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Thread: Chernobyl series (HBO)

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Default Chernobyl series (HBO)

    This is a fact-based disaster/horror story about the Chernobyl disaster. I kept seeing pieces of episodes when I would turn to HBO, but last night I actually watched the first episode from beginning to end. So did the rest of my family, because the story just sucks you in.

    Without giving too much away, the story starts in the control room, just after the accident. At first, the engineers are barely aware of what just happened. They were conducting an authorized test of the system and how it would respond to power loss, etc. Because the system was configured incorrectly in the first place, the entire core ended up exploding and radioactive material shot out of the containment tower.

    You get to watch the growing horror of everyone around as they go from denial and delusion to desperate scrambling to contain the disaster. Needless to say, Soviet bureaucracy makes everything even worse.

    The show has an astronomical 9.7 average rating on IMDB 4 episodes in. It stars Stelland Skarsgaard, Emily Watson, and Beric Dondarrion, without his eyepatch or extra lives. Maester Luwin also shows up in a role that will wipe away any goodwill he generated helping protect Winterfell.

    Also, in episode 3 there is a massive scene of group male full-frontal nudity that surpasses at least four combined seasons of "Game of Thrones", or maybe even "Oz". So, keep your eye out for that one.

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    Elite Member dolem's Avatar
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    We've watched 2 eps so far. Literally every thought in my brain is, "put on a mask, wear gloves, STOP touch everything!!!" I saw a quote somewhere else that watching it is "harrowing" such a good description of how I felt in those 2 eps.

    This show is so well done. I have been interested in this accident for a few years and have read up on it, though I will admit that I'm nowhere near smart enough to understand the explanations on how the accident (2 explosions) went down.

    Pretty sure it's not Beric Dondarrion, but Jared Harris from Mad Men and The Crown.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dolem View Post
    Pretty sure it's not Beric Dondarrion, but Jared Harris from Mad Men and The Crown.
    Awww, damnit. Sorry about that and thanks for the correction. I should have checked before I wrote that.

    It turns out our daughter already had a big interest in this because of all the eerie photos of the ghost city of Pripyat, which is within the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Pripyat's population of 49,000 was evacuated within 48 hours of the disaster and is slowly decaying while becoming overgrown with local plants and trees.

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    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Join DateNov 2006LocationBeyond Caring, then hang a left.Posts43,813




    Chernobyl brings to life the true story of the unprecedented man-made tragedy, and the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster. Stellan Skarsgård (“Melancholia,” “Good Will Hunting”) plays Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, who is assigned by the Kremlin to lead the government commission on Chernobyl in the hours immediately following the accident. Written and executive produced by Craig Mazin.






    We won’t watch it, I had friends caught in (maybe) radioactive rain when I happened. We are/were waaaaay too close.
    UK is on episode 4 I think?

    Also there are people living in the exclusion zone....


    https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-04-...ng-their-toxic



    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world...people-spt/amp

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ook-world.html

    There are some websites with amazing photos.


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    Elite Member dolem's Avatar
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    @Mo my husband found this years ago, which initially sparked my interest in Chernobyl. KIDDofSPEED - GHOST TOWN - Chernobyl Pictures - Kidofspeed - Elena

    I think this site was up in the early 2000's. It is super clunky. I believe this was before many people were let in to look around and take photographs. Now there are a lot more and much better photos of Pripyat, the abandoned buddings, etc.
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    I'm going to start this after I'm done with The Hot Zone. I can only take one horrific catastrophe at a time, but I do want to see this.
    "AND WHEN YOU BECAME DENISE, I TOLD ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES, THOSE CLOWN COMICS, TO FIX THEIR HEARTS OR DIE."

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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    Chernobyl is a rabbit hole that I've fallen down several times. It's absolutely fascinating.

    I tried watching the first episode when it first came out and it just couldn't contain my interest ... it kind of reminds me of the way old movies were filmed. I did try again to watch it and made it through. Once I was through the first episode, I was hooked. I've watched everything current so far (episode 4) and it looks like it ends at episode 5. I do wind up watching each episode at least twice because I feel like I missed some things.

    Dolem, I have the same reaction. It's a bit horrifying how little they were aware of even a week into the disaster. Most, if not all, first responders had absolutely no clue what they were dealing with, and I wonder after watching this series if they were intentionally left in the dark because *someone* needed to get in there and clean it up. The head guy during the initial accident/explosion was particularly dense, but sent underlings to go look at the damage instead of doing it himself.

