Posted in: Podcast

The Nazino affair

The Nazino affair (RussianНазинская трагедияtranslit. Nazinskaya Tragediya) was the mass deportation of 6,000 people to Nazino Island in the Soviet Union in May 1933. The deportees, mostly political prisoners and petty criminals, were forcibly sent to the small, isolated island in Western Siberia, located 540 kilometers (340 mi) northwest of Tomsk, to construct a “special settlement“. They were abandoned with only flour for food, and little in the way of tools, clothing, or shelter, and those who attempted to leave were killed by armed guards.[1][2] The conditions of the island led to widespread diseaseabuse of powerviolence, and cannibalism. Within thirteen weeks, over 4,000 of the deportees related to Nazino Island had died or disappeared, and a majority of the survivors were in ill health.[3][2]

The Nazino affair was virtually unknown until 1988, when an investigation by Memorialbegan during the glasnost reforms in the Soviet Union. The events were popularized in 2002 when reports of a September 1933 special commission by the Communist Party of Western Siberia were published by Memorial.

Posted in: Podcast

Tsar Bomba

Tsar Bomba (RussianЦарь-бо́мбаtr. Tsar’-bómbaIPA: [t͡sarʲ ˈbombə]lit. Tsar Ivan bomb/King of Bombs😉 was the Western nickname for the Soviet RDS-220 hydrogen bomb (code name Ivan[3] or Vanya), the most powerful nuclear weapon ever created. Its test on 30 October 1961 remains the most powerful explosive ever detonated. It was also referred to as Kuzma’s mother (RussianКу́зькина ма́тьtr. Kúz’kina mát’IPA: [ˈkusʲkʲɪnə ˈmatʲ]),[4] possibly referring to First secretary Nikita Khrushchev‘s promise to show the United States a Kuzma’s mother (an idiom roughly translating to “We’ll show you!”) at a 1960 session of United Nations General Assembly.[5][6]

Our theme song was written and performed by Anna Bosnick. If you’d like to support the show on a per episode basis, you can find our Patreon page here.  Be sure to check our website for more details.

Posted in: Podcast

The Chernobyl Disaster

The Chernobyl disaster, also referred to as the Chernobyl accident, was a catastrophic nuclear accident. It occurred on 26 April 1986 in the No.4 light water graphite moderated reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat, in what was then part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union (USSR).

During a late night safety test which simulated power-failure and in which safety systems were deliberately turned off, a combination of inherent reactor design flaws, together with the reactor operators arranging the core in a manner contrary to the checklist for the test, eventually resulted in uncontrolled reaction conditions that flashed water into steam generating a destructive steam explosion and a subsequent open-air graphite fire.[note 1] This fire produced considerable updrafts for about 9 days, that lofted plumes of fission products into the atmosphere, with the estimated radioactive inventory that was released during this very hot fire phase, approximately equal in magnitude to the airborne fission products released in the initial destructive explosion.[1] Practically all of this radioactive material would then go on to fall-out/precipitate onto much of the surface of the western USSR and Europe.

The Chernobyl accident dominates the Energy accidents sub-category, of most disastrous nuclear power plant accident in history, both in terms of cost and casualties. It is one of only two nuclear energy accidents classified as a level 7 event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011.[2] The struggle to safeguard against scenarios which were, at many times falsely,[1] perceived as having the potential for greater catastrophe and the later decontamination efforts of the surroundings, ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles.[3] During the accident, blast effects caused 2 deaths within the facility and later 29 firemen and employees died in the days-to-months afterward from acute radiation syndrome, with the potential for long-term cancers still being investigated.[4]

The remains of the No.4 reactor building were enclosed in a large sarcophagus (radiation shield) by December 1986, at a time when what was left of the reactor was entering the cold shut-down phase; the enclosure was built quickly as occupational safety for the crews of the other undamaged reactors at the power station, with No.3 continuing to produce electricity into 2000.[5][6]

The accident motivated safety upgrades on all remaining Soviet-designed reactors in the RBMK (Chernobyl No.4) family, of which eleven continued to power electric grids as of 2013.[7][8]

 

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster

 

Final skit music 

“Dangerous” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/