HBO’s Chernobyl miniseries

  • What People are Saying | HBO’s Chernobyl miniseries

Let’s separate the urban myths from Chernobyl’s scientific facts
By Gerry Thomas, The Sydney Morning Herald

As someone who has conducted research into the health effects of the Chernobyl accident for 27 years, and written reviews of the impact of radiation exposure following nuclear accidents, I find it alarming that scaremongering about “the true story of Chernobyl” continues unabated.

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How HBO Got It Wrong On Chernobyl
By Dr. James Conca, ANS Nuclear Cafe

I was hoping I’d be wrong, that HBO would have the courage and integrity to do their homework and consult even one actual nuclear scientist or radiobiologist. Or even just read the United Nations Chernobyl Forum Report, the best source of information on the disaster for non-nuclear people.

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Nuclear scientist: HBO’s Chernobyl a lesson in sensationalism
By Kelvin Kemm, CFact

As a nuclear physicist, I can report that HBO’s Chernobyl was sensational fiction inspired by real events, not a factual documentary.  Melting faces makes for riveting television, but is no more realistic than the zombie cannibalism in the Walking Dead.

It is vital that viewers understand  that nuclear energy is perhaps our best source of electricity.  Frightening people away from clean, abundant, safe and affordable nuclear does the world a great disservice.

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10 Times HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ Got the Science Wrong
By Jim Smith, University of Portsmouth

I have coordinated a number of international research projects on the impacts of the Chernobyl accident, and made dozens of visits to the Exclusion Zone around Chernobyl. There has been considerable praise for the attention to detail in the sets, props and clothes that helped immerse viewers in a sense of being in late-period Soviet society — including from those that remember it first hand. But there are also errors, or aspects of how the story plays out that have been invented to add drama to the story.

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2 things we believe: Chernobyl was catastrophic, and we need nuclear power more than ever
Matt Bennett and Ray Rothrock, USA Today

HBO’s “Chernobyl” has captured international attention as it revisits the worst nuclear energy accident in history. Watching the series has hit home for us. One of us visited Chernobyl on an official trip with Vice President Al Gore in 1997. The other is a nuclear engineer and a veteran of the industry. Yet both of us agree with the show’s creator, Craig Mazin, who has said that its message is not anti-nuclear. Indeed, we believe that Chernobyl was a terrifying and tragic catastrophe, and that the need for nuclear energy is more urgent than ever.

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Top UCLA Doctor Denounces HBO’s “Chernobyl” As Wrong And “Dangerous”
Michael Shellenberger, Forbes

A top US medical doctor who treated radiation victims in Chernobyl has criticized HBO’s depiction of the accident and radiation’s health effects as inaccurate and “dangerous.”

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Why HBO’s “Chernobyl” Gets Nuclear So Wrong
Michael Shellenberger, Forbes

Since the start of HBO’s mini-series about the 1986 nuclear disaster, “Chernobyl,” journalists have praised the series for getting the facts of the event right, even if its creators took some creative liberties.

“The first thing to understand about the HBO mini-series “Chernobyl,”wrote a reporter for The New York Times, “is that a lot of it is made up. But here’s the second, and more important, thing: It doesn’t really matter.”

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A Viewer’s Guide to HBO’s Chernobyl Miniseries
By Matt Wald, NEI

In the spring of 1986, a steam explosion in a Soviet reactor, followed by an intense fire, released a plume of radioactive particles. Moscow denied everything and denounced the reports of high radiation readings as part of “a poisoned cloud of anti-Sovietism.” The explosion and fire, the heroic efforts to limit the damage, the inept government response, and anything with “nuclear” in the title all make for good television.

We can learn something from the event, one of the biggest industrial tragedies of the 1980s. However, much of the underlying circumstances were particular to the Chernobyl reactor and the Soviet government’s response.

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Chernobyl Accident and Its Consequences
Fact sheet: NEI

The 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, then part of the former Soviet Union, is the only accident in the history of commercial nuclear power to cause fatalities from radiation. It was the product of a severely flawed Soviet-era reactor design, combined with human error. Much of the underlying circumstances were particular to the Chernobyl reactor and the Soviet government’s response.

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