WBEZ | Chernobyl http://www.wbez.org/tags/chernobyl Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago events commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-28/chicago-events-commemorating-25th-anniversary-chernobyl-nuclear-disaster <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-28/73651823.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>EVENTS:</p><p><a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/tourism/commemoration_of_the.html" target="_blank"><strong>Commemoration: 25th Anniversary of Chornobyl Nuclear Disaster</strong></a></p><p>Thursday April 28, 2011, 5:30-8:00 p.m.</p><p>ChicagoCultural Center — G.A.R. Hall</p><p>77 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL</p><p>Free Admission</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://event.uchicago.edu/maincampus/detail.php?guid=CAL-402882f8-2e76faef-012e-78914ebd-000000cdeventscalendar@uchicago.edu" target="_blank"><strong>After Chernobyl: Photo Exhibit</strong></a></p><p>March 28 - May 20, 2011</p><p>University of Chicago — Harper Memorial Library Building, 3rd Floor</p><p>1116 E. 59th Street, Chicago, IL</p><p>Monday-Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 10am-5pm</p><p>Free Admission</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/tourism/chornobyl__25__exhibit.html" target="_blank"><strong>Chornobyl +25: Exhibit</strong></a></p><p>April 8 - May 25, 2011</p><p>Ukrainian National Museum</p><p>2249 W. Superior Street in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood</p><p>Thursday-Sunday, 11am to 4pm</p><p>Adults-$5; Children under 12-Free</p></p> Thu, 28 Apr 2011 18:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-28/chicago-events-commemorating-25th-anniversary-chernobyl-nuclear-disaster Chicago Ukrainian family shares first-hand account of Chernobyl http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-28/chicago-ukrainian-family-shares-first-hand-account-chernobyl-85799 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-28/All_three_photo_standing.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chelekhova family was living&nbsp;in Kiev when the Chernobyl (Chornobyl) nuclear disaster occurred on April 26, 1986. There was little information revealed by the government about the extent of the danger of radiation, the mother Tatiana explained.&nbsp; Three days later, her young children Mila and Genia (12 and 11) were on a camping trip in the woods 45 miles from Chernobyl with hundreds of other children. Once she found out what happened from a friend, Tatiana rushed to the camp site to gather her children and others and take them away with little explanation.</p><p>The Chelakhova family now makes their home in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood,&nbsp;where <em>Worldview’s</em> Joe Linstroth met with Tatiana and her daughters Mila and Genia, as part of this week's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/chernobyl" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">series</a>&nbsp;commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.&nbsp;In 1990, Tatiana was invited by the Chicago Park District to come to the United States, after working as a flower designer for the Ukrainian government.</p><p>After the explosion, the only information Tatiana remembers receiving came from friends and neighbors giving advice. They all showered and washed their clothes, and made their way to St. Petersburg after deciding to leave Kiev as soon as possible. "The panic was so big in Kiev that people literally attacked the trains," Tatiana said. Once in St. Petersburg, everyone arriving was inspected with a geiger counter. Daughter Mila remembers losing a pair of her favorite tennis shoes, deemed too full of radiation to keep. "We were still thinking it was a summer vacation...and then there went my trainers!" said Mila.</p><p>The family spent the summer in St. Petersburg, but it was a rough time; Genia was sick for a month with a constant fever. She eventually lost her remaining baby teeth, and described her lips and mouth turning black. The symptoms eventually went away, but says she continues to worry about the long term consequences of that illness.</p><p>After a summer in St. Petersburg, Tatiana sent her daughters to their grandparents' summer home in the northern Ukraine for the fall, and she returned to Kiev. Tatiana remembers no longer being able to pick mushrooms or go fishing, and the odd precautions stores took to keep the radiation out, utlizing plastic strips over open doorways. She said there was no special medicine given to those exposed, but local remedies included drinking red wine to flush radiation out of the body. "The government didn't take care of us at all," said Tatiana.</p><p>During that time, however, the Ukrainian sense of community flourished. Tatiana said nobody relied on the government. Instead, "everybody helped everybody," she recalled.</p><p>It was only later that the effects of the accident began to show. Ten years after, Tatiana lost both her cousin and her best friend to brain tumors. She says the cemetary in Kiev has a special section for people who died in Chernobyl, and that they were buried like nuclear waste three meters below the ground. Her work after the accident primarily consisted of preparing flowers for funerals. Upon coming to the United States, she said she was so happy there were clean flowers.</p><p>Of the lessons she learned in Chernobyl, Tatiana said she believes that information is necessary, explaining that "people get nervous when they don't know what's happening."