The Chernobyl Experiment - part 2
By J. Adams
April 23rd, 1996

quickly realized there was something seriously amiss.  In  fact,  all

 the   inconsistencies  and  contradictions  pointed  to  one  logical

 explanation:  the Soviets  and  Iraq  were  engaging  in  large-scale

 strategic  deception  (see  my paper,  "The Persian Gulf Deception").

 The reason they would be doing this was clarified after examining the

 rather frightening  conclusion  of  our  national  security  analysts

 during the late-1970s and early-1980's: the Soviets were preparing to

 fight  and  win  a  nuclear war (see:  Richard Pipes' "Why the Soviet

 Union Thinks it could Fight and Win a Nuclear  War"  in  'Commentary'

 (July,  1977),  Dr.  William  Van  Cleave's "Soviet Strategic Nuclear

 Forces and Goals: Deception and Surprise" in 'Mesmerized By The Bear'

 (1987), and/or 'Soviet Strategy for Nuclear War' (1979),  authored by

 Joseph   Douglas).    Of   course,   with   remarkable   fear-induced

 irrationality, Western society has completely ignored the possibility

 that Gorbachev's "New Thinking" may have been the introduction  of  a

 total  lie  rooted  in  the unthinkable "Russian Idea" (see Alexander

 Yanov's 'The Russian Challenge and the Year 2000' (1987)).  There is,

 however, sufficient reason to believe this is the case.



                             April 7, 1996

                        "A Legacy of Wormwood"

                             By Mary Myco

       "...The  third  angel  sounded  and there fell a great star

    from heaven,  burning,  as it were a lamp,  and it fell on the

    third part of the rivers and upon the fountains of water;

       And the name of the star is Wormwood; and the third part of

    the  waters  became Wormwood,  and many men died of the waters

    because they were made bitter."

                          Revelations 8:10-11

   TO  CONNECT  the  third biblical sign of the Apocalypse to the 1986

nuclear disaster at the then-Soviet power station 80  miles  north  of

Kiev,  you  first  have  to  pronounce  that  station's  name  as  the

Ukrainian:   "ChOrnobyl,"  rather   than   the   generally   accepted:

"ChErnobyl. "

   A Russified version of a Ukrainian word,  " Chernobyl" doesn't even

appear  in  either  language's dictionary.  Nor will you see it on the

road  signs  in  the  contaminated  36-mile-wide  Zone  of  Alienation

circling the gutted reactor. Since Ukraine inherited the Rhode Island-

sized  region  from the late Soviet Union in 1991,  all the "e's" have

been taped over with "o's" to spell "Chornobyl."

   Chornobyl is the Ukrainian word  for  wormwood,  a  medicinal  herb

endowed  with magical powers in folklore.  And it truly became a force

to conjure after the Chornobyl station's fourth  reactor  exploded  on

April 26, 1986.  The cloud of radioactive wormwood subsequently spewed

around the globe  seemed  like  a  bitter  foretaste  of  the  nuclear

holocaust that would end the world.

   Luckily,  the  world is still here.  But viewed through the crystal

ball of hindsight,  the disaster did herald doom for the Soviet Union.

Like the  badly  designed  Chornobyl  reactor,  the  Communist  empire

collapsed under pressure,  and the 20-story "sarcophagus" encasing the

radioactive reactor core in concrete and steel seems  like  a  fitting

tombstone for both.

   Eventually,  someone  will have to devise a semiotic danger sign to

ward off the unsuspecting in future millennia, when our languages will

have been forgotten but the mess inside the sarcophagus will still  be


   For  now,  the  real epitaph is two miles away in the ghost town of

Pripyat,  where a mural on one of  the  dozens  of  modern  high-rises

vacantly overlooking poplar-lined streets proclaims:

                         "The Party of Lenin,

                       The power of the people,

                Leads us to the triumph of Communism!"

   Instead  of  triumph,  the  Party of Lenin led the 45,000 people of

Pripyat,  plus 90,000 more from villages and towns in the contaminated

Polissia region, to abandon their homes permanently.