    I grew up and live near a nuclear power plant (Oyster Creek) and we're within the 10 mile disaster radius. I believe they shut it down (or are still in the process of shutting it down) last year. It was the oldest operating power plant in the US. This was a big topic around here because it creates lots of jobs, but I've heard that it will take around 10 years for them to finally get out of there. We used to go there on school trips (!) ... I remember a hydra plant where we rode in a large rowboat through these huge greenhouses and the plants were growing out of water and not soil (no idea if these are still around, it was a couple decades ago). We have had (and still do) regular siren tests on a regular basis. Locals know that if something happens, we need to go to designated spots to get iodine pills to stop thyroid cancer (I'm allergic to iodine though!). My dad worked there for a while (he was a union painter/sandblaster) sandblasting in radioactive areas. I remember he stepped on the wrong thing when leaving the contained area once and they took away his relatively new work boots (he was pissed!). There are people, which I do not understand, who routinely fish in the creek that the plant uses for cooling purposes. Would you eat anything that came out of that water??
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Would you eat anything that came out of that water??
    Not without it passing a geiger counter test....

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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    ^^^ Right??? I'm sure there's other abnormalities, but I know that the fish and other stuff that comes out of that creek are disproportionally larger than they should be. And I know it's down the list, but creeks do eventually feed into rivers and oceans. Kind of freaks me out. I'm glad it was decommissioned (I did look it up after I posted last night, they closed it down late last year but it's going to take years to dismantle and decommission it) because knowing it was the oldest plant in the country was not very comforting.
    "No. I love my grudges. I tend to them like little pets." -Madeline Martha Mackenzie

    Spirituality is not religion. Religion divides people. Belief in something unites them.

    Don't tell me not to worry ... worrying is what I do best!


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    Elite Member dolem's Avatar
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    I'm in the PacNW and there is only 1 nuclear Power plant in all of OR, WA, ID and MT. Trojan was operational when I was a kid but shut down when I was just 12 and finally they imploded it in the mid-2000's.

    Though, Hanford Nuclear site is still relatively close - given that it's right on the Columbia river upstream from Portland. That's a big 'ole mess out there.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevan View Post
    ^^^ Right??? I'm sure there's other abnormalities, but I know that the fish and other stuff that comes out of that creek are disproportionally larger than they should be. And I know it's down the list, but creeks do eventually feed into rivers and oceans. Kind of freaks me out. I'm glad it was decommissioned (I did look it up after I posted last night, they closed it down late last year but it's going to take years to dismantle and decommission it) because knowing it was the oldest plant in the country was not very comforting.
    You probably read this already, but the Chernobyl Wiki entry had a pretty fascinating passage about what radioactive materials coming out of the facility were the most dangerous, and why. From memory, I think there were about 4 different radioactive elements that were showered over the area, and ironically, the most deadly was the one that had the shortest shelf life -- something like 8 days. The officials weren't as worried about it because of how fast it would dissipate, but it's disruption to cellular DNA apparently was MUCH stronger than the other elements that had a stronger half life.

    I could have sworn it was an Iodine isotope. The other thing to keep in mind with radioactive isotypes is that each one tends to settle into a different part of the body -- like lungs, or bones, or some other place. And then that body part, in turn, is more affected by how fast the DNA replication process occurs. The lungs and digestive tract create new cells way faster than other parts of the body, so that if their nuclei are compromised, the chance of cancer is higher.
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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    Having lived here almost all my life, we were always told, even in school, that if the plant has an accident, we were to go to XYZ places to receive iodine tablets. Beyond that, my knowledge of it is the bare minimum. I didn't find out until I was 16 that I had an iodine allergy, but I vaguely remember being told that I could not take the iodine pill. I would think in the event of a disaster, the hospitals and medical staff would be pretty busy and not too many people would be concerned about my iodine allergy (my stepdad is also allergic to iodine). I always remember thinking what about the other parts of our body that aren't being protected by the iodine tablet. I mean, if you're going to get cancer somewhere else anyway, which is what Chernobyl kind of teaches us, is taking the tablet going to change much??


