Chernobyl Heart

Chernobyl Heart

2004, Environment  -   73 Comments
Ratings: 7.24/10 from 132 users.

Chernobyl HeartOn April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear accident in history occurred when a reactor exploded at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, releasing 90 times the radioactivity of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Sixteen years later, award-winning filmmaker Maryann De Leo took her camera to ground zero, following the devastating trail radiation leaves behind in hospitals, orphanages, mental asylums and evacuated villages. The Academy Award®-winning documentary short debuts immediately after the America Undercover special "Indian Point: Imagining the Unimaginable".

Following Adi Roche, founder of Ireland's Chernobyl Children's Project, CHERNOBYL HEART opens in the exclusion zone, the most radioactive environment on earth. From there, Roche travels to Belarus, home to many of the children she seeks to aid. The film reveals those hardest hit by radiation, including thyroid cancer patients and children suffering from unfathomable congenital birth and heart defects.

Despite the fact that 99% of Belarus is contaminated with radioactive material, many people refuse to leave their homes behind. Asked why he would not move, the father of a radiation victim replies, "To leave the motherland where you were born and raised, where your soul is connected to the earth - I would not want to. To move to a new place is difficult, especially in terms of a job in Belarus and abroad."

In Belarus, only 15-20% of babies are born healthy. Roche comforts children who are born with multiple holes in their heart, a condition known in Belarus as "Chernobyl heart." A lucky few will have their heart problems fixed by Dr. William Novick, who heads the International Children's Heart Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with congenital or acquired heart disease in developing countries throughout the world. After saving the life of a young girl suffering from Chernobyl heart and being humbled by her parents' gratitude, Dr. Novick affirms, "I appreciate this is a bit of a miracle for them...but we have a certain responsibility to these kids."

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73 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Monika Andersson

    I watched the video and I could not stand that angels had to live like that. I would love to help them

  2. Amy

    I couldn't watch more than 13 minutes because I couldn't stop crying. My 8yr old and I are distraught about what these innocent angels have to live with and the fact that not enough people care. We would like to raise awarness and money and maybe some day travel there to help these babies. If anyone has any helpful information

  3. madscirat

    Just ghastly. Conventional nuclear power generation has no business being used in an atmospheric environment and this is why.

    The one thing that disturbs me about the documentary is how children whose lives are obviously an excruciating physical and mental torture are not put out of their misery. Moralize all you want, were you in some of the conditions shown here you would beg for death. The reason for sustaining them, therefore, has nothing to do with compassion for in many of these cases compassion would demand painless euthanasia. Instead of compassion the motivator is selfish, our desire to feel like noble humanitarians and nurturing caregivers. The host reminds me of a little girl I knew. This girl stumbled upon a half dead baby bird. The poor chick was literally being eaten alive by maggots. Immediately the little girl went into nurture mode, placed it in a cage and tried to keep it alive despite the fly larvae wriggling inside it's flesh. I snuck into her house and snapped it's neck as soon as an opportunity presented itself. The morally correct thing to do is not always the prettiest thing to do and it does not always make us feel warm and fuzzy inside.

    1. Agun Yush

      Even though I agree with you that many if not all caregivers want the feeling of being useful and good and thus altruism ultimately is just an illusion, I beg to differ on your moral decision. I think what is moral is to make the right choice, but only when it's our responsibility to do so.
      In many wildlife documentaries we are told that we should let nature take it's course. I propose the same.
      If the train is going to kill 3 pregnant women unless we hit the lever so it only kills one old man, I ask why is it our duty to intervene? because if we do we are actively responsible for the killing of a man. If we don't then we are passively responsible for the death of 3 pregnant women, but passive responsibility is an oxymoron.

  4. Lubog Na Ang Pilipinas

    We look in awe on the ill effects of chernobyl but did we looked on to the hundreds of NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTING done by US and other powerful countries? Chernobyl is only one compared to the hundreds of these demonic nuclear weapon testings. Did chernobyl wreck havoc on europe? Then what about those testings....definitely earth in every part of it is already contaminated thanks to these pigs. No wonder there are a lot of diseases and man is destined to live for only few years younger than before.

  5. Nathan Dempsey

    Agun, pain that exists is worse than pain that does not exist. If there's nothing more to a persons life and it cannot be corrected then theres no reason to extend suffering.

    Theres nothing certain so there may be "some good" in keeping a dying and helpless person alive, but when does it become neglect to pursue our own ideal at the expense of the suffering of others? Its not clear to me. Its too easy for us to take a hard stance and avoid all the difficult fine lines. At least, thats the way I see it.

    On a separate note, I felt this documentary was pretty trashy. The people who made it should be ashamed that they haven't made a case for the very thing they condemn. At best they drew attention to a problem for someone more organized to report about.

  6. Agun Yush

    To all you saying we should kill these children: How do you know that a painful existance is better than no existance at all?

    This is the only time all the atoms forming those children have joined to create a concious being. I know it is not what most of us would consider a life worth living but if we kill them to take away the pain we are also taking away any possibility of them ever feeling the slightest spark of happiness.

