The Future of Chernobyl
From Death to Revival
Login or Create an Account
With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!
The Future of Chernobyl: From Death to Revival
April 26, 1986, is a day that will live in infamy for Ukraine and the world. In Chernobyl, Ukraine, on this day 30 years ago our planet experienced the harbinger of nuclear fission gone wrong. The much-feared nuclear “positive void coefficient” disaster, where a runaway atomic reactor melts down and explodes tons of radioactive debris into the atmosphere, actually happened. The days after the explosion were filled with anxiety, sickness and gruesome death for the Ukrainian people of Pripyat, the planned “atom city” adjacent to the nuclear plant where workers and their dependents lived.
This was during the era of Soviet propaganda. There was no news coverage of the incident. People breathed radioactive dust and debris as the Chernobyl cloud drifted high and far, eventually reaching remote parts of Europe. The afternoon after the disaster, 43,000 residents (including children) were evacuated by hundreds of buses. Early Soviet medical reports claimed that little after-effects were either evident or expected from the people exposed. As history has confirmed, this was a lie.
Within 10 years of the incident, countless cases of radiation-induced cancer and other aliments were reaching epidemic proportions. This was the worst nuclear accident in history in terms of cost and effect on health, the mental state of a nation and the world. In addition, the battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved more than 500,000 workers (called “liquidators”), many of whom died shortly after their duty. Long-term effects such as cancers are still being studied. The psychological state of the nation created new terms such as “radiophobia,” paranoia of harmful invisible radiation affecting everything in your life.
As regular readers of this blog know, I am of direct Ukrainian heritage and have many relatives living in Ukraine. My second cousins in Ukraine are officially classified as “Chernobyl Children” because of when and where they were born in proximity to the infamous reactor.
In 1996, 10 years after the incident, through a series of connections in the United Kingdom, I traveled to Ukraine with Maurice Frohn, well-known endocrinologist who specialized in thyroid cancer. He was also a pediatric specialist. There we visited depressing hospitals and wards with young cancer patients, predominantly thyroid cancer. At the time of the accident a radioactive cloud of iodide moved east of Chernobyl over the city of Chernihev. Many unprotected people—notably young girls—developed thyroid cancer and required surgery to remove the thyroid, meaning that they had to live the rest of their lives taking thyroxin to replace the hormone their body no longer produced.
On our visit to Chernihev, 35 miles east of Chernobyl, we met a fearless pediatrician, Dr. Vasyl Pasichnyk. He had been the head pediatrician in the province who treated the first victim children of Chernobyl. He was a “whistleblower” who challenged Soviet officials at the time of the disaster. Suspicious military maneuvers with helicopters towards the nuclear reactor caught his attention on April 26. No news was forthcoming to explain what this was all about. He was apprehensive and drove west with a Geiger counter. The reading was off the scale. Alarmed, he alerted officials warning them that there were many people with children in the hugely elevated radioactive area. Officials brushed him off and told him that his Geiger counter needed “recalibration.” Dr. Pasichnyk continued to challenge Soviet authorities about the seriousness of the Chernobyl incident and was demoted from chief pediatrician.
Along with a few other doctors and his neurologist wife, he managed to open a rehabilitation center for children called “Revival” in Chernihev 10 years after the explosion. This was when we first visited him. For the past 20 years the Revival center has helped hundreds of disabled children and young people. They provide a marvelous service. This was so inspiring to me that it served as a critical catalyst for the founding of LifeNets International. Through donations from around the world, LifeNets first provided needed equipment and supplies shipped via containers. It helps fund the Revival center to this day (read all about it here).
But when a Chernobyl anniversary comes up—in this case 30 full years since that horrible night—it just serves to illustrate a dimension of futility. Why did this happen in the first place? Why was the disaster covered up for days? And why, 30 years later, are people still worried that it can happen again? These are important questions. Humanity appears again and again to be incapable of managing energy and power. Chernobyl was a “peaceful” use of energy. An unintended accident brought so much grief. The use of nuclear weapons to intentionally harm entire populations is suicidal. Civilization would not survive.
In Jesus Christ’s apocalyptic prophecy in Matthew 24 He makes a statement that could only make sense and be possible in our time: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened" (Matthew 24:21-22). The earth would not survive without Christ’s direct intervention. We can read and authoritatively understand from the pages of the Bible what lies in store for mankind.
If you wonder about what’s going to happen to this earth that’s armed to the teeth with thousands of nuclear weapons and if they will ever be used, I’d like to offer you our free study aid The Book of Revelation Unveiled. Revelation, the final book of the Bible, tells us the final story about the outcome of man’s civilization. You can read our study aid online or order it by mail. Just as is with the Dr. Pasichnyk’s Revival center for children, there is a global revival coming for all mankind. The Bible reveals both why humanity suffers from disasters like Chernobyl and its aftermath, and how a loving God will powerfully intervene and raise humanity to heights yet unexplored!