PSA – Mushroom Clouds Are Not Necessarily Nuclear

There have been two notable explosions in Russia this past week.

  1. An arms storage depot exploded at Achinsk, near Krasnoyarsk, in Siberia. Every summer, a couple of arms storage depots explode in Russia. They have a lot of them, and their safety measures leave something to be desired. Explosions have continued for a week. Once they start, it’s dangerous to fight the fire that started them and continues. Better to evacuate the area (which has been done) and let the burning and exploding continue until there’s nothing left. Two people or more were killed and a dozen or so injured.

This event has produced some impressive video. Because of the relative humidity, you can see the shock wave as water in the air condenses and evaporates rapidly. Mushroom-shaped clouds have resulted. Large enough explosions, whether conventional or nuclear, produce mushroom clouds. Mushroom clouds are not a marker for a nuclear explosion.

  1. Something blew up at Nenoksa, near the Severodvinsk Naval Base in far northwestern Russia. Reports are fragmentary and somewhat contradictory. Five people were killed and several injured. Suspicions that the Russian government is withholding information are exacerbated by the recent showing of Chernobyl. When the Chernobyl reactor blew up, the Soviet government covered it up until they couldn’t. Which is not to say that the Russian government is or is not covering up now. So far, the confusion looks to me like the normal confusion associated with a disaster, compounded by a secret project and a desire not to admit it’s going badly.

The Russian government has now admitted that a radioactive source was associated with the Severodvinsk blast. Put that together with the Achinsk mushroom cloud and…mnh-hmnh, the crazies are running with it, which is why I am writing this post. There have been conflicting reports about radiation detected in the city of Severodvinsk. At most, it seems to have been a transient pulse of a relatively small amount of whatever it was. No abnormal radiation has been detected in Europe. We should hear more about that in the coming week.

Here’s a map. The pin is at the Severodvinsk Naval Base. Look toward the right, almost past Kazakhstan, and there’s Krasnoyarsk.

 

 

Here’s the video of the very impressive explosion at Achinsk. There’s another one of a later explosion there that also shows the shockwave well and a mushroomish cloud.

I have some thoughts about what may have happened in the Nenoksa explosion. I’ll write another post on that.

NONE OF THESE EXPLOSIONS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS

 

Update: A friend who spends time in Krasnoyarsk pointed out to me that I had the map wrong. I corrected it.

Cross-posted at Nuclear Diner






120 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    Apocal-oops now.

    ;)

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Brachiator says:

    Thanks for this. I suppose that in the absence of honest reporting out of Russia, we have to rely on the assessment of people who have a deep knowledge of these issues.

    Some of the BBC news reports seemed pretty good. I don’t recall a lot of wild speculation.

    I wonder whether the recent tv series about Chernobyl pushes people to jump to nuclear conclusions, and also to think they know more about what’s happening than they really do.

  4. 4
    David Koch says:

    In the Lynn Novick and Ken Burns documentary on Vietnam they show a giant ammo dump being blown up by the Viet Cong that created a mushroom cloud (photo) US soldiers thought the air force had dropped an atomic bomb.

  5. 5

    @Brachiator:

    I wonder whether the recent tv series about Chernobyl pushes people to jump to nuclear conclusions, and also to think they know more about what’s happening than they really do.

    Wonder no more. I had an argument with one of those on Twitter this morning, part of the reason I thought this post might be needed, even though it repeats some of a post I did a few days ago. She was holding up a news report that in fact contradicted at least two of her assertions.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    She was holding up a news report that in fact contradicted at least two of her assertions.

    Never change, Internet. By which I mean, please change.

  7. 7
    Brachiator says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    She was holding up a news report that in fact contradicted at least two of her assertions.

    Wow. Talk about not letting facts get in the way of ignorance.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Reading is Fundamental

  9. 9

    @JPL: That’s what I kept telling her…

  10. 10
    hells littlest angel says:

    So reassuring to consider that the same fuck-ups running Russia are also running Trump.

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    Walter Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley were able to deliver more news in thirty minutes than the 24/7 cable news does now. It’s discouraging.

  12. 12
    Mary G says:

    This kind of thing gets pushed out of my notice by articles about Twitler’s fuckups, so I appreciate your explanations, Cheryl.

  13. 13
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @JPL: Heh. I’m old enough that I filled in Chet and David without even thinking about it. I wonder what the cut-off age is for that.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @hells littlest angel: Are you saying there’s a chance trump will blow up? Somehow or other I just don’t think I’ll get that lucky.

  15. 15
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Someone should give him a wafer thin mint.