    How much pain is the dullest spark of happiness worth? You can't decide that for someone else because your value of happiness is different (in this case much lower) than theirs.

    Once they die they won't even be able to feel the boredom of nothingness.

  7. PLsmscientist

    For heaven sake. Not to condemn nuclear energy but some of these kids should be put to sleep. It seems to me that these are just kept alive for medical and scientific research. Just horrible.

  8. trinimommy

    I felt this program, while informative, treated the people with contempt and disdain. The doctors are capable they just don't have the finances-imperialism in another form.

  9. Deborah Stark

    Thank you for making this beautifully executed documentary available. I always greatly appreciate being able to see for myself what is going on in other parts of the world rather than having to rely on sources in whose interest it is to be less than truthful. This is an extraordinary film.

    1. Charliecharlson

      It is in Adi Roche's interest to be less than truthful (documentary narrator). She represents a charitable organisation that relies on donations to fund its good work, and so wants to pull at views heart strings in order to increase support for her organisation.

      While her cause is undoubtedly right, helping sick children get access to medical treatment they cannot afford, it appears from this film that she is more interested in taking the slant that radiation contamination is directly responsible for all the health defects that are shown here, rather than documenting the factual truth. Statements she makes such as all radiation is dangersous

    2. Charliecharlson

      It is in Adi Roche's interest to be less than truthful (documentary narrator). She represents a charitable organisation that relies on donations to fund its good work, and so wants to pull at viewers heart strings in order to increase support for her organisation. Wheather she does this intentially or not I could not say.

      While her cause is undoubtedly right (helping sick children get access to medical treatment and assistance they cannot afford) it appears from this film that she is more interested in taking the slant that radiation contamination is directly responsible for all the health defects that are shown here, rather than documenting the factual truth. Coverall statements she makes such as all radiation is dangerous is incorrect as we are constantly exposed to both naturally occurring radiation from sun and may other sources such as underlying geological formations. In addition to this other statistical statements are highly suspect, at one point the documentary compares child mortality rates in Belarus (i think it was Belarus anyway), to the rest of Europe with the outcome being that they are higher in the rest of Europe. Western Europe is one of the wealthiest regions in the world with extremely well developed education systems, health care and social services which all contribute to lower infant mortality rates. Compairing a less developed nations infant mortality rate with the rest of Europe in this context is meaningless. There is no doubt in my mind that the the accident in Chernobyl has affected infant mortality rates to some degree, but this documentary can give us no insight to what this degree may be, as it did not compare infant mortality rates with another nations which has similar levels of education, social services and health care.

      The saddest think about documentaries like this is that they are so well and cleverly done that people blindly follow their message and so become anti-nuclear. This delays the developement and investment in nuclear technologies due to governments pandering to their ill informed electorates wishes regarding energy policy, a highly complex topic that requires an army of the best informed economists, engineers, scientists and environmentalists to devise correctly.

      The reason that this is so sad is that every day we delay in progressing with nuclear technologies, we increase our dependence on fossil fuels and resulting CO2 emissions. Renewables (non nuclear renewable that is) simpy can not supply the engery we require now and into the future while also leaving enough land for food production for our rapidly growing population. The only way renewables will meet our energy demands now and in the future is if we convert every square kilometer of available land to renewable energy and food production, which would result in a collapse support ecosystems and leave us up you know what creek anyway. Rising global temperatures in future years will result increased crop failures and famines in the already stressed Sub Saharan Affrica and result in the loss of millions if not billions of lives (children staving to death is a far more horrific situation then suffering of thyroid cancer patients. Some prominent independent scientists believe we have already reached a point where warming of the planet (largely in part to our past emissions of green house gasses) will reduce the planets population to a more sustainable 2 billion from its current 7 billion in the future.

      Anyway, I will leave it at that. But in closing I guess what I am trying to say in a roundabout way is that when discussing issues such as this, do not believe everything that you hear or read (including this post). Go find information for yourself, research both sides of the story for the actual facts, and any of the facts that are presented with an emotional, heart string pulling side severing are probably stated from a biased point of view.

  10. wpsmithjr

    The U.N. has said that only 4,000 deaths can be contributed to the Chernobyl disaster... and less than 5,000 total deaths from nuclear power since the very beginning of nuclear power. Compare that to the 10,000 that die every year from air pollution alone from burning coal, for example. Nuclear power, statistically, is still the SAFEST and CLEANEST form of energy available. The Chernobyl disaster didn't have to happen. The Soviets safety standards were non-existent. Their idea of a containment facility was a tin roof.

    Google: Thorium pebble bed reactor. It cannot melt down. Impossible. Inherently safe.

    Nuclear power is also excellent as a renewable energy source because breeder reactors can breed more fuel.

    We haven't found a safer, more renewable SIGNIFICANT energy source than nuclear power. Sure, it can be dangerous if you operate like the soviets...but it doesn't have to be.

    1. MoolaMails

      Do you work for the Nuclear Energy Industry?

    2. So Solo

      The Soviets. Just the Soviets?

