Chernobyl: The Inevitable Results of Secrecy

Alexander Shlyakhter and Richard Wilson

Public Understand. Sci. 1 251-259 (1992), Chernobyl special issue


The Chernobyl accident was the inevitable outcome of a combination of bad design, bad management and bad communication practices in the Soviet nuclear industry. We review the causes of the accident, its impact on Soviet society, and its effects on the health of the population in the surrounding areas. It appears that the secrecy that was endemic in the USSR has had profound negative effects on both technological safety and public health.

Keywords: Chernobyl, secrecy, radiation, USSR

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