Talk:Chernobyl disaster

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Former featured article candidate Chernobyl disaster is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
May 7, 2006 Good article reassessment Delisted
January 3, 2009 Featured article candidate Not promoted
Current status: Former featured article candidate
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The fist sentence should read: "at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the city of Pripyat, located in the then Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union (USSR)" instead of: "at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the city of Pripyat, then located in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union (USSR)". It did not physically move.


Currency - can someone change the opening para to correct the 1:1 conversion rate between Roubles/USD? One rouble is worth around 2 cents currently...

Abortion propaganda?[edit]

Can someone remove the two paragraphs of anti-abortion propaganda that are in this article? In most countries, abortions are not "deaths." By including an extensive discussion about increased elective abortions, the article violates the NPOV standard.Helpful professor (talk) 06:46, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

Leaving aside the glaring fact that the peer-reviewed quotation presently in the article, states these were indeed "deaths", and therefore you charge of NPOV is entirely without merit, to say the least.
You seem a bit confused, so can you provide a reference to this "most countries" opinion of yours? Because as far as I'm aware, the present situation is that most countries don't consider the human fetus a "person", so legally it is not "murder" to abort. Is this what you are getting confused with?
As that is a completely separate issue from what you're claiming, as "most countries" actually do legally or (more importantly) scientifically regard it as a "death" of a human, which it quite clearly is, especially after the heart/nervous system/brain develops. No more or less than say, the deaths of dolphins.
On the topic of relevance, as a thought experiment, could you ask yourself the question that, assuming the radiation had actually inflicted stillbirths on a large scale, then would you not acknowledge this outcome as part of the human death-toll? I sure would, so it appears to be a bit of a double-standard to exclude the anxiety-abortions, in my humble opinion. In fact, one particular anti-nuclear advocate Joseph Mangano, claims(with no support from the broader medical community) that Fukushima caused stillbirths on the West coast of the US, so the question of pregnancy outcomes is very much a relevant addition.
Lastly, I've no interest in getting into an abortion debate with you, but the scientific consensus is that they are indeed deaths, no more or less than say, the deaths of dolphins.
However if you can provide a WP:RELIABLE scientific-reference for your personal view that they are not considered "deaths", then by all means share it.
Boundarylayer (talk) 01:46, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

I've removed the material again. I don't find any of the above persuasive in the least. Protonk (talk) 11:01, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

What reliable sources WP:RS are you invoking that over-ride the substantial medical literature? Currently, you do not present any reasoned or substantiated rationale here, but perhaps you actually do have something worth considering?
Boundarylayer (talk) 13:19, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Hi. You can tone it down a notch. I read what you wrote above and it was incredibly condescending. You can make an affirmative case for the material you want to include without adding comments like "You seem a bit confused" or "perhaps you actually do have something worth considering". Assume good faith of other editors.
I understand that there is literature about selective abortions in the wake of the accident, and that should be included in the article as such. What editors have been disputing is the characterization of those abortions as "verifiable human deaths" and the prominent placement in the article. Protonk (talk) 13:40, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
"I don't find any of the above persuasive in the least". Secondly, the actual references and indeed the prominent quotation taken from one of the refereed papers, states unequivocally, that these were "fetal deaths" and that they are the only verifiable ones that are known. The concern over potential pregnancy outcomes was, and continues to be large in the public conscience, that you suggest that it doesn't deserve such "prominent placement" in the article, is patently absurd.
By right, the article should begin with the 29 deaths that occurred soon after the accident, the few thousand fetal deaths caused by radiophobia, then the 30 odd deaths that are regarded to have been due to the accident(that is the 9 children who have so far died from thyroid cancer) and then and only then, should the article get into pretty speculative cancer projection numbers. Numbers which are about as dubious as it comes, as how are we to know what the state of cancer treatment will be in the year "2065"?
Do you follow me? We should begin the overview section with what is known with certainty and then move out into increasingly speculative projections of deaths that haven't happened yet. Does this not seem proportionate and logical to you? Right now however, the overview section is decidedly silent on what is known and instead, spends all of its content on speculative things that might happen in "2065". A state of affairs that is clearly backwards in its priorities.
Boundarylayer (talk) 16:57, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