      Or the Japanese? (Fukushima) Or the Americans (Three Mile Island)

      So perhaps your sentence should read "Sure, it can be dangerous if you operate like humankind"


    3. Dale Dewar

      The UN says what the IAEA says and the IAEA has serious conflicts of interest. Before the first meeting to discuss the effects of the fall-out, the IAEA decided upon a number of deaths and has stuck with it even though the doctors who have worked in the area hotly contest both the number and the general findings of "no harm" amongst survivors.

  11. Angela Velazquez

    the only thing i saw here was GREED. these poor people who have nothing but each other have a nuclear reactor parked in their country so soviets could make money from the people who wanted to build the plant. Now that is gone nova, these people are left holding the bag. The operations arent performed because of MONEY. Children die because of MONEY.

    1. Blockade

      well yes the 1st part is greed but i dont think its that much greed anymore i do understand what you mean but imagine the bills for all those that are infected that the gov foots out just to have doctors see them or be available.. the homes intensive care units.. their health care is crushing their economy and you cant squeeze money out of a rock.. im not cold harted ether im am a very caring person..
      but you can only do so much.. with those numbers they are lucky they can even see a doctor..its a juggling act of trying to stabilize the economy keep jobs up attract growth so that they dont plummet and they can even afford what they are giving and the numbers are only going up.. so i do like your drive and passion but there comes a point when you also have to be realistic.. ether stabilize your economy so you can afford to take care of what you are doing or everyone gets everything and you have no country over night.. reality is a sad sad fact sometimes and what is even more dismal is they are still alive.. im not sure i could follow a hippocratic oath there.. some of them are close to brain dead i know i couldnt want to live like that its not right.. but lets be realistic most of their problems are not reversible and if you flooded the health care system the ppl who are healthy and stimulating your economy (working force) if they cant have be taken care of then you have a domino effect and then your working force or ppl that you need for the future start to die off and your nation has no future.. the gov might or maybe could do a lil more but come on we both know besides defense budgets health care is the breaker in ever country..these ppl are dying because money cant all be tied up in one sector if you want to have a country or a future for your nation.. its a sad fact ...and it is a fact... money dont grow on trees.. there lucky im not in charge there.. i would not treat them like dogs but i would not let some of them suffer like that i would put in place a compassionate act to keep them from suffering .. in smaller numbers its manageable but in crazy statistical numbers like that a decision has to be made for the ppl and the future so more money can be freed up for the ones that can recover for surgery.. my last sad fact is it may take 600-900 years before the radioactive iodine particles decay and atoms start becoming more stable and neutralize... so this is only the beginning and you havnt seen NOTHING YET!!!!

    2. Blockade

      part 2
      if you really want we can break this down statistically and scientifically but im not sure even i know the grasp of whats to come..all i know is that those ppl need to move and now!!!!.. like i said this is nothing their government may be building a safety net of money so they have a health care in the future.. like i said do the math break it down numbers are climbing their food and environment is contaminated with the worst of them all Caesium iodine.. it itself will decay rapidly for at least 30 years but because of the graphite it ploomed up high and contaminated a greater area.. but their soil will be contaminated for 100's if years right now the atoms are decaying releasing mainly beta particles that are responsible for the same radiation we use in x rays called gamma rays.. the decay process is the particles in the nucleolus trying to balance themselves as nature normally does its what happens when it has a dense mass that is unbalanced..(not all the time but yes in this case) so we are just getting started and we wont know the true effects of what happened for 100's of years nm the fact that 9 million already died from radiated related illnesses.. so my point what about the millions more to follow.. its not just as easy to say ok im to blame ill take up the fees surgeries for everyone.. they dont have the staff nor even a millionth of the money to do it even if they didnt care about the future of their nation.. so its nice to think just do the right thing but in that case it would do more damage then good... in my closing i will say... some of our greatest heros and greatest men have made some of the controversial decisions about many things and often doing the right thing is the very thing that makes you hated by those who are un educated.. and no its not a jab at you.. look at my punctuation lol im dyslexic tho so dont dismiss the relevancy of fact just on that alone :D.. i do this for education purposes..

      i have a project for you... in small scale dump a liter of marbles on the floor then pick them up with bbq tongs and rationalize a bigger scall to the power of a billion.. and that is still a small scale of how hard it is to make the bad go back right..

      hope this helped you a lil take care and have a family filled christmas :)

  12. SickandTiredofTaxes

    I am not a scholar regarding nuclear energy but it seems to me that as long as mother nature can tear apart the landscape like it did in Japan we really should rethink an energy source that can be as devastating as nuclear energy is. It isn't worth the risk of millions of lives. Scientist keep saying it is only a matter of time before we have some major catastrophe...can't we learn now and change the way things are? I think this should be a wake up call to find efficent and safe energy sources and put to rest these sources that pollute the environment. I don't want to see what this documentary predicted that this reactor will have a second failure....isn't this enough of a tragedy to stop all this craziness.