  16. 16
    JPL says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Do you remember watching the evening news with your parents? That age is pretty easy to pinpoint.

  17. 17
    MobiusKlein says:

    I read a Vice article mentioning stocking up on Iodine to combat radiation.
    Which is wrong, as it does nothing for radiation at all, but rather affects the concentration of certain radioactive isotopes in your body. Gah.

  18. 18
    pluky says:

    one of the more eye opening events of my childhood was reading one of my (career army officer) father’s briefing manuals on nuclear weapons. Given what I learned of the blast radii
    of even the smallest fission devices, the idea that these explosions are anything other than chemical is ludicrous.

  19. 19
    MattF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Spontaneous human combustion is what I hope for, but it’s very rare.

  20. 20
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @JPL: Heh yep. I remember when Brokaw was the “new guy” on the Today show. And Chancellor doing the Nightly News, with the special segment where Brinkley came on to give his take on whatever-it-was that day. But I never saw Huntley — just recognize the name.

  21. 21
    debbie says:

    @JPL:

    Much of the time is spent in half-reporting and then urging viewers to their website to get the rest of the story.

  22. 22
    feebog says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    But I never saw Huntley — just recognize the name.

    Huntley was the one with the onion on his belt.

  23. 23
    hells littlest angel says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: He does, daily.

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    @hells littlest angel: He might have really done it this time. According to Real Press Sec, he hasn’t had a tweet for the last ten hours. Be afraid, be very afraid.

  25. 25
    hells littlest angel says:

    @JPL: He’s mourning the death of Jeffrey Epstein (and people say he lacks empathy).

  26. 26
    Jay says:

    The local Norwegian television station, TV2, is reporting that someone with the same name as the man police have in custody, also posted a message in praise of the mass-murdering Nazi who targeted mosques in Christchurch, just hours before the attack on the mosque in Norway. https://t.co/nQhX09Lc5N— New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) August 10, 2019

  27. 27
    BC in Illinois says:

    OT . . . but it would fit in with the 200-or-so comments on the preceding thread about “Epstein’s Death” which, after a while became a discussion of Hillary, 2016, and trolls . . . but this fits in with my topic.

    Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris backstage at the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense event in Iowa.

    This is what I want to see for another 450 days.

  28. 28
    Jay says:

    This kid was assaulted by an ultra-nationalist who fractured his skull.How in the hell has this kid barely raised $3k for his treatment when an ultra-nationalist who got a milkshake in his face & a black eye raised $200k in a matter of days? https://t.co/xBY6ChdRJs— Jeremy au Barca (@ProgDownTicket) August 9, 2019

  29. 29
    Mary G says:

    @BC in Illinois: I love that Senator Warren called Kamala “Senator Harris.”

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    @hells littlest angel: More likely he’s on the phone with Barr demanding to know what will happen with the video tapes.

  31. 31
    Ken says:

    NONE OF THESE EXPLOSIONS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS

    WHAT ABOUT THE VIDEO? WHY WERE THERE NO STARS BEHIND THE ASTRONAUTS? AND MICROPARTICLES. SOMETHING ABOUT MICROPARTICLES.

  32. 32
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @BC in Illinois: Warren/Harris 2020! Or, uh, Harris/Warren 2020! I’m pretty much indifferent. I like and am reassured that most of the female candidates actually like and get along with each other.

  33. 33
    Brachiator says:

    @BC in Illinois:

    Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris backstage at the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense event in Iowa.

    Unpossible. Wimmens supposed to be catty and all backstabbing.

    Very much more seriously, it is goddam delightful to see such warm, humane civility and just flat out decency. It is almost like a window on another world after watching any peevish, preening egomaniacal Trump displays.

  34. 34
    Jay says:

    #Trump and #Dunleavy team up to destroy Alaska's greatest resource – our wild fish in favor of a toxic mine the EPA acknowledged would result in total destruction of the biggest wild sockeye #salmon fishery on the planet. #NoPebbleMinehttps://t.co/5jwwBMddcA— Mudflats (@Mudflats) August 9, 2019

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @Brachiator:

    Wimmens supposed to be catty and all backstabbing.

    I know, right? What happened?

  36. 36
    Chip Daniels says:

    I think part of the consequences of Russian government’s skill at sowing deliberate lies and disinformation is that their credibility with everyone, Russians included, is about zero.

    So if there are crazies running bizarre theories here, imagine what is being said throughout Russia itself?

  37. 37
    Brachiator says:

    @Jay:

    #Trump and #Dunleavy team up to destroy Alaska’s greatest resource – our wild fish in favor of a toxic mine the EPA acknowledged would result in total destruction of the biggest wild sockeye #salmon fishery on the planet.

