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Free eBook The Legacy of Chernobyl download

by Zhores A. Medvedev

Free eBook The Legacy of Chernobyl download ISBN: 0631169555
Author: Zhores A. Medvedev
Publisher: Blackwell Publishers; Illustrated edition edition (April 26, 1990)
Language: English
Pages: 256
Category: Engineering & Transportation
Subcategory: Engineering
Size MP3: 1606 mb
Size FLAC: 1472 mb
Rating: 4.6
Format: azw lit docx txt

Zhores Medvedev (1925―2018) was a Russian agronomist, biologist, historian, and dissident. The Legacy of Chernobyl is a fascinating read, Mr. Medvedev describes in great detail, the events that led up to and were the root cause of this unfortunate tragedy.

Zhores Medvedev (1925―2018) was a Russian agronomist, biologist, historian, and dissident. He was the author of numerous books including Nuclear Disaster in the Urals, Legacy of Chernobyl, and Khrushchev: The Years in Power. He describes not only the precursor events but also describes the response of plant Operators, firefighters, Medical personnel, and politicians.

The Legacy of Chernobyl book.

The legacy of Chernobyl. Radioactive pollution, Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, Chornobyl, Ukraine, 1986. by. Medvedev, Zhores . 1925-. Zhores Aleksandrovich Medvedev was born in Tbilisi, in Soviet Georgia on November 14, 1925.

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Medvedev sees Chernobyl as a watershed in the use of nuclear energy and the policies that control it. show more.

Zhores Aleksandrovich Medvedev (Russian: Жоре́с Алекса́ндрович Медве́дев; 14 November 1925 – 15 November 2018) was a Russian agronomist, biologist, historian and dissident. His twin brother is the historian Roy Medvedev. Zhores Medvedev and his twin brother Roy were born on 14 November 1925 in Tbilisi, Transcaucasian SFSR, USSR. Their mother Yulia (nee Reiman), was a cellist, and their father, Alexander Medvedev, was a philosopher in a military academy in Leningrad.

In the early hours of 26 April 1986 Leonid Toptunov, a young, inexperienced and tired operator at the Soviet nuclear plant at Chernobyl, near Kiev, allowed the level of reactivity in one of the plant's reactors to fall dangerously low. As he attempted to correct this, the power in the reactor rose dramatically and uncontrollably, and a powerful steam explosion took place, closely followed by a massive second explosion which started a hugh graphite fire and blew millions of curies of radioactivity into the environment. So occurred the worst disaster in the history of nuclear energy. Zhores Medvedev, gives an analysis of the long-term natural and global effects of the catastrophe, examining the technical, environmental, agricultural, health and economic impact of the accident, the largest industrial accident in human history. Officially it has been estimated to have cost more than US $20 billion by 1989, and this is almost certainly an underestimate due to the fact that more than 100,000 people were evacuated from the contaminated zone and permanently resettled, about 1,000,000 people continue to live under a special regime because their homes are in an area of increased radiation danger, nearly 500,000 civilians and soldiers took part in the decontamination work and in other emergencies and more than 600,000 people (including 250,000 children) received high doses of external and internal radiation and have been entered in medical register similar to the one set up for survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs in 1945. Why did the catastrophe happen and what will be its legacy? This book offers an account of the technical aspects of the Chernobyl accident, based on documents and information that have only recently become available. It indicates that the accident was inevitable in the context of the poor safety record of Soviet nuclear plants which finally began to emerge only in 1988. The result was the closure of many reactors (and the cancellation of ones planned or in construction) for safety reasons and because of public pressure. Chernobyl's implications for global energy supplies and for the energy crisis in the USSR and Eastern Europe have contributed to a reconsideration of economic and political priorities in the Soviet Union and to perestroika and glasnost.
User reviews
Many of the other reviewers have stated that it starts out with a bang (pun intended) and then gets bogged down in trivia. My reading of the book matches these criticisms. So, what's good, what's missing, & what's Bad?

The Good: The story walks the reader through the accident, its causes, and its immediate consequences. This is both a writeup of the event, but the reason for performing the "test" which caused the accident.

The Missing: The details and personal recollections of those principals involved in the original accident and the firemen, helicopter pilots, and workers on the ground who worked to put the graphite fire out and quell the release of radioactivity. Some details and personal recollections are in the book, but way too few. (Note many of the firemen, helicopter pilots, and ground workers during the initial emergency days died of radiation poisoning. They went in and performed their jobs at great hazard to themselves, many without knowledge of what they were up against.)

The Bad: After the initial reporting, the book bogs down in the details of the evacuations and radioactive poisoning of the land without a clear writeup on what really happened. It tries, but just doesn't quite make it.

