Chernobyl Legacy


General Photography

In principle, nuclear reactors are a pretty good way to generate energy. In reality, they aren’t. Common sense should tell you that if you plan to use a technology that must never ever fail - because of desastrous consequences - then you look for something else. Unfortunately, common sense is not all that common. And then, twenty years ago, the then Soviet nuclear power station in Chernobyl blew up. I remember this event very vividly; back then I was living in what used to be West Germany, and part of the radioactive cloud made it all the way to Germany. Needless to say, it wasn’t nearly as bad as in the immediate vicinity of the reactor, but still… the invisible threat, “in the air, for you and me” (as German electronic act Kraftwerk had described it just ten years before Chernobyl) made you wonder whether we - as humans - were really just too damn stupid to survive. Needless to say, what we got to hear from those people interested in nuclear power, politicians and those making good money from it, was something like “Oh, it can’t happen here”, with a variety of utterly ridiculous reasons added. I never believed that incompetence, neglect, and technological malfuntions adhere to ideologies or are things that only happen to “them”. In any case, watch the Magnum in Motion essay Chernobyl Legacy to see the results of the world’s worst nuclear desaster yet. I have to warn you, though, some of the images are pretty rough.