</p><p>She also added, "I&nbsp;am so impressed with what happened in Japan, how people evacuated, how the whole entire city was evacuated within one day."</p><p>Daughters Mila and Genia don't remember much from the accident, but Mila says, "I think more about details," with Genia adding, "I&nbsp;appreciate nature even more because of this experience, because I am able to be out there and not worry about exposing myself to [radiation]."</p></p> Thu, 28 Apr 2011 16:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-28/chicago-ukrainian-family-shares-first-hand-account-chernobyl-85799 Uncovering 25 years of Chernobyl-inspired rock http://www.wbez.org/story/uncovering-25-years-chernobyl-inspired-rock-85751 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-27/kraftwerk radioactivity2.jpg..jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This last year has produced a surprising amount of manmade and natural disasters: the Gulf Coast oil spill, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the U.S. federal budget, to name a few.&nbsp; Catastrophe has always been fodder for musical creativity, but few have proven as tuneful as Chernobyl. We continue our <a href="../../chernobyl" target="_blank">series</a> commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl (Chornobyl) nuclear disaster with today's <a href="http://www.wbez.org/globalnotes" target="_self"><em>Global Notes</em></a> as Jerome McDonnell and <a href="../../../radio-m" target="_blank"><em>Radio M</em></a> host Tony Sarabia uncover a surprising number of songs inspired by the world's worst nuclear disaster.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Track List</strong></p><p>1. Ghost Town – Huns and Dr. Beeker</p><p>2. Chernobyl 1986 – North Aunt</p><p>3. Time Will Crawl – David Bowie</p><p>4. Radioactivity (Remix) – Kraftwerk</p><p>5. Radioactive Clouds – Skysonic Destiny</p></p> Wed, 27 Apr 2011 17:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/uncovering-25-years-chernobyl-inspired-rock-85751 The medical, political and psychological effects during and after Chernobyl http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-27/medical-political-and-psychological-effects-during-and-after-chernobyl-8 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-27/57254503.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We continue our <a href="http://www.wbez.org/chernobyl" target="_blank">series</a> commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl (Chornobyl) nuclear disaster with an eyewitness account of the events and a look at the longstanding after-effects of the nuclear tragedy.</p><p>Yuri Scherbak is a medical doctor and former Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S., Canada and Israel. Yuri was immediately on the scene after the Chernobyl explosion. Despite Soviet pressures, he was one of the first to risk reporting the truth on the catastrophe.&nbsp;</p><p>And <a href="http://www.uic.edu/sph/glakes/director.html">Daniel Hryhorczuk</a> is Director of the Great Lakes Occupational and Environmental Health Center at the University of Illinois School of Public Health. Daniel has worked for 20 years researching the effects of the disaster's nuclear fallout.</p><p>Yuri and Daniel share their Chernobyl experiences. Daniel and Yuri will participate in a <a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/tourism/commemoration_of_the.html">conference</a> on Chornobyl’s 25th anniversary. It takes place tomorrow (4/28/11) at the Chicago Cultural Center. The event’s sponsored by Chicago’s <a href="http://www.chicagosistercities.com/cities/kyiv.php">Kyiv Sister Cities</a> Committee and Chicago area Ukrainian groups.</p></p> Wed, 27 Apr 2011 17:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-27/medical-political-and-psychological-effects-during-and-after-chernobyl-8 Chicago events commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-26/chicago-events-commemorating-25th-anniversary-chernobyl-nuclear-disaster <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-26/73651823.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>EVENTS:</p><p><a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/tourism/commemoration_of_the.html" target="_blank"><strong>Commemoration: 25th Anniversary of Chornobyl Nuclear Disaster</strong></a></p><p>Thursday April 28, 2011, 5:30-8:00 p.m.</p><p>ChicagoCultural Center — G.A.R. Hall</p><p>77 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL</p><p>Free Admission</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://event.uchicago.edu/maincampus/detail.php?guid=CAL-402882f8-2e76faef-012e-78914ebd-000000cdeventscalendar@uchicago.edu" target="_blank"><strong>After Chernobyl: Photo Exhibit</strong></a></p><p>March 28 - May 20, 2011</p><p>University of Chicago — Harper Memorial Library Building, 3rd Floor</p><p>1116 E. 59th Street, Chicago, IL</p><p>Monday-Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 10am-5pm</p><p>Free Admission</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/tourism/chornobyl__25__exhibit.html" target="_blank"><strong>Chornobyl +25: Exhibit</strong></a></p><p>April 8 - May 25, 2011</p><p>Ukrainian National Museum</p><p>2249 W. Superior Street in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood</p><p>Thursday-Sunday, 11am to 4pm</p><p>Adults-$5; Children under 12-Free</p></p> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 17:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-26/chicago-events-commemorating-25th-anniversary-chernobyl-nuclear-disaster The documentary 'Block Four: Chernobyl 2011' premieres this week in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-26/documentary-block-four-chernobyl-2011-premieres-week-chicago-85697 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-26/57104296.