   Now,  it  will  take  more  than  two  centuries for the cesium and

strontium contaminating most parts of the Zone of Alienation to  decay

away. The deadly plutonium in the six-mile ring closest to the reactor

will, as a practical matter, last forever.

   Small wonder that no more than 10,000 people work (but rarely live)

in  the Zone these days.  Almost all are in two different places named

Chornobyl:  the nuclear station, where two controversial reactors Kiev

promises to close are still running, and the town 12 miles away, where

the  administration  of  the Zone of Alienation performs its dystopian

task of running the no-man's land.

   The work has incentives.  Wages are double to triple the  Ukrainian

average, while radiation exposure rules limit work to just two weeks a


   But I still had my doubts. "Don't you worry about the radiation?" I

asked my tour guide, Oleksandr Shevchenko.

   "Most of the time there's no danger," he assured me.  Like all Zone

men,  he was dressed in camouflage.  The uniforms are a  nod  to  male

workers' sartorial simplicity rather than safety.  Women wear whatever

they want.

   But everyone wears one of the clip-on  dosimeters  that  Shevchenko

showed me.  "I don't want to know what it reads," he said, explaining:

"If I reach my yearly exposure, they wouldn't let me work here.  So if

I'm here, I must be OK."

   Actually,  on the day I visited,  the background radiation in  most

parts  of  the  Zone  was  normal.  After 10 years,  95 percent of the

radioactivity has sunk about an inch into the soil,  securing it  from

being blown about in surface dust.  Snow, too, is a shield.  My winter

visit was no accident.

   I expected a desolate wasteland.  In fact,  the Zone is  very  much

alive.  The  removal  of  135,000 humans has created a wildlife refuge

with a population explosion of perfectly healthy-looking boar,  moose,

deer,  wolves and smaller animals.  I even spotted a rare golden eagle

soaring above the treetops in the six-mile innermost  ring,  drawn  by

the abundance of prey - and the lack of people.

   Because  cesium  and strontium have long since passed from the soil

into the food chain,  both the prey and the predators are radioactive.

And  if  a  cesium-packed  roebuck  bounds  out  of  the  Zone  into a

neighboring  forest  and  dies,   its  body  will  leave  a  patch  of

contamination where there had been none before.

   That's just one way that radionuclides,  or radioactive atoms, move

around in the wild. Scientists call the process "migration" and try to

prevent  it  by  immobilizing  radionuclides  in  one  place  where  a

metaphorical eye can be kept on them.

   Soil  isn't one of those places.  Aside from insinuating themselves

into the food chain,  radionuclides can eventually migrate down to the

water  table.  But early efforts to decontaminate soil with radiation-

absorbing plants created a new  problem:  disposing  of  the  harvest.

Smoke  from  burning would be radioactive.  And burial isn't an option

either because there is already too much contaminated garbage  in  the

Zone's 800 leaky "graveyards."

   That's  why so much "hot" debris,  such as the huge concrete blocks

that spell out the slogan, "The Forest is the Source of Health," still

stand in the same place as 10 years ago.

   Like nearly everything in this symbol-laden  landscape,  that  sign

from a pre-Chornobyl forestry farm has acquired new meaning. Trees, it

turns   out,   are   the   best   and  cheapest  way  of  immobilizing

radionuclides,  which concentrate in bark where they can safely  decay

away  in  the centuries of a tree's lifetime.  The danger then becomes

fires, such as the one that raged through the Zone in 1991.

   Once upon a time,  according to folklore,  the  biggest  danger  in

Ukrainian  forests was from woodland nymphs called mavky.  Mavky lured

their victims with beautiful songs,  then tickled them to  death.  For

reasons  folklore doesn't explain,  the only way to ward off mavky was

with wormwood, an herb they feared immensely.

   Now, 10 years after Chornobyl, few people venture into the wormwood

forests of the Zone.  Mushroom and berry picking are forbidden;  so is

hunting.  But  for  the  rangers  who work in the woods,  clearing out

deadwood and fighting the radioactive fires that deadwood  can  start,

there's  at  least  one  consolation for the risk:  They needn't worry

about mavky anymore.


