The Legacy of Chernobyl

Zhores A. Medvedev, Author W. W. Norton & Company $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-393-02802-7
The Chernobyl reactor disaster in April 1986 forced the permanent evacuation of some 100,000 people; more than half a million citizens in the Soviet Union and surrounding countries were showered with dangerous levels of radiation. Soviet biologist Medvedev forcefully argues that consumption of contaminated agricultural products, rather than the immediate fallout, will cause most of the health problems associated with this catastrophe, including a marked increase in cancer. He disputes the official version of the accident, which placed emphasis on human negligence while minimizing the reactor design flaws, which are pinpointed here. There were several previous nuclear accidents in the U.S.S.R.; the secrecy surrounding them was a major contributory factor in the runaway chain reaction at Chernobyl, Medvedev charges. The most comprehensive and revealing account of Chernobyl to date, this report gauges the political impact of the inflationary energy crisis precipitated by the 1986 meltdown. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
Paperback - 378 pages - 978-0-393-30814-3
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-85124-803-5
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