I hate reading about Chernobyl, hate thinking about it, hate getting depressed or scared because of it - so it kind of pisses me off that I've just stumbled on a New York Times op-ed that I was lucky to have missed back in December: an op-ed about an elderly couple spending the rest of their lives illegally in a village right next to the station... Chernobyl Revisited: Living in the Dead Zone, by Martin Cruz Smith:
[...] We search in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, while a more likely danger is another explosion at Chernobyl. It may not be a meltdown, but it will be the mother of all dirty bombs. (A better sarcophagus is promised in five years, but at the site there is little sign of activity, let alone urgency.)
And in all the drama of the recent election, the inspiring rallies in Independence Square, the spirited presidential debate on Monday and the apparent triumph of good over evil, the subject of another nuclear disaster rarely came up, and then mostly in nationalist rhetoric: It is an article of faith that the West forced Ukraine in 2000 to close the perfectly good reactors that remained at Chernobyl. The truth is that you have to sympathize with Viktor Yushchenko, the likely winner in the rerun of the presidential runoff on Sunday, because he will have to deal with Chernobyl. Or not. [...]
The 19th anniversary is in five days. What's funny is that in Moscow we happen to live just across the street from the building my parents shipped me to on May 7, 1986, to stay with the family of our dear friends...