(Topic ID: 242932)

Chernobyl (HBO) who’s watching?


By Nevus

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by russdx
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    #1 1 year ago

    I’m old enough to remember this, although I was only 15 at the time.

    It’s well done in Docudrama style.
    There is a companion podcast that drops each Monday night after the episode.

    https://www.hbo.com/chernobyl

    https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/pineapple-street-media/the-chernobyl-podcast

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster

    It’s interesting that my high school kids know lots of facts about the disaster, but have no context or frame of reference about the culture of the U.S.S.R.

    #2 1 year ago

    I am loving this show. Last night's episode was excellent. Stellen Skarsgard and Jared Harris are excellent.

    The shear magnitude of this disaster is horrifying.

    #3 1 year ago

    The show is fantastic. I was 12 when the disaster happened. I am Ukrainian on my mother's side of the family and I can still remember how upset my grandmother was because we had family in or around Pripyat. I think the show has done an amazing job portraying the scope of both the disaster and the government deception and mismanagement.

    #4 1 year ago

    Some of the numbers coming out of the show are staggering....

    "How much Boron/Sand do we need? Around 5000 Tons...."

    I was a sophomore in college when this happened. I can remember my chemistry professor pausing a day from the regular curriculum to discuss isotopes like Uranium 235.

    #5 1 year ago

    I heard about it this morning on talk radio, I will be searching it out!

    #6 1 year ago

    The production value is top notch. I bet it costs a lot to make this show, and not a penny wasted.

    #7 1 year ago

    I ordered HBO so I could see the last season of GOT. Now I have to keep it till Chernobyl is over. Show is done very well and I’m hooked. Really shows how backwards for lack of a better word that Russia was. That accident was so much more terrifying than all of us knew.

    #8 1 year ago

    I am actually very educated on Chernobyl. Sad event. I have a book on it from a photographer that was first on the scene by helicopter. He survived and only one of his few cameras somehow worked. Igor Kostin.

    #9 1 year ago

    I plan on watching the series once I finish re-watching HBO’s Deadwood in anticipation of Deadwood movie. I think HBO has the best programming of any network including Netflix.

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from Vdrums:

    I plan on watching the series once I finish re-watching HBO’s Deadwood in anticipation of Deadwood movie. I think HBO has the best programming of any network including Netflix.

    Same here. I am in the middle of Season 3 and forgot how good of show Deadwood was. Cocksucker !!!

    #11 1 year ago

    Caught an episode last night, very well done! I kept saying I'll go to bed soon and soon was when the episode was done. I'm hooked.

    #12 1 year ago

    As a 46 year old physicist with a 48 year old brother that is a nuclear engineer, we have been studying the failures at Chernobyl for years now. Reading books, watching documentaries, researching online what went wrong, and so on. We are both totally intrigued by the HBO miniseries. The acting, story line, sets, factual information, and everything else are superb. I remember sitting in my middle school science class the day the US media released the story. My science teacher came out and said all of our lives would be cut short to a degree due to the disaster. I found that statement amazing and that paired up with a few other events in my life made me choose math and science as a major and career.

    #13 1 year ago

    It's amazing how the plant personnel denied everything. Like if they wouldn't accept the problem then they magically didn't happen or would just go away.

    I find it fascinating that all of Gorbachev's yes men were telling him that there was nothing to worry about, but he listened to the one guy that actually spoke the truth of the situation. Makes me wonder if our current administration in the U.S. would listen that one lone person.

    #14 1 year ago

    The series is absolutely jaw dropping so far. Its so gripping. HBO has done excellent job recreating the event....and how horrifying and tragic this was.

    #15 1 year ago

    Watching that episode, I could not help but think about the Russian space agency. Were there possibly cosmonaut deaths that were never reported???

    #16 1 year ago

    Incredible show so far. I hope it make some people think about just what lengths humans will go to and risk to provide energy for people's comfort.

    I had a former employee (I am an environmental chemist) that actual went to Chernobyl 3 times over the course of 18 months to help with heavy metals testing. He has had cancer twice already. He spent limited time on site with full hazmat suites.

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from Atari_Daze:

    Watching that episode, I could not help but think about the Russian space agency. Were there possibly cosmonaut deaths that were never reported???


    Warning, most of this is not pretty. Viewer discretion is advised.

    Wish I had HBO to watch this. As horrific as Chernobyl was, the story is a fascinating one.

    #18 1 year ago

    Loving it so far..... and the way they 'faded to black' at the end of last nights episode.... very dramatic ending.

    #19 1 year ago

    Great show, very eerie to watch when you see the first responders and you know there fate, its crazy how un-educated the workers working there were.

