Chernobyl: A Documentary Story

Iurii Scherbak, Author, Ian Press, Translator, Iurii Shcherbak, Author
Iurii Scherbak, Author, Ian Press, Translator, Iurii Shcherbak, Author St. Martin's Press $29.95 (168p) ISBN 978-0-312-03097-1
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
In a workmanlike report heavily studded with eyewitness testimony, Ukrainian science writer Shcherbak offers a frightening closeup of the still-unfolding nuclear nightmare that rocked the Chernobyl power plant and the surrounding region in 1986. He interviewed victims of radiation sickness, townsfolk forced to evacuate the danger zone, fire fighters who helped avert a greater catastrophe, helicopter pilots, scientists, doctors, government officials. Besides capturing the disbelief, trepidation, anger and courage of ordinary people, the author (who is also a physician, novelist and conservationist) airs many questions that have nagged other observers within the U.S.S.R. and elsewhere, such as: Why did the evacuation take so long? Why weren't those who lived downwind fully apprised of potential hazards? This account concludes with a warning that nuclear plants must be made safer, yet it implicitly rejects a shutdown of the nuclear power industry. (July)
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