September 5, 2010


I have no special knowledge of Chernobyl. I know only what I have read and what I have seen on the net and on documentaries, but recently I came across a photo essay that touches on some of the tragedy of Chernobyl. The essay, by Paul Fusco, is limited in its scope and reserved in its depiction yet it is a powerful piece of journalism. I would like to share this with you tonight. The boy in the cover photo of the essay, shown here in a wheelchair and in a near constant state of terror (in which he is trapped) is a haunting reminder of what went wrong and that even when children aren't born with debilitating tumors or deformities, the neurological ailments are just as heart breaking.

If you click the link, you should be taken to the intro for the photo essay. After the intro, hit play to see the slide show showing all of the photos along with their narration. Pripyat. 500,000 children affected in Belarus. 200 times the Cesium radiation poisoning of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.

The year 2006 was the 20th anniversary of the disaster. Recent scientific studies have indicated that the damage done may be more widespread, serious and long lasting than previous believed. The map below shows areas of contamination. I took the map from the link I have included here and you can view it in higher resolution along with a discussion of the scientific data associated with it.

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