    #20 1 year ago

    So far a fantastic series! Very well written with great effects. (if you don't know they're effects...they're great)!
    I seem to remember another movie or special about this

    #21 1 year ago

    you guys have me psyched to start watching... thanks for the heads up!

    #22 1 year ago

    Fantastic writing, pacing and cinematography paired with a phenomenal cast - just a brilliant show. Makes me all warm and fuzzy to live so close to a nuclear power plant.

    #23 1 year ago

    Agree with all the above. Great show so far.

    #24 1 year ago

    Fantastic show and too bad there were only 5 episode made. Interesting that the filming was done at the Ignalina decommissioned Nuclear plant in Lithuania sometimes referred as "Chernobyl's sister both RBMK reactors

    #25 1 year ago

    I was hooked after the kitchen scene with the woman talking on the phone in the first episode. After the flash in the distance I was waiting for the shock wave but did not think it would be that extreme.

    Reminded me of the scene in the movie 'The Day After' where the woman was looking out her bedroom window as an ICBM comes blasting out of a missile silo almost in her back yard. Scary shit.

    #26 1 year ago
    Quoted from DennisDodel:

    I was hooked after the kitchen scene with the woman talking on the phone in the first episode. After the flash in the distance I was waiting for the shock wave but did not think it would be that extreme.
    Reminded me of the scene in the movie 'The Day After' where the woman was looking out her bedroom window as an ICBM comes blasting out of a missile silo almost in her back yard. Scary shit.

    Starts about 3:10.

    #27 1 year ago

    Really disturbing episode last night!

    #28 1 year ago

    This has been a great series so far.

    They are doing a great job with it, I'm always wanting more when the credits are rolling.

    Wish I could binge it.

    #29 1 year ago

    I forgot about it until about 10 minutes left, stayed up 2 hours later than I usually would so as to catch the second showing, I don't have a DVR!
    Very disturbing indeed, imagine what the powers in charge had to, and still have to live with, knowing they had to send so many to die (in such horrible fashion) such that so many more would live. I don't wanna be in charge, I'll take the blue pill thank you.

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from Saveleaningtower:

    Really disturbing episode last night!

    At least they didn't show the guy without the face.

    #31 1 year ago

    Thought I'd give this show a try after putting my kids to bed last night and was glued to the TV for 3 hours watching it! The show is extremely well done and the acting is really superb as is the sound and make-up. It is one of the most terrifying and gripping shows I have ever seen and I can't wait to wait to watch episodes 4 and 5 in the coming weeks.

    I've followed the show's writer/producer Craig Mazin on Twitter for years' mostly because of his funny Ted Cruz tweets (he was his college roommate). I knew he was a writer and wrote some of the Hangover movies and Scary Movie's, but he really is going to make a name for himself with this series.

    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from crlush:

    ... its crazy how un-educated the workers working there were.

    Governments lie and never told everyone how bad this actually was.

    #33 1 year ago

    Excellent show but hard to watch.

    #34 1 year ago

    The latest episode with the KGB following everyone around is pretty crazy, and thee leader of the miners that are digging the tunnel is a bad ass also. Really good acting, I would think it should win some awards.

    #35 1 year ago

    My friend said it was good, I had planned to watch!

    #36 1 year ago

    Reminder for you content lovers, the companion podcast is done by Mazin and is also great.

    It provides the fact and fiction of the show and why fiction was used in some areas.

    #37 1 year ago

    As a former Navy Nuclear Reactor operator, I can assure you, before Daiichi in Japan, and disregarding all the nuclear waepons testing that has been done, this is THE most f-ed up nuclear thing we have done to this planet so far.

    There is NOTHING more radioactive than the innards of a nuclear reactor that has been taken to criticallity. Prior to that, not so bad, but operate one for a single minute and the amount of plain, run of the mill gonna kill ya radioactive nasties from hell that are born is incredible.

    Here is the recipe for creating a very nasty mix of radioactive material. Take a large atom of something, lets say Uranium 235... now bust it in two... how many isotopes can you create from a single Uranium atom? Well every atomic element from 1 (hydrogen) up to Uranium 235 but the Mae West curve shows the actual distribution of elements that can be created...

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    1 week later
    #38 1 year ago

    This week's show was pretty brutal. The bio-bots segment was pretty fascinating however.

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from gearheaddropping:

    This week's show was pretty brutal. The bio-bots segment was pretty fascinating however.

    agree. hard to watch. but it all had to be done. i am wondering if the roof bio-bots did a single 90 second shift and that was it or if they were asked to repeat either the next day or week. the roof at 12000 roentgens - the most dangerous place on Earth!