           The following was taken off of the network news:




    On April the 26th the catastrophe of Chernobyl will be  ten  years

ago.  Again  numerous  commemorative  articles will be published,  and

there will  be  demonstrations.  But  the  very  backgrounds  of  that

catastrophe,  which lie open,  at least for a considerable part,  will

not be dealt with there.  We consider it necessary  to  carry  exactly

these  facts  into  the  public,  which  also inevitably shall shed an

essential light upon the whole green campaign and the movement against

nuclear power stations,  even alone by their  being  laid  open.  This

incident,  this  catastrophe  was actually instantly used by the whole

green movement and by all parliamentary  parties  to  demand  "instant

stoppage"  of nuclear energy in the Federal Republic of Germany.  This

relationship between a catastrophe of a nuclear power station  abroad,

in  the  present  case  in the Soviet Union,  and an especially heavy-

weighted campaign in this country needs indeed  to  be  examined.  For

this  purpose the publication of the backgrounds,  among other things,

is very helpful.  We  demand  unambiguously  an  end  to  the  virtual

withholding of these facts in the public.

Still  during  the  same year 1986 are published a Soviet report about

the  technical  details  as  well  as   publications   by   the   IAEA

(International Atomic Energy Agency) and by the German Association for

Reactor  Safety (GRS).  Except for a short-time mentioning of the main

results by some renown newspapers,  the reports are not dealt with  in

the  public,  especially  not  by the media which are decisive for the

broad public.  Therefore here we go into the details  of  the  Russian

report  and  its  peculiarities.  Already then,  during summer 1986 it

became clear that the security systems of the reactor were put out  of

operation  within  the  framework  of  experiments,  and  that a heavy

manipulation of the reactor had been undertaken.  This in turn led  to

numerous questions.

              -The report of the Soviet State Committee-

The  report itself contains a sequence of extremely rude interventions

into the reactor,  of systematic setting aside all  provided  security

installations,  so  that  one must ask oneself what was in the mind of

the operators when they  manipulated  the  reactor  in  this  way  and

executed  the most daredevil "experiments" with it.  The report on the

one hand depicts numerous details of the  technical  process  in  this

way,  in  order  to  sum up the event by the completely unsuitable and

appeasing terms of  "operating  mistake"  or  "breaking  of  operating

instructions"  and  in  this way to evade all decisive questions.  The

IAEA,  by the way,  is an instrument of the so-called  Atomic  Weapons

Nonproliferation  Treaty  and  as such covers up,  as it were the most

natural thing in the world,  the nuclear  hegemony  of  the  then  two

"Superpowers",  which  means  that  the  supreme  nuclear  powers  are

entitled to control all the remaining countries, but not the other way


Many questions,  concerning the responsibility for the  incident,  the

origin of explosions at the reactor remain unanswered,  or in the best

case are being fobbed off with vague hypotheses.

The  reactor  was  consciously  driven  into  an  extremely  dangerous

situation,  a  situation known for its dangers,  and then on top of it

all the complete security mechanisms  were  put  out  of  operation  -

allegedly for the purpose of carrying through this experiment, even if

the  report  additionally  professes  that  at  least  some  of  these

switchoffs were not at all necessary for this experiment.  Under  such

conditions,  according  also to the knowledge of that time,  one could

not but know that one exposed the reactor to  a  dangerous  situation,

proceeding  from  which  unknown  big  catastrophes  became  probable.

Nothing,  nothing at all has the catastrophe to do with a  coincidence

of unfortunate accidents.  On the contrary.  What was conducted there,

must have lead directly to a ruinous accident,  exactly as  driving  a

car  with  a  speed  of 140mph arround a corner very probably leads to

carrying the car out of the track.

For some pages the report reads in the  following  manner:  here  they

undertook  this  forbidden  manoeuvre and violated that rules,  and in

order to make the experiment possible at all, this and afterwards that

security device was put out of operation.

