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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Positive Scram Effect

#chernobyl #soviet #positivescram

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster

Adam Higginbotham

2019

Link

2019-07-03

"In the meantime NIKIET circulated a notification of the positive scram effect to the senior managers of all RBMK plants, but swept along in a blizzard of bureaucracy, tangled in secrecy, the news never reached the reactor operators." - Adam Higginbotham, Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster (2019)

Some criticisms of the HBO Miniseries claimed that the positive scram effect was unknown, which is false, or that it was not covered up. It was apparently sorta covered up, certainly from some who needed to know about it. Part of the drama is Valery Legasov finding redacted documentation related to the scram and positive void effect, as the government comes down blaming only the operators. The positive void effect is a function of the type of reactor and shouldn't have been a secret, but degree of influence might have been. I think the show is mostly accurate in this.