    1. Blockade

      just a few notes...
      fossil fuels are not the answer and are extremely bad for the environment and ppl ..

      next we have come a far way in our nuclear advancements and i mean far japan problem was really a big problem because they were using plutonium when they shouldnt have been the only reason chernobyl was so devastating was the graphite spread the material and contaminates over a greater area not that it wasnt bad to begin with.. it was a full melt down.. but we sould really be more careful where they are built.. and we should be using this time to be looking for other means like cold fusion.. fission is way to dangerous given the variables of outside interference

  13. Michael Danger Gee

    such a shame, i was born in 1986, and im eternally thankful i was not living in that part of the USSR. The debate will continue about nuclear energy, but it has greatly evolved over the last 30 years. nuclear fusion will hopefully one day replace the high waste producing nuclear fission energy process that we currently have.

  14. Robbo Walker

    @Sherri99516 are you f*****g kidding me...
    nuclear power is one of the cleanest power sources in the world. People being f*****g stupid is what causes things like this or natural disasters cause things like whats going on in japan. banning nuclear power would be the dumbest mistake of mankind. if anything nuclear should be the only power

    1. Courtney Alexandra Craig

      @Robbo Walker, Seriously? Tell me. Was a natural disaster a contribute to the horrifying contamination of Chernobyl, Belarus, Pripyat? You call the people who may make power in your house available, effing stupid? For one, "dumbest" is not a word, and if you really want to take this all seriously, I suggest that you should use some capital letters, maybe some proper punctuation, and words that are actually words. Please give me atleast 3 reasons why Nuclear Power should be the "only" power.

    2. Ben Rowland

      Robbo, let's try think outside the box a little... Nuclear is just another power source that chews up resources, it doesn't make any long term economic sense to build expensive power plants that will be made redundant as soon as uranium is used up.
      Do you know how much is spent on mining alone? Blow your freaking mind.

      sure its fantastic at creating copious amounts of electricity, but who wants to deal with the radioactive waste, its dangerous, hazardous for health and potentially a target for terrorist attacks.

      Bah, just byte the bullet invest the money in renewable energy i say, sure Short term cost is also expensive, however the gains are far superior in the lang run.

  15. sherri99516

    Why can't all non government/corporate citizens get together and ban all nuclear reactors in the world? First one that we know of anyway is the accident induced partial meltdown at Chernobyl and now Japan's disaster plus tons of other reactor sites in the world are now leaking radiation from their plants or on the verge of a major radiation releases like Japan's three full nuclear meltdowns. What's it going to take to stop our governments/global corportation from destroying us all?

  16. docdocdoc

    i was trying to get to Nucleur Nightmares. :(

  17. Yablokov

    It's disheartening to receive comments such as those of Talecia Danskin ('poop') and mostly tygarr1009 ('you're a dumbass...') in response to my link which provides academically-proven & scientifically elaborated evidence of the extent of the Chenobyl disaster. If this is the educational level of those interested in this major radioactive tragedy, possibly radiactive contamination is possibly not that bad. Human stupidity possibly is worse, and has already conquered those of the general public.

  18. Anonymous

    This is all bs, there is no evidence Chernobyl caused this kind of heart anomaly. Anyone that thinks otherwise please point me to the epidemiological study that proves it.

  19. Jake C.

    This was one of the most utterly disturbing documentaries that I have seen. I was born in October of 1986 and so this event hits home with me considering alot of those kids were my age or children of kids my age. My mother was in Turkey at the time of the explosion on an American Air Force base with my father. She was very lucky the direction that the wind was blowing that particular day.... Anyway, very good documentary. I would recommend everyone that thinks that nuking any country is the answer to a international conflict watch this film. No one on earth should be subjected to this. It looks like a hell on earth.

  20. Racheal

    @Brian E,

    "That place is like a teabag of death."

    VERY well stated.
    I'm taking Russian next quarter instead of French like I'd planned. That shit is too crazy.

    Just accept that yes, you are kind of an a$$hole. You hopped on the thread intentionally playing devil's advocate, which is just fine. But don't expect any kind of empathy from people who obviously disagree.


  21. Marina.

    This film made me cry, it was so hard to watch because it brought lots of my memories back. I was born and raised in Kiev and I perfectly remember that day: the whole army of military helicopters were flying over our house, non-stop, day and night, at the same direction, making terrifying noise. Nobody really knew what was going on, people were scared. I was just a 9 year old child at that time. Chernobyl is approximately 75 miles away from our home. A couple of years later my cousin died of a brain tumor, at the age of 9, after painful suffering. He had an open-skull surgery, but it was too late to save his life: the disease already spread all over his brain. The doctors sewed his scull back together and just let him die. They told us his sickness was related to Chernobyl disaster. He was a normal, healthy, smart and a nice boy before he got sick. His Mom was a school teacher. I'm so glad that I got a chance to move to the USA at the age of 25, further away from that aria. My entire family wasn't so lucky as I and they still live in Kiev. Each one of them constantly feels sick all the time. I personally decided not to have kids of my own for many reasons. One of them is a great chance to give birth to a sick child. I'm so grateful that people like Dr.Novick still exist and do their incredible holy mission! My special thanks to Adi Roche too!
    Another thing also came across my mind is there is a huge population of alcoholics and drug-addicts in former USSR nowadays. Those bad habits could also contribute a lot to the birth defects of those innocent children we just saw. Not only Chernobyl by itself...

