HBO’s Chernobyl miniseries

  • What People are Saying | HBO’s Chernobyl miniseries

Scientists can’t agree about Chernobyl’s impact on wildlife
By Katarina Zimmer, Knowable Magazine

Is Chernobyl a radioactive wasteland reeling from chronic radiation, or a post-nuclear paradise with thriving populations of animals and other life forms? Studies don’t always agree about levels of mutations and other ill effects.

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35 years since nuclear disaster, Chernobyl warns, inspires
By Yuras Karmanau, Associated Press

The vast and empty Chernobyl Exclusion Zone around the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident is a baleful monument to human mistakes. Yet 35 years after a power plant reactor exploded, Ukrainians also look to it for inspiration, solace and income.

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Nuclear power: Are we too anxious about the risks of radiation?
By Justin Rowlatt, BBC News 

This week, Boris Johnson restated the UK government’s commitment to nuclear power. But of six sites identified for replacements for the country’s ageing nuclear reactors, three have now been abandoned, two are waiting approval and just one is under construction. So is it time to reassess our attitude to nuclear power? You only have to watch HBO’s stunning drama, Chernobyl, to understand people’s fears. Who could watch the power station workers’ bodies visibly breaking down as they lie in hospital and not be afraid of radiation?

Despite the popular anxiety about this form of energy, it’s hard to see how the UK government can meet its carbon reduction targets without new nuclear.

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Animals Rule Chernobyl Three Decades After Nuclear Disaster
By John Wendel, National Geographic

Three decades later, it’s not certain how radiation is affecting wildlife—but it’s clear that animals abound.

It may seem strange that Chernobyl, an area known for the deadliest nuclear accident in history, could become a refuge for all kinds of animals—from moose, deer, beaver, and owls to more exotic species like brown bear, lynx, and wolves—but that is exactly what Shkvyria and some other scientists think has happened. Without people hunting them or ruining their habitat, the thinking goes, wildlife is thriving despite high radiation levels.

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HBO’s Chernobyl is a terrific miniseries. Its writer hopes you don’t think it’s the whole truth.
By Emily Todd VanDerWerff, Vox

I was excited to talk with Mazin about how writing comedy prepared him for Chernobyl, why he’s become more suspicious of the all-consuming nature of political narratives after making the miniseries, and how all of us on planet Earth right now are like the man in the control room at Chernobyl before the reactor blows, insistent that disaster isn’t bearing down on us, even though it is.

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Plenty of Fantasy in HBO’s Chernobyl, but the Truth is Real
By Henry Fountain, The New York Times

The first thing to understand about the HBO mini-series “Chernobyl,” 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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Chernobyl, the HBO miniseries: Fact and fiction (four parts)
By Robert Peter Gale, The Cancer Letter

My goal in this guest editorial series is to give readers of The Cancer Letter a more nuanced view of what happened, emphasizing the immediate and long-term medical consequences of the Chernobyl NPF accident.

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What HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ Got Right and What It Got Terribly Wrong
By Masha Gessen, The New Yorker

In “Chernobyl,” starring Jared Harris and Emily Watson, the creators imagine confrontation where it was unthinkable—and, in doing so, cross the line from conjuring a fiction to creating a lie.In “Chernobyl,” starring Jared Harris and Emily Watson, the creators imagine confrontation where it was unthinkable—and, in doing so, cross the line from conjuring a fiction to creating a lie.

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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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