapon that would do that.
 

CT_Biker

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so Fukushima was also a once off? and Fukushima had the latest safety features and containment
and still it melted down and contaminated the local area as well,
AFAIK the melted uranium cannot escape the enclosure of the reactor at Fukushima. Yes it melted through the reactor core but it has been contained within the reactor housing - not getting near the ground.

The fallout which the explosion disseminated was minor compared to Chernobyl....
 

CT_Biker

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No, the explosion would measure 2-3 megatons. Ie, the equivalent explosive power of 2-3 million tons of tnt.
Would have been enough to flatten a few countries and the resulting radiation fallout would have turned the area affected into a wasteland.
 

Sinbad

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But it wouldn't.

That's a pretty hefty carefully designed thermonuclear weapon that would do that.
Doing some research, seems you're right. People are estimating maybe 4 kilotons.

Or maybe the equivalent fallout/exposure as from a megaton device, given that all 4 reactors would probably be destroyed.
 

Moosedrool

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Doing some research, seems you're right. People are estimating maybe 4 kilotons.

Or maybe the equivalent fallout/exposure as from a megaton device, given that all 4 reactors would probably be destroyed.
Even in a "simple" atom bomb. The whole design is to keep the mass critical for as long as possible. The design of a nuclear power plant is not like that and the rods are made of small pellets of nuclear fuel, something like 8mm wide. Not really anything close to what is required for a bomb.

In a Fission Bomb "Atom bomb", the design includes neutron reflectors positioned precisely opposite and intentional of what you'll get in a reactor and neutron injection units to try and spread the fission reaction as evenly as possible. This whole thing must be timed to the nanosecond. It's extremely enriched U235 or plutonium in a spherical shape either imploded to that mass by other explosives or shot together in a gun type design. The sphere is to produce the least amount of surface area for neutrons to escape.

Even with that an atom bomb is not very sufficient at fission and only a fraction of the critical mass actually contributes to the instantaneous fission causing the fireball. Before you blink the rest of the uranium is blown away and the chain reaction stops.

So no... Even highly enriched uranium power plant cores will fizzle and melt in heat and release a serious amount of lethal radiation. Which is precisely what happened. No nuclear explosion.
 
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Sinbad

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Even in a "simple" atom bomb. The whole design is to keep the mass critical for as long as possible. The design of a nuclear power plant is not like that and the rods are made of small pallets of nuclear fuel, something like 8mm wide. Not really anything close to what is required for a bomb.

In a Fission Bomb "Atom bomb", the design includes neutron reflectors positioned precisely opposite and intentional of what you'll get in a reactor and neutron injection units to try and spread the fission reaction as evenly as possible. This whole thing must be timed to the nanosecond. It's extremely enriched U235 or plutonium in a spherical shape either imploded to that mass by other explosives or shot together in a gun type design. The sphere is to produce the least amount of surface area for neutrons to escape.

Even with that an atom bomb is not very sufficient at fission and only a fraction of the critical mass actually contributes to the instantaneous fission causing the fireball. Before you blink the rest of the uranium is blown away and the chain reaction stops.

So no... Even highly enriched uranium power plant cores will fizzle and melt in heat and release a serious amount of lethal radiation. Which is precisely what happened. No nuclear explosion.
They never claimed it to be a nuclear explosion though?
More of a dirty bomb.
 

Moosedrool

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They never claimed it to be a nuclear explosion though?
More of a dirty bomb.
I think they are counting the three other reactors in that as well... But yeah it's said to be an exaggeration.
of 2 to 3 megatons of steam explosions. That's not exaggeration. That's using nuclear bomb speak because they read the scary word nuclear in Chernobyl's history books.
 

Sinbad

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of 2 to 3 megatons of steam explosions. That's not exaggeration. That's using nuclear bomb speak because they read the scary word nuclear in Chernobyl's history books.
No, Megaton is not nuclear bomb speak, it just happens that only nuclear bombs go into the Megaton range.
 