  22. Luke

    Quite an interesting and often emotional documentary about a subject that seems to go unnoticed. For instance, I had no idea that 95% of Belarus is still dangerously radioactive.
    The idea that the physically wounded and the mentally ill are housed together is just staggering. These 'hospitals' are clearly underfunded and need much more attention.
    However, I'm still left wondering what exactly happened that day.

  23. Connie

    @ Michele
    There is actual technologies for windmill turbines that can produce very well on only 3mph wind speeds right in the dead center of towns and cities. I am sure we already have the technology, but we are not using our own manufactures to make these. Why is our government not supporting our own manufactures and letting these foreign countries steal from us?

    From what I am understanding from our solar studies and my mate being a Civil Engineer and as we started checking out solar in CA and NY, it appears the huge large turbines you speak of are most probably used because they are manufactured and funded by rebates, low interest loans paid back thru long terms from the profits, funded by foreign banks.

    Our Engineering Company has only scratched the surface of checking out renewable energy and this is an obvious scenario.

    And yet we see so many US turbines being developed and yet not manufactured that would well serve better.

    We have met with friends whom have seen how Study and projects were developed for Hydro here even in NY, but guess what? As soon as they make a profit they were shut down by our govt.

    I think we need to take a stand here and check out if my findings are true. If they are we should rally up and speak with a loud voice.

    So Far here in NY Solar panels are not as effective as other places due to humidity and cloudy skies, However they are producing better solar panels and other products.

    We need to rally up our leaders and demand WHY?

    This would be a great project for TDF viewers with good research and wise minds to examine. Some of you have such great research skills. I would love to see you working together on a project. Who knows what you could accomplish.

    We have an Engineer who can help us.

    I'd like to see the Congressman reading a well researched project and cry for solar justice technology here in the States from TDF members.

    Perhaps Vlatko would provide us a separate column for discussing our research on Solar Studies and developments for the US and we could invite others as we go along to join in on our renewable energy research.

    The more I discuss this now with you the more questions I find I am asking myself.
    Like where did all the money go that Our Govt allotted us for renewable energies? I think most went into beefing up the transmission lines but I don’t see anything else. What did we do? Beef up our transmission lines so we could sell out our renewable energy to China so they could own even more of our Country and National Debt.

    All the technology and expertise came from the foreign sources that produced and sold the products and funded the projects.
    We also saw that the first few who were allotted the privilege were big boys whom already were prepared and Armoured with the know how and ins and outs of the renewable energy.
    You see we did have a project going in the Mojave Desert where the big boys were building. We had 100 acres and had 300 more we could add on as our first project. There was a race to beat everyone else but by the time we could study it out and gather the info that was supposedly readily available for everyone we were behind the 8 ball and researching was difficult for you had to already know in order to find the info that was disguised even though it was supposedly public info. Yup it was there but it was tough finding it like a needle in a haystack. Anyhow we were not able to get it done in time to get the huge rebates and take advantage of the wavered application fees that were time sensitive. The initial discretionary Conditional Use Permit application fee for the 100 acre project would have been a non-refundable $13,000. Because of the high costs, these solar projects are dependent on rebates, but the rebates are set up on a declining scale that phases out in three years. This means that if you did not get your project in the very beginning, you did not get your project funded. What I have noticed is, the info on these grants and applications and process, seemed to come more ready available as the refunds are phased out.

    I see looking back that the big boys already were waiting and armoured from the beginning.

    Then I saw how Our Govt due to the war and finances had stopped putting money supposedly into renewable energy for now.

    I would like to see an accounting for the funds Our economy spent, and see the big boys listed. and see how the little guy was treated unfairly.

    I think our people as a whole do not understand how it was not our monies set aside for renewable energy, that was invested by the foreign countries. China is the largest.
    Australia just for the record was selling also but guess what? Australia was busted for selling faulty Panels purchased from China. Wasn't that a wonderful bargain?

  24. zol

    This is at least the second time a different video has linked to here, so a reminder for any future incidents, there's a "Recently Added" tab in the mini-list on the right.

  25. Rina Ralls

    Clicked onto "Becoming Human" and got this nuclear doc. Oh well; this seems to be more interesting so I'll watch this!

  26. Carl Hendershot

    Very disappointed with the so called rulers/elite/shitforbrains. Sad to see Children in a life as such.