The immediate cause of the desaster was an alleged experiment to  use,

for internal requirements, the current of the turbogenerator coming to

a stop.  First of all in general it is astonishing that such a reactor

fully equipped with radioactive fuel rods is said to be  used  by  its

crew as a simple "test object",  normally for experiments of that kind

test devices are being used for the first time.  The report  puts  the

entire  blame on the personnel,  on its thoughtlessness.  On the other

hand it can be seen from the report itself  that  the  experiment  was

directed by a person who was not a specialist for reactors, but only a

"ordinary  electrical engineer".  He apparently gave his directives to

the present operating crew. It reads for example:

"The operators attempted manually to sustain the  main  parameters  of

the system - steam pressure and the water level in the drum separators

-  but  they did not entirely succeed in doing so.  At this stage they

saw the steam pressure in the drum separators sag by 0.5-0.6  MPa  and

the  water  level  drop  below  the emergency mark.  In order to avoid

shutting down the reactor in such conditions,  the staff  blocked  the

emergency protection signals relating to these parameters. At the same

time,  the  reactivity  continued  to  drop  slowly.  At 1:22:30,  the

operator saw from a printout of the fast reactivity evaluation program

that the available excess reactivity had  reached  a  level  requiring

immediate  shutdown of the reactor.  Nevertheless,  the staff were not

stopped by this and began with the experiments." (p. 16/17) ›1|

These sentences one must read twice indeed,  as they  show  the  whole

purposefulness  of the proceeding.  Who ordered such a reckless way of

proceeding at the reactor?  That engineer who was not  an  expert  for

reactors at all? About this responsibility the report is silent.

After  that  the  security device for the case of both turbogenerators

being switched off is put out of function.

The report says: "This meant a further departure from the experimental

programme,  which did not call for blocking  the  reactor's  emergency

protection with the switching off of two turbogenerators." (p. 17) ›2|

Shortly  after  1  h 23 min suddenly the reactivity of the fuel in the

reactor,  which had been highly manipulated and forcibly brought down,

increases massively.  The operator tries an emergency shut-down, which

however - says the report - fails.

Then it is said: "According to observers outside unit 4, at about 1:24

there occurred two explosions one after the other;  burning  lumps  of

material and sparks shot into the air above the reactor, some of which

fell  onto  the roof of the machine room and started a fire." (p.  17)


Later an attempt to explain these explosions was  undertaken  using  a

mathematical computing model,  but nowhere they are being explained in

a really conclusive manner.  Mathematical  models  have  only  limited

meaningfulness  and  normally serve to put somebody on the right track

leading to the determination of the results. One question, which poses

itself in this framework,  and which also could show something to  the

investigation  about  the backgrounds of the catastrophe,  consists in

the following:  Was a mathematical model about the consequences put up

prior  to  proceeding  to  the  apparent  planful  manipulation of the

reactor?  That would seem natural.  If such methods of a  mathematical

simulation  are at hand,  why not make use of them in advance,  in the

case of such dangerous  processes?  In  case  the  simulation  existed

however: what did it tell?

176 persons were present in the whole plant, of whom a part was in the

concerned  reactor unit 4.  According to the Soviet statements of that

time the most part of this personnel must have survived this incident.

But at the same time this explosion from the inside is  said  to  have

overturned a slab of 1.000 tons. How can men survive such an explosion

in the inside?

About the causes of the incident it is said in the Soviet report:  "As

shown by the analysis presented above, the accident in the fourth unit

of  the  Chernobyl'  nuclear  power  plant  belongs to the category of

accidents associated with the introduction of excess  reactivity.  The

design  of  the  reactor facility provided for protection against this

type of accident with allowance for the  physical  characteristics  of

the   reactor,   including   a  positive  steam  void  coefficient  of

reactivity." (p. 22) ›4|

(This coefficient describes a  characteristic  feature  of  the  RMBK-

reactor  which  means  that at an increase of the steam content of the

cooling water the power may rise under certain conditions.)

And exactly these protective devices were put out of function.

