So I've watched Chernobyl. Five episode miniseries co-produced by HBO and Sky with an insanely high IMDB rating, chronicling the infamous nuclear disaster at the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Nuclear Power Plant near Chernobyl in what was then the Soviet Union (now Ukraine, near the Belarusian border) in April of 1986.
Starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson, Jessie Buckley and Paul Ritter, among others. Most of the main characters are based on real people who really lived through these events, with the big exception of Emily Watson's Ulana Khomyuk, who's a composite character of the various scientists who aided Valery Legasov (played by Jared Harris) in his attempts to contain the immediate effects of the disaster, and then later the more long-term clean-up operations and the investigations into what had caused the explosion in the first place.
This thread is intended as both a discussion of the show, its acting, direction etc., but also the real-life event and the creative liberties the show (created and written by Craign Mazin, screenwriter of Scary Movie 3&4 and Hangover 2&3, directed by Johan Renck aka "Stakka Bo") took in portraying the events.
Spoilers for those who haven't seen the show yet, but please keep in mind we're talking about a real event here, and I'm comparing the show to real history!
Overall, though, despite all these nitpicks, the show is still a very fascinating watch regardless. The explanation for the cause of the explosion as shown in episode 5 is pretty accurate to what we have come to understand about it.
Meanwhile, Michael Bay's theme park version as featured in Dark of the Moon wants us to believe that the reactor exploded because they simply tried to hook up untested alien technology to a nuclear power plant. Which completely undermines the lessons we should learn from Chernobyl.
I'm not even getting into the "nuclear power yes or no" argument here. Even if you're still pro nuclear power, there are a lot of things we can hopefully all agree on regardless of where you stand:
A) Don't use graphite as a moderator. Use water-moderated nuclear reactors. If the reactor gets too hot, the very water that powers the turbines vaporizes... and because that same water was used as a moderator, the reaction automatically stops.
B) Build a ****ing containment building around your reactors. Before you turn it on, not just after it already exploded. Trust me, it's cheaper that way in the long run.
C) Don't use the same material that acts as a moderator on the tips of the control rods, which are supposed to bring the reaction down.
D) If you're aware of a critical design flaw of your nuclear reactors, let the people who operate those reactors know. Don't make it a state secret.
E) Don't ever, EVER combine the following: 1) Remove almost all the control rods completely, 2) turn off the steam turbines.
F) If the rules say to shut the reactor down completely in case of a potential xenon poisoning, FOLLOW THE ****ING RULES.
G) Perform your important sefety tests before you put your nuclear reactor into operation, not afterwards.
H) LISTEN TO THE SCIENTISTS WHO TELL YOU THAT THING IS BAD.
I) The most important lession of them all: The truth doesn't care about politics, ideologies, beliefs or agendas. You can lie as much as you want, the truth won't care. It will come to bite you in the ass eventually. Sometimes, the result is the explosion of a nuclear reactor. (Other times, it's climate change.)
Edited by Nevermore, 08 January 2020 - 06:36 PM.