Some reviews mention that the book also throws out many technical terms without a clear explanation of what they really mean. Here are a few quick & dirty definitions that may help:

Radiological terms: Many of these are thrown about without a clear definition of what they really mean. Here are some quick clarifications:
A) REM = a dose of absorbed radiation over time by a person. 100 REM in a short exposure time-frame is basically fatal. Anything above 25 is positively serious & anything over 50 is extremely serious with the potential for permanent damage.
B) RAD = about the same thing, however, in this case it is a measurement of radiation & not directly measured as an absorbed dose.
C) Curie = an amount of total radiation in a portion of radiological material. Usually used as a measurement of total radiation released in an area. Ex. 22 Curies of Iodine-131 released over a 1 square kilometer area.
D) Becquerel (Bq) = a measurement of radiological events of decay over time. 1 Bq = one decay/second. So, 200 Bq = 200 decay events in one second (as measured). More on Bq below.
E) Sievert (Sv) = the amount of low level radiation absorbed.

2) Types of radiation:
A) Alpha particle = a stripped Helium atom (2 protons & 2 neutrons)
B) Beta particle = a single neutron
C) Gamma ray = a photon of extremely high energy (much higher & of a significantly greater frequency than visible light). Also, X rays are in this category, but are not mentioned in the book.

3) Types of exposure:
1) External = standing in the way of the above types of radiation.
2) Internal = ingestion of radiological matter that will decay & release one, or more of the three types of radiation.

4) Radiological decay & exposure: Radiological particle release occurs in a totally random direction. Stand in front of an atom as it splits & you can be totally missed if the particles are sent in a direction away from you. However, if the radiological particle is ingested, you have a 100% chance of being in the way of the released particles. Thus the emphasis on full coverage suits to avoid skin contact & respirators to avoid breathing in contaminated particles. Also, don't eat contaminated food for the same reason. Special note: Some elements have an affinity for certain internal organs. Iodine, for example, collects in the thyroid gland.

5) Radiological decay & Half life: The unstable particles decay over time. A half life is the amount of time for a specific element to decay to 1/2 of its original amount. Caution: Many particles decay into other unstable particles, which themselves have a half life decay. So, the process continues until all particles have decayed to stable elements. Also, there is always "some" radiation in the environment. This is called "background radiation" and is caused by the natural existence of radiological material found in nature (ex. carbon 14). Additionally, the Sun (which is a huge nuclear furnace)is also a source of both "charged" particles and photons (light rays).

6) Energy: Ev, Mev, Bev = electron volts (ev), Million ev, and Billion ev. Basically a measurement of energy at the sub atomic level. Simple equation. The more ev, the more energy & also the more heat!

Final note: Graphite is basically pure carbon & when heated to a high temperature and exposed to oxygen, will burn. What is not mentioned in the book was that the British Nuclear Agency received a call a short time after the accident from Russian sources asking about the procedures that they used to extinguish the graphite fire during the Windscale accident in 1957.
Medvedev writes with authority as he himself is a renowned scientist from the then Soviet Union and as part of the global community of scientists. Also, his father and brother were involved with the disaster, research and following studies of the site. As such he is very qualified to give this account. His writing is technical and scientific, however it's straight forward nature make it very comprehend-able with out three doctorates in nuclear physics. The reason is simple, in terms of safety, the smaller the number (usually because it denotes an amount of radiation) the better. The larger the number the worse off it is. If you approach it with that mind set much of his analysis is very understandable even if you don't know the specific measurements he is talking about.

The only draw back is that the original publishing of this book was in the early 90's. The CCCP was just about to/in the process of falling apart. There were moments when you can feel his distrust and fear of his soviet compatriots in government, as though the polit bureau could still reach out and pluck him away from everything. Also therefore the book's true ability to give a long term eulogy of Chernobyl is limited. He is still writing not that long after the disaster happened. Now that the Union has fallen I'm sure more information could have been divulged and more long term information presented.

But it is a wonderful book and one of the most definitive books on the matter of the disaster and the response that followed. There are few other books that really cover this subject. If you are going to pick one up, this should be it. Still highly relevant since the use of nuclear power continues to be hotly debated around the world.
This book will teach you so many things! Like for example, the cows that grazed on contaminated fields had to be relocated, and their manure had to be treated as "low-level nuclear waste". Get the headline now?

I'm enjoying the book, but it is EXTREMELY technical. And dense. And full of facts and figures. I'm not a nuclear physicist, I just love Chernobyl's history, and this book was a bit hard to get through. I absolutely HAD to put the book down and watch some YouTube videos explaining nuclear fission and how reactors work before I could keep going, because none of it made sense.

So, while I'm learning a lot, and the author is doing a great job at being impartial, academic, and throwing his years of personal nuclear experience into the book, it's not an easy read. Might want to look someplace less technical, if you're not after a dense book.
The Legacy of Chernobyl is a fascinating read, Mr. Medvedev describes in great detail, the events that led up to and were the root cause of this unfortunate tragedy . . . He describes not only the precursor events but also describes the response of plant Operators, firefighters, Medical personnel, and politicians. He also reveals the political environment in Russia that led to the Operational philosophy & Management actions that caused this catastrophic series of events.
An interesting book. It explains clearly why this happened. The author then goes on to describe the consequences of the incident. Some of the chapters are a bit long and seem to repeat the same story over several times. I learned from this book but did skip some sections.