  27. JK

    I cried with her at 3:40 like if it was my daughter

  28. Dan

    Marsha, on the one hand you say, "that is completely absurd," but then admit you haven't even read up on it, "Sure, I will check the article." How are you going to claim something is absurd when you haven't yet checked what is being said that you are calling absurd. That's absurd! As to your statement, " and yes, it is true, nature has not become more alive, but rather swelled as a result of the radiation," it's is not clear to me what you are trying to say here. Nature has not become more alive, yet has swelled? Huh? If creatures and plants haven't thrived and survived, then what is doing the swelling? Or else, can you be more specific what you are trying to say? Finally, your last part of what you wrote, "There is genetics that are undeniable. The statistics are overwhelming," - that's just my whole point: I don't find these alleged genetic problems, and/or "overwhelming statistics" that you mention. When i read the studies, articles, and reviews on both sides of the story, I find both sides saying pretty much the same thing. As horrible as the event was, and the pain and suffering it caused, it is not long lasting, nor does it produce any genetic inherit-abilities, and seems to only affect those poor souls who were the generation of victims of the event, not their offspring, or future generations.

    This documentary is simply deceptive and put out by some EWs (environmentalist wackos) who have an agenda, and distort the truth in order to further their cause. Kinda like the myth of global warming. There is no reason to fear nuclear energy, which is why just about every country on earth wants it, and those that are able, use it! Sure, accidents happen, even catastrophic ones, but Chernobyl is made all the more reprehensible because they had the technology to prevent it from happening and didn't use it!! If it could have been prevented in 1986, 24 years ago, and the technology we have today is far superior to then, then it is even safer to use today than it ever was! When I read of statitics, I don't just buy it wholesale just because it was written there. I research to find out about the validity, or lack thereof, of it, from as many sources as i can find. I look to find out the credentials of the sources. Most of the decisions I made about what to believe about the event come from reading articles and studies presented by EWs, and/or those who despise the use of nuclear energy. Sometimes you have to read between the lines.

    Amanda, how many of the children who were affected by Chernobyl do you think are still children? There's no evidence anything passes to the offspring of anyone affected by the catastrophe. And as far as most of the children shown in this documentary, see my earlier post. If I remember correctly, some of them have never even been to Europe, nor have their parents or grandparents.


    1. wpsmithjr

      I agree with you...

      Nuclear power has killed less than 5,000 people... total... since the beginning of nuclear power.

      4,-000 of those people are attributed to Chernobyl...where the Russians used a tin roof as a "containment facility".

      Burning coal kills 10,000 people EVERY YEAR.

      Nuclear power supplies about 30% of our power in the U.S. In France it's 70%. That's SIGNIFICANT.

      There is no safer, cleaner major form of energy available to us. It's just SCARY when things go really people fear it. Meanwhile they continue to live in smog-ridden cities.

      We aren't the smartest animals in the universe.

    2. So Solo

      The documented deaths from nuclear power is a FRACTION of the real death toll. How on earth could you be so stupid? The Americans and the Soviets both systematically covered up the deaths of scores of workers in the race to build the atom bomb. Guess what, it was in their interests to pretend it was safe?

      "We aren't the smartest animals in the universe." No, really? ;/

    3. wpsmithjr

      I agree with you...

      Nuclear power has killed less than 5,000 people... total... since the beginning of nuclear power.

      4,-000 of those people are attributed to Chernobyl...where the Russians used a tin roof as a "containment facility".

      Burning coal kills 10,000 people EVERY YEAR.

      Nuclear power supplies about 30% of our power in the U.S. In France it's 70%. That's SIGNIFICANT.

      There is no safer, cleaner major form of energy available to us. It's just SCARY when things go really people fear it. Meanwhile they continue to live in smog-ridden cities.

      We aren't the smartest animals in the universe.

    4. MoolaMails

      and where does all the radioactive was go? it will eventually leak back into the atmoshphere and kill everything, glad you love nuclear energy so much, maybe we can bury some of it in your backyard.

    5. Charliecharlson

      Radioactive waste wont eventually leak back into the atmosphere. Radioactive elements tend to be very heavy and like all matter must follow the laws of gravity. So if it is to eventually end up anywhere it will be in the ground or worst case in the ground water. Even in this worst case it will not eventually kill everything. You should avoid making statements which you know nothing about, have no basis in reality or even rational thought.

      Oh and as i live in a seismically inactive region, and provided you process it through standard disposal procedures and place it in a suitable containment structure you are more than welcome to bury nuclear waste in my backyard. However there are specially designed sights which are far more secure from the point of view of preventing undesirables from digging up my back yard and getting their hands on nuclear waste which could be used to create a dirty bomb (not an atomic bomb as this can not be created from nuclear waste).

  29. Amanda

    I've just started watching documentaries, and I have to say this one is so sad. What these people have gone through and still are. As a Canadian, we have it so good, there are so many countries, like this one that have gone through so much and here we are taking stuff for granted. My heart goes out too all those children and the parents who are trying there best to save their child.

  30. Michele

    I was spiritually wounded after viewing this program. And I support renewable energy. But I have come to understand Nuclear Energy is the only energy that can meets our voracious needs without the pollution of the Fossil Fuels coal & oil. The entire state of New York would have to be covered by windmills to power New York City, that is ridiculous ans that is why we are not able to use only wind and solar. To defeat the terrorists,go Nuclear and stop buying oil.

