Chornobyl and Ukraine

William W. Zuzak, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Chornobyl and Ukraine

I had an opportunity to talk with a visitor from Ukraine by the name of Viktor Sheludko, who ran the computer program SKALA at Unit #4. He arrived on the scene about 6 hours after the explosion and took the magnetic tapes which contained the reactor parameter readouts over to Unit #1 to get the printouts.

He also talked to an eyewitness who was fishing nearby who told the following story: First there was a bright plume of light (burning like a candle) which rose to about half the height of the 150 meter high stack and slowly subsided. About a minute later another plume erupted to the full height of the stack which was so bright that you could clearly see the red horizontal bands painted on the stack. The explosions occurred several seconds later.

Do you think these flames could be burning hydrogen from the Zr + 2H2O = ZrO2 + 2H2 reaction?

Two of my cousins from the southwestern Ukrainian city of Kolomyia visited us this past August - September. There have been major positive political changes in Ukraine during the past year. Democratic forces finally became heard after the ouster of Shcherbitsky as head of the Communist Party of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the Communist bureaucracy appears to be making a comeback recently. A Ukrainian member of parliament by the name of Stepan Khmara was involved in a provocation set up by the KGB, stripped of his parliamentary immunity, arrested by the KGB on Nov. 17, 1990 and is presumably being prepared for a political show trial reminiscent of the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s. Still more recently Eduard Shevardnadze resigned in Moscow as a protest against a return to dictatorship.

Your friends in Canada

Will Zuzak
CHORN_90.L25 = Chronobyl and Ukraine

Copyright © 1990 Dr. W. Zuzak

since March 1st 1997