    This is just from a quick google search:

    What is Potassium Iodide (KI)?
    KI (potassium iodide) is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine that can help block radioactive iodinefrom being absorbed by the thyroid gland, thus protecting this gland from radiation injury.
    The thyroid gland is the part of the body that is most sensitive to radioactive iodine.
    People should take KI (potassium iodide) only on the advice of public health or emergency management officials. There are health risks associated with taking KI.
    KI (potassium iodide) does not keep radioactive iodine from entering the body and cannot reverse the health effects caused by radioactive iodine once the thyroid is damaged.

    • KI (potassium iodide) only protects the thyroid, not other parts of the body, from radioactive iodine.

    KI (potassium iodide) cannot protect the body from radioactive elements other than radioactive iodine—if radioactive iodine is not present, taking KI is not protective and could cause harm.
    Table salt and foods rich in iodine do not contain enough iodine to block radioactive iodine from getting into your thyroid gland. Do not use table salt or food as a substitute for KI.
    Do not use dietary supplements that contain iodine in the place of KI (potassium iodide). They can be harmful and non-efficacious. Only use products that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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    "No. I love my grudges. I tend to them like little pets." -Madeline Martha Mackenzie

    Spirituality is not religion. Religion divides people. Belief in something unites them.

    Don't tell me not to worry ... worrying is what I do best!


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    Elite Member dolem's Avatar
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    You're thinking of Iodine-131 which has a half life of 8 days and settles in the Thyriod which is why there has been a spike in thyriod cancer in the areas direcetly effect by the disaster.

    From wikipedia: "The four most harmful radionuclides spread from Chernobyl were iodine-131, caesium-134, caesium-137 and strontium-90, with half-lives of 8.02 days, 2.07 years, 30.2 years and 28.8 years respectively.[151]:8 The iodine was initially viewed with less alarm than the other isotopes, because of its short half-life, but it is highly volatile, and now appears to have travelled furthest and caused the most severe health problems in the short term.[107]:24 Strontium, on the other hand, is the least volatile of the four, and of main concern in the areas near Chernobyl itself.[151]:8 Iodine tends to become concentrated in thyroid and milk glands, leading, among other things, to increased incidence of thyroid cancers. Caesium tends to accumulate in vital organs such as the heart,[152]:133 while strontium accumulates in bones, and may thus be a risk to bone-marrow and lymphocytes.[151]:8 Radiation is most damaging to cells that are actively dividing. In adult mammals cell division is slow, except in hair follicles, skin, bone marrow and the gastrointestinal tract, which is why vomiting and hair loss are common symptoms of acute radiation sickness.[153]:42" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherno...r#Human_impact
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    ^^^ Nevan - are you allergic to seafood because of this? I told the story a while back but I dated someone (not Natalie Portman - so, it was an actual date!) who only discovered she had an iodine allergy after waking up in a hospital after eating seafood at a restaurant.

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    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm guessing so. My doctor told me to never eat seafood or shellfish after I had the reaction at 16, which was pretty bad. I've eaten tuna fish a couple times in my life, but I don't remember having any reaction. Never really liked it. I've asked him about it repeatedly and he insists I'm allergic to seafood and shellfish and it's all over my medical records that I have an iodine allergy. It's kind of weird, living at the shore forever. Almost everyone I meet loves seafood, especially shellfish. I have NEVER been enticed to eat that crap and hadn't eaten it up until 16, when I found out, and beyond. Lobsters and shrimp are the cockroaches of the sea and they just never, ever appealed to me. Bleah.

    Weirdly, my ex is also allergic to seafood and shellfish, but has no allergy to iodine. He also used to eat tuna fish and never had a reaction to it. He has severe, chronic asthma and even the seafood fumes at a restaurant will send him to the ER for multiple breathing treatments (this was at a Japanese hibachi grill, so he was right there as it was being cooked ... he and I had steak but others in our party were having shellfish). His allergies have been confirmed by an allergist. They tried to test me but I was (and still am) on Xanax and said they couldn't test because it skews the test (??). My doctor just diagnosed my allergy from being exposed to iodine and having a nasty allergic reaction.
    "No. I love my grudges. I tend to them like little pets." -Madeline Martha Mackenzie

    Spirituality is not religion. Religion divides people. Belief in something unites them.

    Don't tell me not to worry ... worrying is what I do best!


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