The Chernobyl Accident-Can it Happen Here?

  • Bernard L. Cohen


It is very difficult to predict the future of scientific developments, and few would even dare to make predictions extending beyond the next 50 years. However, based on everything we know now, one can make a strong case for the thesis that nuclear fission reactors will be providing a large fraction of our energy needs for the next million years. If that should come to pass, a history of energy production written at that remote date may well record that the worst reactor accident of all time occurred at Chernobyl, USSR, in April of 1986.


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  1. 1.
    B. L. Cohen, “The Nuclear Reactor Accident at Chernobyl, USSR,” American Journal of Physics, 55, 1076 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Soviet Report on the Chernobyl Accident, English Translation. U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, D.C. (August 1986).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation, “Sources, Effects, and Risks of Ionizing Radiation,” New York (1988).Google Scholar

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© Bernard L. Cohen 1990

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  • Bernard L. Cohen

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