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What If The Chernobyl Disaster Never Happened?

The Atomic Age brought new possibilities. Nuclear energy was now able to be harnessed to create weapons of mass destruction, and as alternative energy. The Soviet Union constructed nuclear power plants across their territories in an effort for clean energy and power… and also perhaps for some bombs as well. However, that effort exploded in 1986 in Ukraine. A catastrophic meltdown of a nuclear reactor released lethal radiation into the surrounding area. The incident led to entire towns being evacuated – never to return. Today, the Chernobyl disaster has become symbolic with the bleak effects of radiation; what man can do to the environment; and the closest glimpse to a nuclear apocalypse. Now, this spurs the question: what would the world be like if the Chernobyl disaster never happened? Would atomic energy be perceived differently in this alternate timeline? Could there be other political and historical effects, as well? But first, some context for those unfamiliar with the Chernobyl disaster. What is commonly as Chernobyl was actually called the VI Lenin Nuclear Power Station, located near the city of Chernobyl. Today the station is simply known as the “Chernobyl plant” In Soviet times it was constructed and directly under the jurisdiction of the Moscow government itself The plant was located in the city of Pripyat which was constructed in 1970 by the Soviet government to house plant workers On April 26th 1986 the lifes of the cititzens of Chernobyl, Pripyat and countless others would be changed forever In nuclear reactor 4, a routine safety test – ironic, I know – was performed horribly wrong as the normal safety protocols were bypassed leading to the core itself exploding, destroying the roof and sending graphite from the reactor across the area the cause of the disaster can be for numerous reasons the flawed design of the reactor and human error all played a part Firefighter were sent in, to deal with the fires, caused by the explosion and they stepped into radioactive hotspot The effects were immediate. They could feel the pain on their skin their bodies feeling the full force of nuclear radiation In all, 31 would die from radiation sickness just months after Then the day, the people of Pripryat feeling that something wasn’t right as well Vomiting, dizziness were all symptoms beginning to be felt as radiation fell down upon them The next day, evacuation orders were given to the surrounding area – including Pripryat. Buses were driven to move people to areas outside the immediate radiation zone Communist Party messages blare from speakers in the town, telling the civilians to leave their belongings Nobody ever returned to get them For to the actual accident and evacuation of an entire city, were not made public until 2 days after the disaster and even then, they were downplayed The radiation was carried from the plumes of the smoke to regions further than just Pripryat and Chernobyl Winds carried the fallout, were it eventually landed in areas in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus Radiation travelled from across the entire globe For his died nearby its radiation drifted from the sky and killed off the plants As the situation deteriorated, emergency workers stopped the risk of a steam explosion and liquidators picked up the highly radioactive debris now littering the entire site To prevent more radiation from contaminating the environment, Soviet engineers went to work After 5 months of massive concrete and steal sarcophagus, covered the exploded reactor and closing radioactive debris and material inside. This structure has helped prevent any radiation from further doing harm Yet in many areas the environment was a shadow of its former self So, what would this alternate timeline be like, if the Chernobyl disaster had never happened? Well, one obvious effect is, that the areas of Pripryat, Chernobyl and other surrounding villages would continue to be inhabited by people The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone would not exist The Soviet Union still falls It was suffering from far too many problems to stay afloat However, it actually takes longer in this alternate timeline The Chernobyl disaster affected the non-russian people’s relationship with the Soviet government It opened to many eyes, that the Moscow government would rather protect their own interest than the immediate health and safety of the people The Chernobyl facility was directly run by the Soviet government The government was responsible for the operations of the plants the emergency response and notification of such an emergency All of which were failed by the Soviets The scale the catastrophy was downplayed at first the classic Soviet way but consequences between the government’s words and the effects led to more disillusionment and distrust among the people of Ukraine and other non-russian countries Chernobyl was not simply an environmental disaster but perhaps one of the many cracks that lead to the Soviets collapsing just a few years later It was a symbol of a bloated dying communist government on its last legs What about the future of nuclear energy? If the Chernobyl disaster never occured in this alternate timeline, would we see nuclear power plants overtaking coal and natural gas? No The “Three Mile Island Accident” in the 70’s sparked the 1st massive protest against nuclear energy in the fear of accidents Nuclear power began to lose its appeal by the 80’s I’m not here to debate positives and negatives of nuclear power or not What matters in this alternate timeline is the public’s perception of it Chernobyl was a public relation’s disaster for nuclear energy The nuclear power growth was already slowing down by the mid-80’s but the disaster killed the building of many new plants Italy voted against nuclear power in the year following Chernobyl Chernobyl made plants from around the world analyze and improve their own safety protocols It take better measures to prevent any such occurance from happening In this alternate timeline even if Chernobyl never happened there’d be slightly more plants in this alternate timeline as a fear from Chernobyl never leads to a dip in the growth of nuclear power In this alternate timeline, the world never sees a catastrophic event like Chernobyl as a disaster was a unique one A combination of human error, design error and Soviet corruption Even Fukushima after the Japanese earthquake never reached the same radiation levels as Chernobyl but that was simply because of the nature of the design What do you think, the world would be like, if Chernobyl never happened? Say in the comments! This video-idea was suggested by Patreon contributor Arthur D. Gonzalez-Martin Thanks, Arthur, for your suggestion This is Cody, of the Alternate History Hub [Outro]
Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztO42cIIqHA

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