The place Chernobyl. The time April 25 and 26, 1986. Involved, a nuclear power plant. Chernobyl then a part of Russia. Today, the Ukraine.
Russia had installed 4 nuclear reactors.
The nuclear power plant exploded and burned.
Thirty percent of 190 metric tons of uranium entered the atmosphere as a result.
Today, some 35 years later, Chernobyl remains uninhabitable. Experts estimate it may not be habitable for 20,000 years.
Russia established a 19 mile wide “exclusion zone.” Three hundred thirty five thousand people were evacuated.
It was estimated monitoring and cleanup would continue to at least 2065. Even then, people would not be able to live in the area.
The actual number who died is uncertain. Uranium caused physical problems many times take years to evidence themselves. Sometimes, generations.
It has been determined that 6,000 children and adolescents alive at the time and in the area developed thyroid cancer. Many persons suffered from other radiation problems.
Eleven years later in 1997, a woman came to visit me. Her 10 month old daughter was with her. A beautiful blond haired baby.
A portion of one of the baby’s arms was missing from just above the elbow down. She had been born that way.
Turns out her husband lived and worked 14 miles from Chernobyl when the explosion occurred. His wife lived nowhere near the site.
Years later when living in the U.S., they met and married. The baby she was holding was their first born.
The mother suspected Chernobyl had something to do with it. Her husband was obstinate, however. He would not see a doctor, be tested, nor agree to have the baby tested, to determine why the baby was born with one arm dramatically short. I suspect mentally he did not want to bear responsibility.
The mother obviously had spoken to several doctors. All suspected Chernobyl as the cause. None knew enough to guide her further. She had been told the radiation could have affected her husband’s testicles and semen resulting in the problem.
Could I help?
I knew less than her doctors. I told her such, but agreed to look into the matter.
It took me 4 months to get a handle on it. I read a lot. Spoke with lawyers, doctors and scientists in the U.S., London and Berlin. The U.S. “experts” directed me to the London and Berlin ones.
I learned a lot. None of which was helpful to the baby.
Yes, the male’s testicles and semen most likely were the cause. However, I was advised there was no where to go to obtain monetary relief for the child. Others had tried with little to no success.
Russia, the Ukraine, radiation experts, other type experts, etc. blocked the way. I would end up devoting 5 years to a case that was absolutely non winnable.
I suspected the case was non-winnable when I agreed to look into it. It was not the first time I learned a basic tenet taught in law school was wrong.
We were taught for every wrong there was a remedy. Good luck! I could not get the baby a new arm. A for real one. I could not get her monetary compensation.
There was nowhere to go.
The case was so convoluted I knew I would even find a court to hear the case. Every court would deny jurisdiction. The case was a loser.
The mother understood. I had never given her false hope.
Chernobyl is today as it has been since the explosion. A ghost town, except for some environmental clean up experts. Persons who could not actually clean up. Rather were working to minimize the effects of the explosion.
Enjoy your day!
Hey Lou, HBO’s miniseries “Chernobyl” was very well done. 5 episodes done by a British production company. Characters all speak English and it’s easy to follow the story and the failings of communism.