"The accident assumed catastrophic proportions because the reactor was

taken by the staff into a non-regulation state in which  the  positive

void  coefficient  of reactivity was able substantially to enhance the

power excursion." (p. 23) ›5|

By the explosions and  the  entire  proceeding  described  here  great

masses  of radioactivity came into the air and were scattered over the

European continent by the winds.  They led to a  serious  increase  of

radioactivity  in some nearer regions.  The immediate surrounding area

had to be evacuated.  During the following days  the  sealing  of  the

reactor  building  and  the extinction of the fire are undertaken with

great energy, and with success.  The days after the catastrophe are at

the  same  time days of the biggest nuclear protection manoeuvres,  of

fight against nuclear fire, of confinement and, as far as possible, of

decontamination of the environment.  The reactor units 1 and 2 in  the

immediate vicinity of the reactor 4 continue to work for 24 hours even

on the day of the catastrophe!!!

This description,  too,  shows, by the way, that the propaganda, as it

went here, had the intention, even though the catastrophe was serious,

to make a really mystical matter out  of  it,  aiming  at  engendering

general  fear  of  the  big technology.  This has nothing to do with a

realistic assessment,  this is propagandistic intention  on  principle

which  benefits  all those who pushed for desindustrialization and who

are trying to disseminate uncertainty about the material fundaments of


The report by those politically responsible of  the  Soviet  Union  of

that  time  does not keep completely quiet either about its intentions

regarding the political conclusions:

"The fact that the contemporary world is full of potentially dangerous

industrial  production   processes   significantly   aggravating   the

consequences  of  military  actions  gives  a  new  perspective to the

senselessness and inadmissibility of war in today's world." (p. 3) ›6|

At that time the possibility of an  attack  of  a  potential  military

enemy against atomic energy plants, and that therefore they should not

been  constructed,  was  frequently being discussed.  The advocates of

this opinion were the  same  who  preached  the  so-called  policy  of

detente. Very interesting: there happens an alleged "incident", with a

Soviet  reactor,  and the same responsible people warn other countries

against their atomic energy plants and  industrial  plants,  that  the

world  was full of them,  that is to say more plants apparently should

not be erected. So these are de facto threats of the Soviet leadership

of that time connected to the occurrence of a catastrophe  under  very

dubious  circumstances in their country.  * And after that Gorbatchov,

under whom the USA gained a decisive influence  in  the  Soviet  Union

itself,  declares  that  on  the  occasion  of  Chernobyl  one  should

cooperate more closely with the IAEA,  which possibly  should  control

internationally  more  strictly  the entire atomic industry,  also the

Russian one.

                      THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE GRS


    There  also  exists,  subsequent  to  this  report,  an  extensive

description  of the GRS "New insights into the incident in the nuclear

power station Chernobyl .. state: Oct. 1986".  Here too the astounding

circumstances cannot be concealed,  but also here it is  attempted  to

rubricate the whole thing simply under "human error", under "violation

of regulations".

Psychology  is  bothered:  The crew had had big ambitions and had been

willing to carry through this experiment  with  greater  speed.  Other

questions,  more  essential ones,  as for the political context,  into

which the Soviet Union itself wanted to put  this  aubject,  questions

for  the  responsibility  of this "experiment program" at the reactor,

which was carried through without any responsibility,  apparently  are

not being asked.

Summing up this report says:

"This  misconduct  consists  in conscious and blatant injuries against

binding regulations.  The frequency and the importance of the mistaken

actions   indicate   that  the  practice  of  running  the  plant  was

throughout,  not only in  an  isolated  manner  at  April  26th  1986,

characterized  by  an  attitude  of  lack  of  awareness  of  security

matters." (p. 34) ›7|

It is ridiculous to say that irresponsible actions of that kind  -such

a characterization is not employed by the IAEA or by the GRS! - are to

be  put  down only on a lack of awareness of security matters.  Even a

nonprofessional would  know,  that  such  actions  at  a  reactor  are

mortally  dangerous,  not  only  for the crew.  A serious striving for

finding out the background of this behaviour cannot be  recognized  on

the part of the IAEA or the GRS. The question who ordered this program

of experiments or by which superior authorities these experiments were

approved,  is not asked.  Neither any evidence is published about what

statements the responsible people of  that  "shift"  made  during  the

investigations,  or  if all of them lost their lives at the incident -

according to the Soviet description this may hardly be the case.