    This is somewhat surprising. Many conservatives are practical environmentalists when it comes to hunting and fishing.

  38. 38
    BC in Illinois says:

    @BC in Illinois:
    In the interest of accuracy, the item showed up on Twitter today, when the Moms Demand people had their Gun Sense forum, but EW wore red at the forum and KH wore white, so the video was not taken at that event.

    I feel safe in saying that the interchange took place somewhere in Iowa.

  39. 39
    J R in WV says:

    @JPL:

    Do you remember watching the evening news with your parents? That age is pretty easy to pinpoint.

    Do I!?!?!!!

    My dad was in the news biz, and had to pay attention to the 6-7 pm news shows, I got boinked on the head by his heavy gold signet ring more than once. “Shut up so I can hear the news!” running in the other room.

    Miss that so much!

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @Brachiator:

    What are they going to do? Vote Dem? Trump knows he owns them.

  41. 41
    J R in WV says:

    @Brachiator:

    This is somewhat surprising. Many conservatives are practical environmentalists when it comes to hunting and fishing.

    Not when there’s a frickin’ GOLD MINE at stake!!!

    You CRAZY?????

  42. 42
    Jay says:

    #Russia's state media: MP of Putin's ruling party, United Russia, Aleksey Zhuravlev, blames the U.S. for the Siberian wildfires, heavy rains and flooding in Moscow. He claims that Washington is "experimenting with climate weapons," because "Russia surpassed their military might." pic.twitter.com/xEGZrNBJ5d— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) August 10, 2019

  43. 43
    chris says:

    @Jay: Risking the wrath of Mama Grizzly, no? If she’s not busy grifting in the lower 48.

  44. 44
    Ruviana says:

    @Chetan Murthy: I grew up in L.A. where Tom Brokaw was the local 5 or 6 o’clock anchor. So weird to have him be this grey eminence.

  45. 45
    Jay says:

    @Brachiator:

    @J R in WV:

    There arn’t any “conservatives” in the US anymore, just Rethugs, gullibillies and deplorables.

    Copper River Sockeye are a unique strain and so “perfect” that they are their own Premium Brand, sought globally by premium Chefs and foodies.

  46. 46
    Brachiator says:

    @Baud:

    What are they going to do? Vote Dem? Trump knows he owns them

    Some Republicans realize that they made a deal with the devil in supporting Trump, but there’s no way out of it.

  47. 47
    Jay says:

    Hey ppl impacted by the ICE raid need diapers ASAP. We have some in our diaper closet but we are out of pull ups and low on size 6 diapers and size 4s. Here's how you can help IMMEDIATELY. Go to https://t.co/WccSfWeKW9 order online for pickup any of the items on the list below.— Laurie Bertram Roberts✊🏽🏳️‍🌈♿️😎 (@smartstatistic) August 10, 2019

  48. 48
    Jay says:

    @chris:

    Alaska Barbie was just a brand, not a real thing.

  49. 49

    Looks like they are going to try another test?!?!?!?!?

  50. 50
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Jay:
    I understand it’s propaganda for internal consumption, but that made up bullshit just projects weakness to me. It’s obvious (to other parts of the world at least, probably some Russians too) bluster by a slowly failing state trying to jingle shiny keys in front of the Russian people

  51. 51
    chris says:

    @Jay: I know. Besides, she’s busy suing the FNYT for being lamestream media.

  52. 52
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    IIRC someone Russian was quoted as saying the test in Severodvinsk involved some sort of “isotope-based” power mechanism. Can’t think of anything non-nuke other than a radioisotopic thermal generator like the ones used to power outer-solar-system probes – but I can’t figure out why on Earth (literally) that would make any sense. Be interested in Cheryl’s take on that.

  53. 53
    Jay says:

    Trump fan arrested for threatening to kill Ocasio-Cortez after Trump attacked her.Trump is enabling violence.Trump is enabling hatred.Trump is enabling bigotry. Trump is enabling racism. https://t.co/JeNEvPDuz6— The Hummingbird 🐦 (@SaysHummingbird) August 10, 2019

  54. 54
    NotMax says:

    @JPL

    Old enough to remember John Charles Daly anchoring the evening news for ABC*, the perennial third place news program. After he left there was a conga line of replacements for years, including one with the memorable name of Fendall Winston Yerxa.

    Also old enough to remember watching when the news shows ran 15 minutes instead of 30.

    *At the same time he hosted What’s My Line? for CBS on Sunday nights.

