Chernobyl in September?

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Carl Willis
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Chernobyl in September?

Post by Carl Willis » Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:06 am

I'd like to mention the last-minute availability of two slots on the upcoming Chernobyl educational and radiological training program that Erik Kambarian and I are coordinating in conjunction with the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) on Sept. 6-12.

This is an opportunity to--among other things--visit the interior of the world's most famous nuclear power plant, enter the "Local Zone" high-radiation work areas near the Shelter Object (Unit 4 sarcophagus), enter some parts of the Shelter Object, learn how radiation protection and work practices function in this unique environment, observe up-close and first-hand the progress on the New Safe Confinement, and visit the abandoned satellite city of Pripyat. Some radiological classroom and field activities will be included, and a certificate of course completion is issued by ChNPP. We provide transportation from Kiev to Slavutych, all transportation in the Exclusion Zone, lodging in Slavutych, mid-day meals at the ChNPP cafeteria (delicious Ukrainian food!), English-speaking translators and plant personnel, experience (this is my fourth trip), and a sense of adventure. The participant list is limited to 12 people and was full until this morning. Coordinating this program is not a commercial activity for Erik or myself...we're merely organizers and fellow attendees, so we think the cost is very approachable. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, please send me a reply, an email (carl.willis@gmail.com) or call me at +1-505-412-3277; I will send a PDF description of the planned activities and program cost. We'll strongly favor the participation of people with some career background in radiation safety or emergency response in the interest of having a common foundation for the discussions that happen at ChNPP. Airline travel to Kiev is NOT part of our program, and time is of the essence if you want good fares. I hope we might have another Fusor.net groupie along with us!

Finally: please feel free and encouraged to bring gamma spec gear, basic Geiger counters, or what-have-you on this trip. They WILL get a workout. (Some high-end instruments may be export-controlled to Ukraine from the US or other jurisdictions...we can talk about that if it might be a problem.)

Best regards,
Carl Willis
Albuquerque, NM
+1-505-412-3277
Carl Willis
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Andrew Robinson
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Re: Chernobyl in September?

Post by Andrew Robinson » Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:03 pm

This has always been on my bucket list Carl and I would LOVE to go! I also hate to be "that guy". It might be good to post this up though. I'm not trying to rain on the parade, but it is still important to remember whats going on over there right now regardless of how far away and how much the media tends to inflate things. Things can always change very quickly.

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Frank Sanns
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Re: Chernobyl in September?

Post by Frank Sanns » Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:28 pm

Geographically they are quite far apart. I would not expect the situation at the former power plant to be much different than it was when Carl went the last time. It is a colorful country with some risk but much adventure. The plant itself is probably many times more adventure and risk than anything spilling over from the southeaster regions of Ukraine.

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Re: Chernobyl in September?

Post by Andrew Robinson » Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:32 pm

Yeah, like I said too, quite distant, but you never know what can happen (MH17 for example). Then again all hell could break loose any day right here in our own backyards so... Just thought I would add it as a cautiously friendly reminder.
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Carl Willis
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Re: Chernobyl in September?

Post by Carl Willis » Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:39 pm

It is true that there are active conflict zones within Ukraine. However, these are far removed from northern Ukraine (Chernobyl), and are not overflown by flights from Europe and Russia arriving at Kiev. The intrusion of regional geopolitical instability should be minimal or nonexistant to this program, with possible restrictions on convenience at airport border controls, etc. being the only anticipated impact. This will be my fourth trip to Chernobyl, and I've always felt that the condition of the country's roads and drivers is the dominant safety problem we deal with--not Donetsk separatists, not "hot particles", but the terrifying combination of local traffic customs, cheap Soviet vehicles, elephant-sized potholes, and $1.00 bottles of vodka.

One plus side to traveling to Chernobyl this year is some very favorable airfares, likely kept low by the prospect of cheaper fuel and a depressed tourism economy in Ukraine. So give it a thought!

-Carl
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Andrew Robinson
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Re: Chernobyl in September?

Post by Andrew Robinson » Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:44 pm

On a side note, will you be in Richmond this October Carl? Bring some more plasma tubes, as I never heard back from you last time :)
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Carl Willis
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Re: Chernobyl in September?

Post by Carl Willis » Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:13 pm

Hi Andrew, I think it's probably unlikely that I will be at HEAS this year. It's unfortunately a very busy time at work and I don't want to over-commit myself.

-Carl
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Andrew Robinson
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Re: Chernobyl in September?

Post by Andrew Robinson » Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:45 pm

Unfortunate. You will be missed by many this year.
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Re: Chernobyl in September?

Post by Richard Hull » Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:24 am

I will second that. Carl will certainly be missed.

Richard Hull
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