Moosedrool

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No, Megaton is not nuclear bomb speak, it just happens that only nuclear bombs go into the Megaton range.
Obviously. But the only thing we've invented hitting that range of power is a thermonuclear bomb. Not even fission bombs goes that high.

I'm still querying how any explosion at Chernobyl will even reach the 4 kt of tnt range rather than 1 mt?

Halifax was equivalent to 3 kilotons of tnt and that's pretty much the end of man made non nuclear detonations. "A possible steam explosion of 2 to 3 megatons!" This series is talking about stuff they don't know anything about and just throw **** out there.

Nuclear scientist: HBO’s Chernobyl a lesson in sensationalism

https://www.cfact.org/2019/06/19/33373/?mc_cid=192894e3f0&mc_eid=bd39b4b86f
^ THIS.

Even my dad said this Chernobyl series is a good real life representation. :rolleyes:
 

Cray

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Nuclear scientist: HBO’s Chernobyl a lesson in sensationalism

https://www.cfact.org/2019/06/19/33373/?mc_cid=192894e3f0&mc_eid=bd39b4b86f
He may be a nuclear physicist but the following paragraph contradicts a lot of what I have read about the victims of radiation burns at Chernobyl and the affects of acute radiation syndrome in general...

A very large dose of nuclear radiation will undoubtedly kill a person. But skin will not peel off one’s face. In fact a human can pick up a fatal dose of radiation in under an hour and not even know it. The person would go home in apparently perfect condition, but then start to feel as if he had eaten rotten fish for lunch. Vomiting would result and flu-like symptoms would set in. This would, over a couple of hours, lead to shaky hands and wobbly legs, bad vision and a general breakdown of body functions. Death would come quite quickly, in days. But in reality no viewer-riveting skin peeling off the face, or blood dripping from anywhere would occur.
The Wikipedia page for Acute Radiation syndrome says the following:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acute_radiation_syndrome

Skin changes[edit]
Cutaneous radiation syndrome (CRS) refers to the skin symptoms of radiation exposure.[1] Within a few hours after irradiation, a transient and inconsistent redness (associated with itching) can occur. Then, a latent phase may occur and last from a few days up to several weeks, when intense reddening, blistering, and ulceration of the irradiated site is visible. In most cases, healing occurs by regenerative means; however, very large skin doses can cause permanent hair loss, damaged sebaceous and sweat glands, atrophy, fibrosis (mostly keloids), decreased or increased skin pigmentation, and ulceration or necrosis of the exposed tissue.[1] Notably, as seen at Chernobyl, when skin is irradiated with high energy beta particles, moist desquamation (peeling of skin) and similar early effects can heal, only to be followed by the collapse of the dermal vascular system after two months, resulting in the loss of the full thickness of the exposed skin.[10] This effect had been demonstrated previously with pig skin using high energy beta sources at the Churchill Hospital Research Institute, in Oxford.[11]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acute_radiation_syndrome#cite_note-11

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11182791

To say that radiation burns don't cause skin loss is contradicted by plenty of accounts that say exactly the opposite....

For those with strong stomachs, scroll down to page to slide 29 and decide for yourself if the good physicist's point about no loss of skin is indeed accurate....

http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/nrsb/miscellaneous/Beebe2016/NASEMBeebe2016_Mettler_AcuteHealthEffectsandRadiationSyndromesResulting.pdf

Also have a look at the following gallery of slides from a worker in Japan who died of radiation poisoning due to a criticality incident,


Most notably the final one and then tell me the depiction of Acute Radiation syndrome in the TV series was sensationalized...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokaimura_nuclear_accident

Shinohara received numerous skin grafts, which were successful,
Strange that a person would receive numerous skin grafts if their skin wasn't peeling off...:unsure:

If people want to criticize actual inaccuracies then fine, but down playing the horror of what acute radiation exposure can do to the human body just makes it look he is pushing a pro-nuclear agenda (one which I tend to agree with but at least be honest about the dangers).
 
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