  31. jacqsierae

    I watched a doc a couple years ago, about this disaster, that caused all this devastation.
    May the dear Lord, take these babies, in his hands, and make them all angels.

  32. ez2b12

    O.K. I finally found the one I wanted to see. If anyone else is interested in cocain cowboys 2 just go to the search function and you can find it.

  33. ez2b12

    Hey, whats the deal here? The advertisment said this was a documentary called cocain cowboys 2 about some guy writing some cocain queen in prison. Then I click on it and it takes me to this documentary about Chernobyl. I wanted to watch the one about coke, my favorite breakfast food. Thats a joke before you guys get all in a tissy about it, I dont use cocain- i smoke crack!! (ha ha ha) Seriousely though were is the other doc?

  34. Evil_Piggy

    wow....just wow...this is heart breaking, i think the part where the Irish woman told off that nurse who was manhandling the baby shows the Irish womans desire to try and help these children as much she can

  35. Michele

    I'd prefer renewable energy, too, but to power New York City, the entire state of New York would have to be covered with windmills. It doesn't make sense. And try to find a 5-star solar device on Amazon to charge anything, like a car battery or cell phone. Solar doesn't satisfy even these small needs. Nuclear energy is the best option we have, after all these oil spills this year I can't see how anyone who has educated themselves on the safety of Nuclear energy would see otherwise.

  36. Dan

    Carlo, I live a lot less than 35 miles from a nuclear plant, and no I'm not scared. Would I be if there's a meltdown? Duh! But facts are what facts are, it IS the safest energy to date.

    Slaney, whether your statement is true or not, i'm not sure how it pertains to the discussion at hand. However, i studied the issue from multiple sources for and against my point of view, studied the facts and presented them here. I voiced my opinion from a non-closed minded perspective (I examined both sides first to find out what to believe). If you think I'm an a--hole for being open-minded and exercising my right to express my opinion, then what does that say of you?

  37. slaney

    dan is a ass hole

  38. Carlo Coello

    My grandma used to tell me "all in excess or extreme is bad". I think that this saying would be easily applied today to everything the so-called superior species on Earth does. We deplete our oceans from its resources, we burn entire forest just for the sake of it, we pollute our atmosphere and still think that it won't be any effects in the long term, we use all kind of energy sources to make our life-styles more human-like comfortable. Is nuclear energy safe? Sure it is, when properly used. However, for the last six decades, the world has come to see how beneficial as well as how destructive this energy could be, and its effects are long-lasting. Three generations later and there are still genetic defects on those people lucky enough to survive the catastrophe. There are 2 or 3 big nuclear plants close to New York city (within 35 miles), and one of them with more power than the one in Chernobyl. can you imagine what could be the effects if one of those plants would suffered a melting down accident? Would you like to live in the area nearby? What about you Dan? Would you be scared? I guess not. Since you seems to have all the answers. I'll be scared, and I'll try to get away as soon as possible. Simply put, I don't want to be part of the statistics. I agree with you in something, tough. We must be prepared for the worse, and we must get educated. We need to hear both sides of the aisle. We need to be cautious when dealing with powerful sources of energy. We don't need another Chernobyl.
    Peace out!

  39. Karen

    Heart wrenching. I wish more doctors would volunteer their time. People seem to have forgotten their is still a need for help in many ways. When the plant falls down, I am sure there will be more injured.

  40. Joe L

    Can anybody tell me where I can find a reconstruction of the chernobyl disaster ?

  41. julie

    this is the most touching video i have ever watched,ive never cried so much at something in my life,shasa with his little hands and feet,made want too go out there and help and give them the love and help they need,ive started too donate to chernobyl but would like too more too help if i knew how too,it needs too be made more aware off and people around the world need too get more involved and need too learn more about chernobyl

  42. Alex

    It pisses me off that nuclear energy is getting more and more support as the pressure mounts to find alternative energy sources and no one will man up to use sustainable energy. Do people need another Chernobyl before they understand? It is far too easy to shrug off the disaster by saying that it was because of poor management in a poor country. Euphemisms spring up, trying to disguise the fact that the nuclear energy we support today is no different than it was in Chernobyl. When will people get it? Saying the pros outweigh the cons is like saying you don't mind playing Russian roulette as long as you get your dick sucked. Pull your heads out of your asses and do what what needs to be done. Find realistic, safe and sustainable energy alternatives!

  43. louis laureyssens

    let us not count nuclear as green energy.IT IS NOT. the waste is a terrible thing whatever the EXPERTS say.but one thing is sure solar is the energy of the future,followed by wind ,geothermal,hydraulic.and the advance made recently in the "solar panels "is very promising.don't believe the story of the wildlife in Chernobyl.

  44. Brian E

    What a crazy piece of evidence that we are not the responsible species we should be. That place is like a teabag of death.

  45. Masha

    Dan, that is completely absurd. Sure, I will check the article, and yes, it is true, nature has not become more alive, but rather swelled as a result of the radiation. There is genetics that are undeniable. The statistics are overwhelming.

