Been avoiding the mini series Chernobyl despite very good reviews. Didn’t have the heart to watch it for no specific reasons. My daughters persuaded me to watch it and I succumbed.
I have a faint memory of hearing about Chernobyl accident through radio news when I was waiting for my results of 12th standard board exams. The scale and details of the accident and its global impact are the subjects of this mini-series.
I am introduced to a host of terms when watching the series. The melt down, Void positive coefficient, The Core, Light water coolants, U235, radioactive contaminants, water hammer, etc., Not that I would comprehend fully what I would be reading about these terms. But the series was effective, apart from the awareness it creates about the dangers and risks associated with the nuclear energy, in giving a bird’s eye view on how nuclear reactors work. For me, a science-ignorant person, there will be enough of seeking in the coming days.
Years ago (in 1989) I had met a stranger on a bus journey from Madurai to Nagercoil. He was travelling from his new work place Kalpakkam to Liquid Propulsions System centre in Mahendragiri. I remember him talking about nuclear energy in detail and explaining by way of diagrams etc. Subsequently I was exchanging letters with him for a year or so. Now I don’t even remember the name of the stranger.
Interestingly years later, I met a technician (of Tamil origin) who was working for a Nuclear Power Plant near Dortmund, Germany. The chance meeting happened with that gentleman on a flight journey from Frankfurt to Mumbai way back in 1997. I tried to enter into a conversation with him too about nuclear energy ; this time too, my inane questions were answered patiently and with smile.
There was another travel experience related to the second major accident in a nuclear power plant, only the second incident of the melt down. I was travelling in Japan until 9th march 2011 for a week. On 11th March the Fukushima Daiichi accident happened. Unlike Chernobyl, this time there has been no human error. Nature by way of tsunami had a role in this accident.