"Verifiable Human Deaths" in the Overview[edit]

I'm undoing User:Boundarylayer's reversion of my edit. Four paragraphs about fear abortions in the overview is giving it undue weight, and it's not clear from the section title (Verifiable Human Deaths) that the section is going to be about the resulting abortions. Plus, The Verifiable Human Deaths section is basically an expansion of the Abortion Requests section that's farther down the page. Having all of that information under Abortion Requests just makes sense and makes the article easier to navigate. Kaciemonster (talk) 16:43, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

So what your arguing is, that contrary to the medical community, "you feel" that the "fear abortions" are receiving undue weight? That is, the largest verifiable fatality effect from the accident, is getting undue weight?
Okay...From what I've read, the issue of the increased number of abortions after the accident, was-and-continues-to-be treated with very high interest and notability by the medical community and even apparently by the IAEA themselves. Such elevation by the scholarly community clearly necessitates that any encyclopedic discussion on the accident should have the "mutation worries->abortion requests" dimension to the accident, receiving its fair dues, specifically that is, to place the information closer to the top of the article, and not to bury it way down in the page, where the page is interspered with terribly researched claptrap and therefore again, it really does not belong.
Secondly, the purpose of the overview section is to do exactly that, provide an overview of the salient and important effects of the accident. Yet in your edit, you have not attempted to summarize the abortion requests/fetal deaths in the overview of the article. You've instead decided to completely remove all mention to the largest verifiable human fatality effect from the overview section. To which I can only ask; how can you regard this as appropriate, proportionate or an improvement?

Boundarylayer (talk) 17:11, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
This should not be controversial. An article on the Chernobyl disaster should have it's main focus be on the disaster. The abortion requests were a result of that disaster. Having the information as a subsection under Human Impact and not right up front is reasonable, and it gives the section the context it needs right in the heading, unlike Verifiable Human Deaths.
Based on the section above, I'm not the only person who has objections to the way the section is presented. You opened your message on my talk page by saying that you might be biased because you wrote the section, but that doesn't mean you should ignore it when multiple editors raise concerns about the way your content is being presented in the article. Just because you think the rest of the article is poorly researched doesn't mean we should put what you wrote at the top. It makes sense to have that information in the Abortion Requests section, and I think it should stay there. Kaciemonster (talk) 17:49, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm still not seeing an actual well reasoned explanation for what you all seem to regard as the largest verifiable fatality effect from the accident, is getting undue weight? - So you make an edit to the article that removes all mention to this and you place it 2/3rds of the way down in the article instead. Are you by any chance trolls?
I removed a line that was contradicted in the next sentence and moved your section to an already existing section with a better title. I don't see how that makes me a troll. Kaciemonster (talk) 18:27, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
The overview section should summarize what the human effects of the accident were. Right now, in the present edited state that you prefer, the overview section goes on-and-on about "cancer projections", which are as the name suggestions, dubious and speculative effects that haven't happened and may never happen. By right, as I detail above, the overview of the article should give priority to what actually happened and only at the end of the overview, should a bit on "projections" be mentioned. As having an overview section that spends its entire time mulling over what might/"maybe happen by the year 2065" and yet remain totally silent on what actually really did happen, is backwards in the extreme.
Boundarylayer (talk) 18:03, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
What really did happen is people might have gotten abortions because of the disaster. That's based on information from the section you wrote. "Worldwide, an estimated excess of about 150,000 elective abortions may have been performed on otherwise healthy pregnancies out of unfounded fears of radiation from Chernobyl, according to Dr Robert Baker and ultimately a 1987 article published by Linda E. Ketchum in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine which mentions but does not reference an IAEA source on the matter." The overview should be a summary of the content in the article (which honestly the lede should already be doing), or important background details that are necessary to understand information that comes later in the article. It definitely doesn't need 4 paragraphs of "There might have been a lot of abortions" when there's already a section for that purpose located in a spot that is less confusing. Kaciemonster (talk) 18:17, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
It appears you did not read past the first few lines? As it is verifiable that a few thousand abortions were directly due to the chernobyl accident. In writing the section I purposefully convey that the number "150,000" is so far, uncorroborated. As we don't have the data from the Ukraine nor Belarus. So with that claim given its fair dues, I then delve into the actual verifiable medical literature from Greece, were 2500 occurred etc.
Secondly, as I've said already, I do actually advocate a re-structuring of the overview section to include what is known and what is just speculation. Right now, as is plain to see, the overview section just goes on-and-on about cancer projection nonsense that might happen by the year "2065", if and only if, the fantastical notion that advances in cancer treatment technology somehow cease at the 2006 level(a rarther absurb notion I hope you can grasp?). Now, while it is definitely worth mentioning these dubious medical projections, the overview section is clearly no place for the mary-mother of make-believe suggestions/"science fiction" of the green party and greenpeace. Especially when evidence exists of actual verifiable cause-and-effect consequences of the chernobyl accident, consequences that presently do not have the slightest mention being given to them-thanks to none other, than your edits. In summary, the very fact that you misrepresent the entire section I wrote; on what is known with certainty, signals nothing else but that you are not qualified to really discuss the matter. When you care to inform yourself of the actual medical literature that I took the time to summarize for readers, I'd be willing to discuss this further with you. Until then I hope you can see, there isn't much point.
Boundarylayer (talk) 07:54, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
I read the whole section. That was how I determined that it didn't belong in the overview. None of those abortions were verifiable human deaths, and putting information about it in a section labeled as such at the very top of the article is not only misleading, but it's giving undue weight to ONE ASPECT of the mass panic that occurred after the accident, which is honestly clear from many of the articles you cited.
I don't care about your feelings on the cancer projections section. If it bothers you that much, move it to a different place in the article, but I didn't move it because it was at least clear from the section title what the section was about.
Stop attacking your fellow editors. You're not the gatekeeper for this article and don't get to decide who can and can't make edits to it.  Kaciemonster (talk) 13:28, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

