Friday, March 25, 2011
“We all jumped in the puddles with the yellow stuff. … You don’t see (it in) the air, it doesn’t materialize. But when you see the yellow dust, you see radiation,” Antonina Sergieff said.
The accident was originally caused by a small testing error that resulted in a chain reaction in which highly pressurized steam literally blew the top off of a nuclear reactor.
The result was the release of 100 more times radiation than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, according to the United Nations issue brief on Chernobyl.
Among the unstable elements released were iodine-131, caesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium-239. Scientists say that exposure to such elements, especially in such high doses, impairs critical cellular functions and damages DNA.
When these elements first reached Sergieff 20 years ago, they came in the form of yellow rain.
It was not long after that residents in her hometown knew it wasn’t simply “pollen” – which is what government officials assured them, she said.'
Posted by DotConnector at 10:41