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Chernobyl HBO

The Chernobyl Accident has become a much discussed topic over the last month.


The release of a miniseries dramatising the Chernobyl Accident created and written by Craig Mazin has become the most highly rated TV series on popular TV and movie data base IMDb.


The series is a harrowing, blow by blow account of the nuclear plant disaster which happened on 26th April 1986 which occurred in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

One of the key questions to bear in mind whilst watching the series is how much of what is portrayed in the TV series is accurate - both historically and scientifically?


I have spent three years during my PhD working periodically in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and I caught myself trying to disentangle fact from fiction.

Luckily, I came across a number of resources which helped to clarify what was being portrayed on the TV.


Dr Claire Corkhill (@clairecorkhill) from Sheffield University did a truly fantastic job of live tweeting throughout the episodes to answer questions, setting up a AMA (Ask me anything) thread on discussion website Reddit, discussing Chernobyl on BBC Radio 5 live (from 37 minutes) and even appearing on ITV's This morning (see below), which has had over 70,000 views on Youtube.

RATE and TREE researcher Professor Jim Smith at the University of Portsmouth also wrote an article for the for the media outlet The Conversation highlighting ten times Chernobyl HBO lets artistic licence get in the way of the facts - including the facts between the helicopter crash and the bridge of death.


Focusing on the wildlife in the Chernobyl Exclusion zone, which was a large part of the TREE project, Professor Nick Beresford (@radioecology) and Professor Jim Smith wrote an article for BBC Science Focus examining: Has the area recovered since 1986’s nuclear disaster?

RATE and TREE research was also featured within Dr Germán Orizaola's (@GOrizaola) article written for The Conversation about how Chernobyl has become a refuge for wildlife 33 years after the nuclear accident.


In conclusion, overall the series seems pretty accurate at some points it was dramatised for effect. Definitely worth a watch.


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