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from Saveleaningtower:

    agree. hard to watch. but it all had to be done. i am wondering if the roof bio-bots did a single 90 second shift and that was it or if they were asked to repeat either the next day or week. the roof at 12000 roentgens - the most dangerous place on Earth!

    From what I read, it was 90 seconds and done....bus'd right out of the region with a medal pinned to your chest.

    #41 1 year ago

    Just started watching. Great show. I just finished the second show.. didn't realize this was still going with new shows.

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from kcZ:

    Just started watching. Great show. I just finished the second show.. didn't realize this was still going with new shows.

    Its a five part mini-series.

    #43 1 year ago

    Not exactly anything new - it's basically the wikipedia entry come to life. But it's incredibly well done.

    Not a bad primer for people who parrot the nonsense "we don't need regulations" line without actually thinking about it. It's not a coincidence that this hasn't happened in the U.S. The government's main job is to keep the people safe.

    #44 1 year ago

    When does the series start up again?

    #45 1 year ago

    There's a podcast that goes along with the show, one podcast for each episode. These are also well done, it's just a host and the Producer / Writer. They spend lots of time talking about the differences between reality and what's been changed for TV. The broad strokes are mostly historically accurate.

    #46 1 year ago
    Quoted from spfxted:

    When does the series start up again?

    Comes on every Monday night on HBO. This past monday was episode 4. 1 more left.

    #47 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Not exactly anything new - it's basically the wikipedia entry come to life. But it's incredibly well done.
    Not a bad primer for people who parrot the nonsense "we don't need regulations" line without actually thinking about it. It's not a coincidence that this hasn't happened in the U.S. The government's main job is to keep the people safe.

    The NRC are brutal, but they are also in cahoots with the power companies, because they have failed to monitor everything, and the power companies know (when they are not supposed to) when the NRC is coming. So many nuclear mishaps happen but are not reported as “accidents” but as “incidents”. We have done some pretty stupid things with nuclear technology over the years, TMI meant Three Mile Island way before it meant too much information. Look up the SL1 incident in Idaho Falls, then ask yourself, do I trust anyone working with nuclear reactors? For their part in this nuclear ballet, the US Navy has a nuclear watchdog called Naval Reactors, or NR for short. They are ten times as brutal as the NRC, they tested the crap out of us every other patrol, and no stone was ever left unturned. There is a reason Hyman G. Rickover created the organization to monitor his naval reactor force, and the “accident free” history it likes to point at is rife and full of “incidents” were the only thing that prevented an accident was the training, the readiness, and the seriousness that has been the hallmark of training naval nuclear power candidates for decades. Three Mile Island happened because on the crew the evening it happened, they did not have a single navy trained reactor operator in the control room that evening. They had navy trained nuclear power machinist mates, trained as civillian reactor operators post Navy, controlling the reactor when they lost control of system pressure and let the core become exposed and partially melt. There was not a single, Navy trained Reactor operator in the room, or they would have prevented TMI from happening. That is the difference in the training level of a Navy trained Reactor Operator and a civillian trained Reactor Operator. Because we were a very rare breed, civillian plants hired navy trained machinist mates, trained them as Reactor operators and hoped for the best. At Nuke school, we were segregated into Rx operators (Navy trained electronic technicians to begin with), Electrical Operators (Navy trained Electricians Mates to begin with), and Mechanical Operators (Navy trained Machinist Mates to begin with). Of these three categories, Rx operators spend 2-3 years in training, Electricians got about 18 months, and Machinist mates about a year to 13 months of training. The last year of training for all of us was the same, except the focus of training at Nuke school depended on what you were. Rx operators got way more focus on the science, they literally pour 4 years of nuclear engineering into your head in 6 months. We were the top 10% of the top 10% of everyone in the Navy. They spent no less than $2.4 million dollars to train me. That bill is so high because of the cost to run (at the height of the cold war) over 7 nuclear reactor prototypes just to train us on.

    What Chernobyl did for me was put the nuclear power industry into a tailspin right as I got out of the Navy in 1986, and hiring at all 99 operating nuclear power plants was frozen. I was trying to get a job as a reactor operator in 1986 right as the worst of this accident was just getting out into the press. I submitted my resume to every power company in the US and I got 1 job interview, 1 job offer and that was suspended 2 days later due to the hiring freeze. I ended up falling back on the Electronic Technician part of my training and moved on, but to this day, I guess I have to be thankful that I was able to recover and never had to spend any time in the civillian nuclear power complex... the operating margins at the civillian power plants is so thin, I am glad I got out of the industry when I did. Is a boiling water nuclear reactor safe? As safe as a nuclear reactor can be and still produce weapons grade nuclear materials. You can thank the US military for that unfortunate turn of nuclear power history. Look up LIFTR (liguid flouride thorium reactor) technology which is the path we did not go down because it doesnt support building nuclear weapons. Nuclear energy has its benefits, if we just knew how to dance with the devil and not get burned... radiation- the absolutely, positively, uncontested champion of the silent killers.

