Shutdown

Shutdown: The Claw

You’re scared of the claw, aren’t ya?

Image from pripyat.com.

Military-Grade Awesome

Vudi Dyatel!

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In the depths of the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation lurks a giant antenna array. Depending on the source, the Russians shut it down when the Chernobyl ‘incident’ happened, or perhaps they kept the whole thing running for a few years afterwards. Just what was it all for? When the array came online in 1976, its presence was announced by a 10 Hz ‘tapping’ all across the shortwave bands, and the ideas began to fly. Was it a radar system, or a weather control system, or perhaps even some sort of mind control weapon? The prevailing theory was that it was an over the horizon radar used for missile defense, and after the end of the Cold War, it was confirmed to be the transmitter array for a Duga-3 system, part of the Soviet ABM early-warning network, named Steel Yard by NATO.

Continue reading Vudi Dyatel!

User Input

User Input: Mr. Fusion

The 1958 Ford Nucleon concept car

In the 1950’s, America — and the rest of the world, to a lesser extent — was positively agog over the potential represented by the nuclear era. This new, compact, clean energy source was surely destined to be the saviour of mankind’s energy needs. Research was proceeding […]

Shutdown

Not-so Great Moments in History – Chernobyl

Chernobyl 1986

Today marks the somber 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, that on 26 April 1986 turned the small sleepy Ukrainian town of Pripyat into one of the most infamous and feared locations on earth.

The disaster sent a plume of radioactive contamination over much of Europe and Eastern Russia, crippled the economy of the former superpower USSR, and remains the single worst nuclear disaster the world has had to face.

While the current Fukushima disaster resulting from last month’s 9.0 earthquake and Tsunami in Japan ranks a similarly classified Level Seven on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), it is considered much less serious than the event in Chernobyl due to factors including containment, deaths and contamination.

In the early days of the 1986 accident, the seriousness of the unfolding disaster wasn’t fully understood even by officials within the USSR who were alerted to high radiation levels by neighboring countries. And it wasn’t until recent years that the full extent of the danger has been fully revealed. Continue reading Not-so Great Moments in History – Chernobyl

Startup

Startup: A Bit of Perspective

The remains of the Chernobyl reactor.

On April 26, 1986, engineers at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine began an experiment to test whether residual energy in the nuclear reactor’s steam turbines could be used to provide enough power to bridge the gap between the time a reactor failed, and the time a […]

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