Chernobyl Relapse?

One thing about hanging out with my classmates is not only are we big on dissing each other’s favourite football teams, that we are also very competitive when it comes to who bears the latest world news. Sounds kiasu but to us, it’s fun to laugh at the current this politician’s personal agenda, that country’s obvious stupidity and marvel at that person’s incredible wealth. Of course, when the news account for some lip-pursing and deep sighs we silently offer our due condolences.

In fact today, Aaron came to class bearing a not-so-good news. From the tsk-tsking going on between those Kremlin-conscious groups, another nuclear disaster took place again in Chernobyl yesterday. It was reconfirmed by our TB lecturer.  

The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster was regarded the worst of its kind. Although it has been more than 2 decades after the tragedy, its after-effect can still be seen til today. Almost 30 something casualties took place immediately after the blast, and many more were led to death not long after it due to radiation sickness. Many live on to suffer from mutations and cancerogenic effects, which also unfortunately may be passed to the next generation because of the source’s lengthy half-life.

Radiation disaster may not be as apparent as the forest fire in California (or Kalimantan?) and the tsunami earthquake in Sumatra, but its outcome is far more devastating. Nuclear radiation is like the silent killer, it’s there but you can’t feel it piercing your body. But slowly you will experience the deterioration of your body, weakness and fatique takes over, your immunity depressed leading to multiple opportunistic infection which will eventually lead to a slow, painful death.

During the nuclear outbreak, it was noted that the radiation level at the epicentre was 5.5 Roentgen/s, roughly around 20k R/h. At 50 your blood count will change, vomit starts at 100, and death after 500. So imagine 20k coming into that: that’s like being dead 400 times over.

It’s 400 times the Hiroshima effect.

The wind swept the radioactive cloud all over CIS, Ukraine down to Turkey, all over Europe extending as far as the UK. Death toll includes immediate death (30++), hastened death of firefighters, liquidators and other personnel (60,000) and lethality due to various radiation sickness (60,000). Disability counted up to 100,000. Total of more than 2million Ukrainians were reported to be affected by the disaster.

The catastrophe left Pripyat, a city of 50,000 in ruins after its evacuation. Residents fled leaving almost their entire lives behind. There were still clothes left in the closet and food decayed in the fridge. The ultimate movie set-up ala the House of Wax.

Therefore, let’s hope that the news Aaron brought was another hoax by the Orange Revolution. Despite not being too excited to sit for my summer exam, Ukraine is very much the place to be if I want to obtain my medical degree. Besides, I don’t want to look at the kobis goreng wondering if I’d contract stomach cancer after eating it, cause heck, that’s the only sayur around in this sayur-deficient country.

Cause as much as I believe that I am not, I am officially rather freaked.


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