NH #618: SPECIAL: Chernobyl 37th Anniversary – Survivor Kouneva, Dr. Janette Sherman, Tim Mousseau, Alexei Yablakov, More

SPECIAL: Chernobyl 37th Anniversary – Stories of its Deadly Legacy

Chernobyl Anniversary #2
The “elephant’s foot” – still highly radioactive molten core of Chernobyl

This Week’s Featured Interviews:

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster began on April 26, 1986 – another of those dates that will live in infamy. Here is a SPECIAL Nuclear Hotseat classic episode to paint the picture of what happened and what it did to the people who lived through it, and what we still face. Originally produced for Nuclear Hotseat #357, April 20, 2018:

  • Bonnie Kouneva was a 15-year-old living in Communist Bulgaria when the Chernobyl disaster began, but no one knew about it because the Soviet Union said nothing to its people.  On May 1, May Day, only five days after it began, Bulgarian citizens were “encouraged” by the Soviet hierarchy to attend all-day celebrations of the communist state – outdoors, in the rain – at the exact time the worst of Chernobyl’s radiation was directly overhead. Here, she paints the picture of the impact of that radiation rainout and lets us know the result of this devastating experience.
  • Dr. Timothy Mousseau is an evolutionary biologist and faculty member of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina. Since 1999, Professor Mousseau and his collaborators have explored the ecological, genetic and evolutionary consequences of low-dose radiation in populations of plants, animals and people inhabiting the Chernobyl region of Ukraine and Belarus.
  • The late Dr. Janette Sherman edited the the English translation of the groundbreaking work, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment by Alexei Yablokov, Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Nesterenko. Dr. Sherman was an early and enthusiastic supporter of Nuclear Hotseat, and we spoke about this book and how it came about for NH #97 on April 23, 2013. She passed away on November 20, 2019.
  • Dr. Alexei Yablokov was environmental advisor to Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the Gorbachev administration, as well as a co-founder of Greenpeace, Russia.  His book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, compiled and translated into English more than 5,000 separate scientific reports on Chernobyl that completely contradict the World Health Organization’s report, which undermined the seriousness of the accident.  Dr. Yablakov died in January, 2017.


  • CLICK HERE for a free PDF of Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment by Alexei Yablokov, Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Nesterenko, edited by Janette D. Sherman.
Chernobyl Anniversary #35
A souvenir of Chernobyl.