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In the third part of a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/chernobyl">series</a> of commemorations for the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl (Chornobyl) nuclear disaster,&nbsp;<em><em>Worldview</em></em>&nbsp;features the new documentary&nbsp;<a href="http://www.blockfourmovie.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.blockfourmovie.com/"><em title="http://www.blockfourmovie.com/"><em title="http://www.blockfourmovie.com/"><span title="http://www.blockfourmovie.com/"><span title="http://www.blockfourmovie.com/">Block Four: Chernobyl 2011</span></span></em></em></a>. The documentary follows the film’s producer, Father Myron Panchuk and film student and director Julian Hayda on their journey through Chornobyl from the "Zone of Alienation" to their interviews of those most affected by the tragedy.</p><p>The inspiration for the film started with a dream, in which Panchuk saw broken shells of Ukranian Easter eggs in a soup he was eating. A few weeks later, he heard about a friend who wanted to go to Chernobyl and speak to the people there. Panchuck, who is in a Ph.D program at Pacifica Institute studying dreams,&nbsp;says he knew instantly that the dream was a reference to future work where he would&nbsp;"ingest Ukranian trauma."</p><p>After spending time with those who live near the site, director Julian Hayda fears the impact of the radiation is only now being revealed. "Chornobyl isn’t a story that should have faded into the headlines," he says. "The situation in Chernobyl changes daily, maybe even less, maybe even hourly."</p><p>Hayda said little information was disseminated&nbsp;to those living in the area, and many were seen as squatters for wanting to return to their homes after the explosion.&nbsp;</p><p>The pair believe this lack of information was due, in their words, to the "aura of mystery" and deceit that spread after the disaster, created by the reticience of the Soviet Union to reveal the danger of their fresh circumstances. As far as the future of the area is concerned, they mentioned the importance of building a new sarcophagus to contain the exclusion zone. President Obama has recently pledged money to help with this cause.</p><p>But it was the people who left the most indelible mark on Panchuk and Hayda. "I’m amazed at their resilience. I think part of it was just Soviet training – you had to be resilient to live in this society," said Hayda. But he cautioned that it has been exhausting for some people to deal with the influx of visitors, who treat it like "this exotic zoo."</p><p>"It seems interesting that Chicago is this sort of accidental hub of experts about Chernobyl," Panku said, explaining that it could be due in part to the University of Chicago and its own history with nuclear research, as well as the Chicago's relationship to Kiev as a sister city.</p><p>The film premieres at a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/tourism/commemoration_of_the.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/tourism/commemoration_of_the.html"><span title="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/tourism/commemoration_of_the.html"><span title="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/tourism/commemoration_of_the.html">special conference</span></span></a>&nbsp;that will commemorate Chornobyl’s 25th anniversary this Thursday at the Chicago Cultural Center. The event is sponsored by the <a href="http://www.chicagosistercities.com/cities/kyiv.php">Kyiv Committee</a> of Chicago, Sister Cities International and other Ukrainian groups in the Chicago area.</p><p><strong>Trailer for <em>Block Four: Chernobyl 2011</em>:</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/18749212?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" frameborder="0" height="225" width="400"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 17:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-26/documentary-block-four-chernobyl-2011-premieres-week-chicago-85697 Global Notes: Uncovering 25 years of Chernobyl-inspired rock http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-20/global-notes-uncovering-25-years-chernobyl-inspired-rock-85454 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-20/kraftwerk radioactivity.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This last year has produced a surprising amount of manmade and natural disasters: the Gulf Coast oil spill, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the U.S. federal budget, to name a few.&nbsp; Catastrophe has always been fodder for musical creativity, but few have proven as tuneful as Chernobyl. On today's <a href="http://www.wbez.org/globalnotes" target="_self"><em>Global Notes</em></a>, Jerome McDonnell and <a href="../../../radio-m" target="_blank"><em>Radio M</em></a> host Tony Sarabia uncover a surprising number of songs inspired by the world's worst nuclear disaster.&nbsp;</p><p>We also want to hear your favorite Chernobyl-inspired tracks. Call our 24-hour hotline at <strong>312.948.4880 </strong>or email us at worldview@wbez.org. Make sure to include your name, phone number and where you're from, as well as the artist and track title. If you're lucky, we'll play your song next week!