Erasing all these points it  is  said  only:  "The  behaviour  of  the

personnel  in  connection with substantial weaknesses of the design of

the plant was the cause for the incident at the nuclear power  station

of Chernobyl." (p. 33) ›8|

Weaknesses  of  the personnel and weaknesses of the construction -this

is the whole litany,  an utterly cheap litany which by no  means  does

justice to the quality of the things.  Equally naive are the proposals

by which events of that kind shall be prevented in the future:

"Training of the personnel stressing especially the  understanding  of

the  processes in the reactor and during the operation of the reactor,

including training at simulators which represent  also  the  processes

during heavy incidents in a realistic manner." (p.  32) ›9|

Can  one  assume  seriously  that  the  crew  which  had  been working

successfully for years at the reactor (says the  report  itself)  does

not know the dangerous potential residing in it??  The regulations for

the operation of the reactor do indeed show the danger of the  reactor

at low power level .

Then it reads in the report of the GRS: "As a conscious bringing about

of  the  incident  can  be  excluded,  the  behaviour of the personnel

becomes understandable only if  one  assumes  that  it  did  not  know

sufficiently the behaviour of the reactor at low power levels." (p.34)


This  formulation  shows  that  even the editors of this report had to

deal with the question of a  conscious  bringing  about  of  an  heavy

ruinous incident,  but why this possibility is excluded in face of the

whole chain of actions which  made  it  possible,  stays  without  any

detailed argumentation.


›1| ›2| ›3| › 4| ›5| ›6|

USSR  State Committee on the Utilization of Atomic Energy The Accident

at  the  Chernobyl'  Nuclear  Power  Plant   and   its   Consequences.

Information  Compiled  for the IAEA's Experts' Meeting,  25-29- August

1986, Vienna Part I. General Material Draft August 1986

›7| ›8| ›9| ›10|

Gesellschaft fuer Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) mbH,  Koeln/Garching  Neuere

Erkenntnisse zum Unfall im Kernkraftwerk Tschernobyl.  Stand:  Oktober

1986 (2nd ed.  Febr.  1987) (The quotations from this publication were

translated by us).

*Note:  The German translation of this passage is even more outspoken.

It uses the expression:  "satiation" - (of the contemporary world with

potentially  dangerous industrial production processes etc.) It is not

clear  if  this  expression  stems  from  the  Soviet   original   and

subsequently was weakened by the English translation, or if the German

translator introduced it into the context.


                             NEUE EINHEIT

            Zeitschrift fuer Politik, Oekonomie und Kultur

                         - Extrablatt Nr.25 -



Newsgroups: soc.culture.soviet,alt.current-events.russia

Subject: Re: Russia prepares for nuclear war

Date: Thu, 11 Jan 96 23:01:32 EST

                         Jane's Defence Weekly

                          December  16, 1995

                       (Vol. 24; No. 25; Pg. 5)

             Russia 'is still preparing for war with USA'

                           By Barbara Starr

Preparation  for  nuclear  war  with  the USA appears to remain a high

Russian priority, according to statements by US intelligence community

officials recently made public.

One sign is a new Russian  underground  command  and  control  centre,

known as Kosvinskiy Mountain, that has been built in the Urals.  It is

"one  of  the  main  new  elements" of the Russian underground nuclear

command and control architecture that has  emerged  since  the  Soviet

Union dissolved, US Navy Adm William Studeman, then Acting Director of

Central Intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier

this year.

The  statements  were  in  reply  to  SASC  questions following public

hearings in January.  The answers and parts of the  classified  closed

hearing that followed the public session, were released recently.

"While  some  of  this  construction appears to be the continuation of

programmes started long before the break-up,  it still appears  to  be

high-priority  to  correct  perceived vulnerabilities in their nuclear

command and control system," said Adm Studeman.

"Preparedness for nuclear  conflict  with  the  United  States  -  not

withstanding  the  end of the Cold War - remains a resource allocation


Lt Gen James Clapper,  who was Director of  the  Defense  Intelligence

Agency  during  the  hearing,  told  the committee the bunker facility

"will be a new  part  of  Russia's  multi-billion  dollar  effort"  to

modernize its nuclear infrastructure.

The Russians appear to be seeking to improve their ability to absorb a

nuclear strike, reducing their incentives for early nuclear use.