    BH

    #48 1 year ago

    Oh, my bad! I thought I saw the last one...

    #49 1 year ago
    Quoted from Vdrums:

    I plan on watching the series once I finish re-watching HBO’s Deadwood in anticipation of Deadwood movie

    I just finished for the same reason. Deadwood holds up over time better than any series I can think of. I've watched it at least half a dozen times.

    #50 1 year ago
    Quoted from spfxted:

    Oh, my bad! I thought I saw the last one...

    The last episode is going to go through the accident inquiry and show what happened in flashbacks as they look for the guilty parties.

    The following is my breakdown of what happened... kind of long but maybe interesting to some, I try and explain what happened for someone with little or no nuclear physics experience.

    The Chernobyl RBMK reactor was hiding two design flaws that made it dangerous, a positive void reactivity coefficient, and graphite tipped controll rods. When uranium fissions, it produces two fission fragments plus 2 to 3 free fast neutrons that go on to cause more fissions and thus a chain reaction. Reactivity- which is a measure of what happens to the neutron population from generation to generation of neutrons produced, measures the change in population of neutrons per life cycle. On average, each fission produces 2.42 neutrons. In the neutron life cycle, this 2.42 average must get past a bunch of obstacles in order to make another atom of uranium split and give up another 2 to 3 neutrons to keep the cycle going. When the number of fissions per unit time is constant, Reactivity is 0. That means that for every 2.42 neutrons produced, at least 1 fission is created by its neutron offspring, so 1.42 neautrons are lost (or made up for) due to a whole bunch of reasons.

    The positive void reactivity coefficient dirrectly speaks to one of these losses of neutrons. When water is in the core, the water acts like an absorber, it slows neutrons down which is a good thing if you are the moderator- which is a material that slows fast neutrons down to thermal energy levels that let the neutrons be absorbed and prevents them escaping the core before being absorbed by an uranium atom. In this reactor design, they use graphite blocks as the moderator, so water in the core acts like a poison to the nuclear cycle, and steam (void space) is way less absorptive and causes reactivity to increase due to providing more fast neutron flux that increases reactor power. With almost all boron control rods removed from the core to maintain “measured” reactor power above 200 megawatts (for the safety test they were conducting), at low power levels and high rod heights, actual reactor power can be a lot higher at the core bottom where the nuclear activity is shielded from the detectors due to physical location. Hot spots in the core, where steam voids made reactor power swing wildly due to the positive void reactivity coefficient, caused power to suddenly start to spike and the operators, seeing the unchecked power increases SCRAMMED the reactor, which immediately starts inserting all the boron control rods back into the core.

    This is when all hell broke loose, because the rods, which had been pulled completely out of the core, initially start displacing the water below the rod channels, replacing it with graphite, because the rod tips (bottoms) where made out of graphite because when fully inserted, they provided flux shaping that helped overall core flux densities at the bottom of the core. This water displacement adds positive reactivity due to the positive void coefficient, the graphite increases reactivity by being a more efficient moderator than water.

    In a nuclear reactor, to make it stable and controllable, we do not rely soley on first generation neutrons to make up for all neutron population losses in the life cycle. Some of these neutrons come from the decay of radioisotopes called delayed neutron precursors. These are fission product particles that decay releasing neutrons when they do. If during the operation of a nuclear reactor, if you increase neutron population to the point that these delayed neutrons are no longer needed to sustain the chain reaction, the reactor can go on a runaway power excursion- basically a nuclear atom bomb.

    If allowed to continue (due to design) a nuclear bomb goes instantly bang. In a reactor, the density of the fuel, the enrichment of the fission fuel, added poisons and control rods are all designed for safe power generation, not instantaneous power production, so the fuel rods start heating up really quickly, flashing the water in the core to steam (remember that positive void coefficient?) and now the reactor literally blows itself apart due to both power generation, but mainly due to steam pressure.

    This is what happened. The added positive reactivity of the initial rod insertion due to scramming the reactor made up for the delayed neutrons from precursors and the reactor went super critical and on an uncontrolled power excursion until physics took over and blew it apart. The graphite caught fire, and 60 tons of radioactive waste was vaporized and spread all over Russia and the rest of the world.

    Now you know why I am glad I got out of nuclear power.

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