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Track List</strong></p><p>1. Ghost Town – Huns and Dr. Beeker</p><p>2. Chernobyl 1986 – North Aunt</p><p>3. Time Will Crawl – David Bowie</p><p>4. Radioactivity (Remix) – Kraftwerk</p><p>5. Radioactive Clouds – Skysonic Destiny</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 20 Apr 2011 18:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-20/global-notes-uncovering-25-years-chernobyl-inspired-rock-85454 After 25 years, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has seen an unexpected rebirth in wildlife http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-20/after-25-years-chernobyl-exclusion-zone-has-seen-unexpected-rebirth-wild <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-26/57077137.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Next week marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl (Chornobyl) nuclear disaster, when a nuclear meltdown of a power plant in the Ukraine forced 60,000 people from their homes and exposed extraorinarily high levels of radiation to hundreds of thousands more. At the time, there was little information released about the potential danger of the radiation; residents of the area were not evacuated for several days after the explosion, and many expected to be back shortly. It is only now, a quarter of a century later, that we are beginning to see the long-term effects the disaster has had on the area, and on the world. We begin a <a href="../../../chernobyl" target="_blank">series</a> today commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl (Chornobyl) nuclear disaster with writer Henry Shukman, who took a rare extended trip into the zone for the March issue of&nbsp;<em style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;"><a href="http://outsideonline.com/adventure/travel-ga-201103-chernobyl-wildlife-refuge-sidwcmdev_154483.html" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;" target="_blank">Outside Magazine</a></em>&nbsp;to explore the transformation of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone from an irradiated wasteland into what some call Europe’s largest wildlife refuge.</p><p>"I was just fascinated to go and see it. There was a bit of morbid curiosity; you know, what does Armageddon look like 25 years on?" Shukman explained about his impulse to visit the exclusion zone. "But mostly, I think I really was drawn by the appeal of going to somewhere that was kind of like Europe a thousand years ago, which you can’t find anywhere else really, where nature has been allowed to run its course without human interference. It’s odd and ironic really that it takes a disaster of that magnitude and of that human cost – you know, 2.7 million lives affected by it – that it takes so much to create a space where nature can do his own thing."</p><p><em><strong>Wildlife in the Exclusion Zone</strong></em></p><p>Shukman is referring to the surprisingly abundant wildlife that has taken over the area, which is now teeming with birds, wild boar, elk, deer, lynx, bears, and large wolf packs, creating what he calls a reversion "to a pre-human eco-system."</p><p>Citing the work of biologist Igor Chizhevksy, who has been researching the genetic health of large wild mammals exposed to radiation, Shukman noted that it's been hard for scientists to really get a grip on what impact the radiation has had on the animals, as they can't test a large portion of the population, and they can't gather a history of the animals living there prior to the disaster. The largest body of research that has been done has been with mice, who have been exposed to similar levels of radioactivity and studied afterwards. This work has indicated that genomes have shifted, and that strains of mice have developed radiation resistance.&nbsp;</p><p><b><i>Living in the Exclusion Zone</i></b></p><p>Shukman emphasized that though tourists are allowed to visit some sections of the area, it is not like "hundreds of people are pouring in." It's also important to note that the small groups that do visit are escorted by guides, who point out dangerous areas. But excluding tourists, there are still roughly 300 people who live in the vicinity of the Chernobyl plant, most of whom are elderly and returned soon after they were relocated to Kiev. They are quietly living there, and according to Shukman, life is "even more old-fashioned" than before the explosion, with very few modern accomodations.</p><p>Shukman believes a culture of secrecy in the Soviet Union led to a slower evacuation at the time of the disaster than necessary.&nbsp; Additionally, "...the notion of setting up an exclusion zone is inherently a bit flawed because you’re trying to contain something that simply doesn’t travel in a containable way," Shukman said.</p><p>Shukman noted that though the population of individuals living near Chernobyl is small, and it is difficult to get reliable statistics about their health. He notes that some of them have been living there for over twenty years and "seem to be fine." As seen in parts of Northern Iran and China, where the terrestrial radiation levels are one hundred times higher than the earth average, cancer rates are lower under such conditions, and exposure can be good for the immune system.&nbsp;</p><p><em><strong>Worldwide Ramifications</strong></em></p><p>To Shukman, this by no means validates the use of continued nuclear power. "My own personal conclusion is that we should not build anymore nuclear power stations," he said. "I don’t want to give the impression that because the wildlife is apparently doing well, it's not a human disaster, because it is.</p></p> Wed, 20 Apr 2011 17:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-20/after-25-years-chernobyl-exclusion-zone-has-seen-unexpected-rebirth-wild