Scott gave a colourful PowerPoint presentation on the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster: the planned ‘safety experiment.’ which went awry, the resulting steam explosion, the radiation fallout and the consequences.

Quite unnecessary. UN estimate 4000 deaths over 20 years. Serious lack of quality control systems. As well as revising our nuclear physics we used a Geiger counter to check body parts and implants(!), radioactive rocks, a smoke detector, luminous clock paint and uranium nitrate.

MODERN HISTORY GROUP talk  “ The Last hours of Chernobyl” by Scott

2008 Dec 001
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2008 Dec 007

The demonstrations included , 'Electric circuit assembly', 'Measuring radioactivity of rock samples and Uranium nitrate using a Geiger counter' 'Smoke detector radiation source' and 'Generating electricity'.

Volunteers got a feel for energy conversion with a simple generator. A most informative and interesting experience followed by Wine, Laughter and Pizzas.  

The van de Baans, Dutch visitors, gave a graphic presentation of their Antarctic cruise which ended, traumatically, off the Western peninsular, when their 4000 ton ship The “Explorer” (100 passengers and 60 crew) was holed by sea ice.  See pictured of hull below. ”Abandon Ship” at midnight and into open lifeboats (air temp +4C, water -2C); all rescued at 7am. Just one of the four lifeboats engines worked! After 6 hrs in lifeboats in the freezing conditions rescue ships arrived. Explorer sank at 3pm.   No lives were lost because, fortunately, the weather was mild.

Modern History Group Meeting

MODERN HISTORY GROUP meet and hear personal story from survivors of Ship holed by sea ice

Guests Johan & Jenny van der Baan, whose ship went down, are in the photo “ Jenny front right and Johan 3rd from the left in the back row.

The Explorer

MODERN HISTORY GROUP June 2010

chch & Stanley's bd 156

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