Our next Brown Bag Book Club meets virtually on Thursday, June 25 at 12 p.m.
You can register to join us for this Book Club session here. If you have registered for Brown Bag Book Club previously, you should already be registered for all upcoming sessions.
Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster by Adam Higginbotham
On a bright spring Monday alarm bells went off at a radiation monitoring station in Sweden. Conditions pointed to a major nuclear leak. Technicians scrambled to uncover the source of the contamination. Reports began arriving from other contamination points in Sweden. Eventually it became clear the radioactive contamination did not originate in Sweden, but one thousand miles away in the Soviet Union. Two days earlier there had been an explosion in reactor #4 at Chernobyl power plant, USSR.
The Soviets built the first nuclear power plant in 1954. They considered themselves the finest reactor engineers in the world. After the Three Mile Island nuclear accident changes were made to the way nuclear power plants are designed, but not in the Soviet Union. Soviet planners anxious to increase their power grid rapidly built ginormous reactors. If there were problems or minor leaks they were covered up by scientists fearing the loss of their jobs. A test and upgrade fix was planned for Chernobyl reactor number 4 on April 26, 1986. A skipped step in the test; failure to abort the test by overworked technicians; and a deputy chief engineer who brooked no contradiction, resulted in a scenario made for a core meltdown. Higginbotham tells the story of the accident and its aftermath in a riveting fashion.
Please join us for a virtual discussion of Midnight in Chernobyl with the Brown Bag Book Club at noon on Thursday, June 25, 2020. Register here.