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Atomic Energy and Human Arrogance: Revisiting the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
March 18, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
“Atomic Energy and Human Arrogance: Revisiting the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster” by Serhii Plokhii, Harvard University. On the morning of April 26, 1986, the world witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history: the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine. Dozens died of radiation poisoning, fallout contaminated half the continent, and thousands fell ill. In his talk based on the award-winning book, Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe, Plokhii draws on new sources to lay bare the flaws of the Soviet nuclear industry, tracing the disaster to the authoritarian character of Communist party rule, the regime’s control of scientific information, and its emphasis on economic development over all else. Today, the risk of another Chernobyl, claims Plokhii, looms in the mismanagement of nuclear power in the developing world.