I read a non-fiction book! Woo! Go me!
4 out of 5 stars
I had a lump in my throat throughout this entire novel. You couldn’t be human and not have one. I consider myself pretty cold hearted in regards to most of humanity but fuck if I didn’t get a little choked up. The things that happened to these people is fucked.
Your own government tells you that everything is okay, just keep living and playing in that radiation. Robots can’t handle the clean up? Just send in hundreds of thousands of humans to do the work then. Their skin is essentially melting off? Just send in some new recruits. The cows are producing radioactive milk? Just relabel it and send it off to places not affected by the disaster.
People refused to leave their homes, or they left and then returned because they didn’t understand what any of it meant. When scientists and the military are telling you that there is nothing to worry about, then why should you pick up and leave your whole life behind?
You can look up information anywhere on Chernobyl but it is incredibly lacking in insight since the government went to great lengths to hide the truth about what happened and the clean up process thereafter. They wouldn’t let pictures be taken other than staged ones that made the volunteers look like heroes even though they were now going to live much shorter lives. But this, this is a first hand account of the event and the years after told from the survivors ten years later. (It has now been 30 years since the disaster.) The destruction of their every day lives and the fight to survive since. It is truly incredible.
Google “Chernobyl mutations.” You’ll hate me, but this is reality. It’s one thing to have some form of working knowledge of the disaster, another thing entirely to see the victims. Human and animal.
This was one nuclear reactor that failed. ONE.
There are 99 reactors in the United States.
There are 444 reactors worldwide.
Let that sink in.