  46. Ben

    Fortunatly, today many of the problems associated with nuclear energy have been mitigated due to advances in nuclear technology and safety procedures. However, there still is a small risk, and of course, the problem of radioactive waste. We should do all we can to convert as large a portion as possible of our energy generation to renewable, alternative enrgy technologies like wind, hydro, solar, and geothermal. The only problem is that they are still relatively expensive and non-constant to provide for all of the world's energy needs, and until the cost comes down and a grid energy storage system is developed, this slack will have to be picked up by nuclear because it does not emit CO2 and can be safely handled, though it still has its risks. For the short term, nuclear energy is the lesser of two evils, the greater being coal power, due to its long-term effects on the climate.

  47. Dan

    LOL! Maybe, can i borrow some of yours. :)

  48. mazzy

    Oh dear, someone forgot to take their anti-psychotic medication today.

  49. Dan

    You know, it's truly sad to see children with such horrible conditions. I have 4 of my own and i couldn't imagine anything half as bad as what we see in this documentary happening to 1 of them. That said, some of the statements made in other posts really have me concerned. Are we so easily deceived? Most of the horrible conditions we see in this film cannot be attributed to radiation in any way. Yet the producer deceptively included these children in her film on purpose to mislead us and tug at our hearts. Apparently, she did her job effectively. Please don't misunderstand. EVERYONE of these children needs our hearts and our compassion!! But we need to keep the facts straight. Instead of just being lead by our noses to believe whatever she wants us to believe, do a thorough study on both sides of the issue of the Chernobyl catastrophe. Look up an article by Stephen Mulvey: Wildlife defies Chernobyl radiation. Keep in mind he doesn't like nuclear power anymore than most of you. But view the effects of the disaster on the animals. If the effects are not as catastrophic on the animals, and only lasting for one generation, as his article demonstrates, then i suggest the results are probably the same with humans as well. That's just one report. Look up the many on both sides of the issue. There is no denying it was a horrific event!! But are there people who are trying to make it larger than it actually was? And, if she did knowingly use children in her film in those conditions, who are NOT the victims of radiation, just to strengthen her "cause", she is a despicable human-being and should be stripped of her award for this film to say the least. Also, if nuclear waste is as bad for the earth and the environment as they say it is, then why are those who are against using nuclear energy, the safest and cleanest energy to date, saying they might like to put the waste in the middle of a tropical forest just to keep humans away? I know the statement was not meant to be taken in earnestness, but the point was still made that nuclear waste is relatively safer for nature than was originally thought. Geesh, stop believing things just because there are people out there saying, "oh this is bad!!" and/or, "oh they are destroying the earth." Go find out for yourself the truth of the matter. And don't just look at what they are saying, look at what the opposition is saying too! and why! Otherwise, you're your own worst enemy, and you wind up hurtin the earth instead of helping it.

  50. roisin marie

    i think the saddest thing of all this is that it was human doing all these people are suffering because we think this is the way to advance in tech. and the government is now pushing for us to build more nuclear plants so we have alternative energy can you imagine more Chernobyls nuclear has been a failure from the beginning and all these peoples lives that have been ruined is a testimony to this.. so next time your government pushes for more nuclear power have the images of these little kids and think twice.

  51. Nix

    Wow, I don't even much like children, (I'm crotchety), and this is one of the saddest docus I've ever seen. The amount of terrible things that have, and will come from the Chernobyl meltdown is frightening and appalling. It's unfortunate to know that humanity will continue to pursue some technologies without ever considering the far reaching implications.

  52. Joe


  53. Charles

    Very touching documentary. I understand the risks of having kids there, but they are wiling to take the chances, because it's a basic human desire to have kids. As long as they are living there, the birth defects will continue, yes. It's so heart wrenching. I wish had had never discovered nuclear power sometimes. I wish relocation was an option for them. There just isn't any easy answers.

  54. Hate_Machine

    Depleted uranium (DU) is uranium primarily composed of the isotope uranium-238 (U-238). DU is useful because of its very high density of 19.1 g/cm3. Civilian uses include counterweights in aircraft, radiation shielding in medical radiation therapy and industrial radiography equipment, and containers used to transport radioactive materials. The use of DU in munitions is controversial because of numerous questions about potential long-term health effects. Normal functioning of the kidney, brain, liver, heart, and numerous other systems can be affected by uranium exposure, because in addition to being weakly radioactive, uranium is a toxic metal. DU is less toxic than other heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury.

    Im pretty sure you used to be able to buy Uranium in childrens "chemestry sets". Is it going to take 4 billion years for nature to resolve what United Nuclear Scientific Supplies will send you in the mail? We fear what you do not understand, sadly you fear a lot.

  55. Alex

    Alex here is not the Christian Alex, of the Zeitgeist threads.
    By the way "Alex", God bless you!
    (You have a nice name I must say :) :))

  56. Alex

    if you think this is bad, you should see what the US army did to Iraqi children in the gulf war, with all the deplated uranium dropped over iraq, nature will need more than 4 billion years to resolve it

  57. Aaron

    Were is Doctors without borders??