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The Legacy of Chernobyl
On the morning of April 26, 1986, a Soviet nuclear plant at Chernobyl (near Kiev) exploded, pouring radioactivity into the environment and setting off the worst disaster in the history of nuclear energy. Now a former Soviet scientist gives a comprehensive account of the catastrophe.
Paperback, 378 pages
Published February 17th 1992 by W. W. Norton & Company
(first published April 26th 1990)
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The upcoming 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster on April, 26, 2011, as well as the current concern regarding the damage at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power complex in Japan, compelled me to go back to read this book. At the time that it was written in 1989, it was the first book by a Russian insider on the subject. A geneticist, Medvedev was already a famous scientific muckraker, having exposed a long secret nuclear accident in the Ural Mountains. Although we now know much more about ...more
This book is very technical, very dry and full of figures - and this is a good thing. If you want a very insightful and in depth view to what happened in Chernobyl in 1986, the background and aftermath of the disaster and its effects in Ukraine, Soviet Union and around the world, this is a book well worth reading. The Legacy of Chernobyl was published in 1990, so the information is a little bit dated in some respects. Nevertheless, I can highly recommend this book for those readers who want well ...more
I really liked the book, but I was looking for something more contemporary and I was fooled by the Kindle publication date (2012) vs the actual publication date (1992, I think). Still, a very nice recount of the Chernobyl meltdown and a good primer on nuclear energy. Sometimes I felt that the author had an axe to grind with the Soviet Union, but given the time in which this was written (and the poor way they handled the accident), I guess I can understand that.