Ukraine A-Glowin'

The MacDougal May 8 1996, Issue 27

By Howard Fienberg

What was initially reported by officials as a small radiation leak at the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant was later reported on April 25 to have been the improper handling of nuclear waste. Apparently, a plant worker didn't seal the container correctly, leaving the waste partially exposed.

Officials at Chernobyl claimed that the carelessness of this worker did not expose him or his coworkers to "higher levels of radiation than normal." Exactly what is a 'normal' level of radiation in this geiger-counter-burning playground, which may already have given cancer to much of the Ukrainian and Russian populations?

The ever-dilligent worker was suspended, and officials said that he was being ordered to retake safety exams. Are they multiple-guess or true-false? Best ten out of twelve? Can we really entrust the nuclear safety of the world to these chaps?

To conclude, always read the international summaries in the corner of your paper: they are most often the stories that surprise you on the front page soon after.

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