This article seems to be well researched, however, the continuous use of the word "probably" throughout multiple sections (ex. Causes: Operator Error, Human Impact: Abortion requests) makes the information presented to be less verifiable and fact-based. The sources referenced to support those claims (if there were sources referenced) do not seem to be the strongest sources. (talk) 05:04, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Supreme Soviet (Supreme Council), not Verkhovna Rada[edit]

"Valentyna Shevchenko, then Chairman of the Presidium of Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR" should be "Valentyna Shevchenko, then Chairman of the Presidium of Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR"

We are talking about 1986. Verkhovna Rada was established in 1991. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:33, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

The change was made. Thanks for pointing that out. Netherzone (talk) 20:13, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Now it reads "then Chairman of the Presidium of Verkhovna Rada Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR", which is also incorrect. It's just "Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR" without "Verkhovna Rada". Although, historically, Verkhovna Rada is, indeed, the successor of Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, but the official namechange took place only after the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Sorry for obtrusiveness. :-) (talk) 03:45, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Why don't you just fix it? Netherzone (talk) 12:20, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

I don't want to register and then learn how to Wiki just to fix this one small mistake. Also I'm not a native English speaker (which means my English is far from good), so there is really no reason for me to edit English wiki pages. I just happened to notice it, thought I could tell someone here... (talk) 06:15, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

Source does not contain the fact[edit]

B. Medvedev (June 1989). "JPRS Report: Soviet Union Economic Affairs Chernobyl Notebook" (Republished by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service ed.). Novy Mir. Retrieved 27 March 2011.

This source does *not* say anything about that 'in the vincinity of' the 4th reactor experienced 300 Sieverts/hour, AFAIK. Whoeverver wrote this, please specify!

It is on page 24, upper right. Ruslik_Zero 18:47, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Confirming on Page 24 of report JPRS-UEA-034-89, it states: "30,0000 roentgens per hour plus the powerful neutron radiation". Netherzone (talk) 20:12, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 16 February 2017[edit]

In the section where the date of the incident is mentioned on the right hand side box, I would like to update the bit that says 30 years ago to 31 years ago, as it is soon the 31st anniversary of the incident. Goldflaw (talk) 21:11, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

There's no need to do so. The infobox date is connected to software that automatically updates on the anniversary of the event. Haploidavey (talk) 21:28, 16 February 2017 (UTC)