  55. 55
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    Naw, a bunch of the Ruskie “legislators” have fully drunk their own koolaide.

  56. 56
    trollhattan says:

    @David Koch:
    Saw a cloud like that once. A B52 full of fuel crashed after taking off for a training flight, not far from Mather Field. It looked like black hell, but not, you know, nuclear.

    We were “assured” there was no ordnance on board. Mather was, however, a SAC base and they were stowed there somewhere.

  57. 57
    trollhattan says:

    @NotMax:
    Huntley-Brinkley Report!

  58. 58
    rikyrah says:

    Media Alert:

    Toni Morrison and Oprah

    Tonight on OWN at 8 p.m. EST

  59. 59

    @Cheryl Rofer: I am getting Twitter feedback on this – could be that they carve out more NOTAMS than they need to confuse about timing of tests, or could be part of the exclusion from that area related to the failure.

  60. 60
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    The Russian government has now admitted that a radioactive source was associated with the Severodvinsk blast. Put that together with the Achinsk mushroom cloud and…mnh-hmnh, the crazies are running with it, which is why I am writing this post. There have been conflicting reports about radiation detected in the city of Severodvinsk. At most, it seems to have been a transient pulse of a relatively small amount of whatever it was. No abnormal radiation has been detected in Europe. We should hear more about that in the coming week.

    In HS, my Spanish teacher claimed that because of Chernobyl, what was considered the normal baseline radiation levels (natural background) in Europe had to be revised as a result of the disaster.

    I remember reading that the disaster raised rad levels throughout Europe for a period of time over natural levels, though I can’t remember if that’s still the case today

  61. 61
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @NotMax:
    I’m old enough to remember George Stephanopoulos interviewing Tony Blair of all people in 2016. It was disturbing to watch as Stephanopoulos desperately tried to get Blair to smear Hillary. To his credit, he never took the bait and seemed confused by Stephanopoulos’ line of questioning. He simply tried to answer the questions

  62. 62
    oatler. says:

    @trollhattan: Chet, you ignorant slut.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    Real Press Sec doesn’t show trump’s retweets, but twitter is telling me he is linking to Clinton killed Epstein feeds.

  64. 64
    Baud says:

    @JPL:

    Almost as bad of tweeting out the publicly available names of Trump donors.

  65. 65
    NotMax says:

    @trollhattan

    “Good night, Chet.”

    “Good night, David.”

    “Good night, John-Boy.”

    :)

  66. 66
  67. 67
    zhena gogolia says:

    @NotMax:

    I only remember him from What’s My Line and Timex. I just barely remember 15-minute newscasts.

    I saw John Chancellor running for a train in his trench coat in DC Union Station, if that’s of any interest.

  68. 68
    joel hanes says:

    @JPL:

    And Huntley/Brinkley had the best news program intro music ever.

    And once we had Eric Sevareid.

    And in print, Russell Baker.

  69. 69
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @JPL:

    Doesn’t surprise me if he is. If memory serves, they attended one of Trump’s children’s weddings, right? Weren’t they sort of kinda of friends prior to 2015-2016?

    It’s Trump I know, but I find it hard to fathom how you could encourage a lynch mob against people you were apparently friendly with in the past.

    Someone here shared a great tweet or something in response to the conspiracy theory that Clinton killed Epstein: if the Clintons can kill anybody anytime then why is Trump in the White House?

  70. 70
    Jay says:

    If you’re reading this and you’re thinking that the ICE raid in Mississippi was justified because the 680 men and women apprehended are undocumented, and therefore in your eyes they are here “illegally” and we “have the right to enforce our laws,” you should know the following:— Stacey Maxwell 🗽🌊🏳️‍🌈 #TheResistance #Impeach (@staceyinpieces) August 9, 2019

    Brutal thread.

  71. 71
    zhena gogolia says:

    @BC in Illinois:

    Very nice.

  72. 72
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    Do people still wear trenchcoats? Those went out of style sometime in 70s, like fedoras and any man’s hat wear aside from ball caps

    What’s the point of 15 minute newscasts anyway? That’s even less time than 30 minutes to cramp stories into. Sounds even less useful than 24/7 news

  73. 73
    NotMax says:

    @zhena gogolia

    Times was John Cameron Swayze. Who, BTW, was among the conga line of post-Daly replacement anchors during the bulk of the 60s mentioned above.

    CBS and NBC went to 30 minutes circa ’63, IIRC. ABC didn’t expand to a half hour until ’67.

  74. 74
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Timex, not Times.

  75. 75
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Jay:

    Send it to Dean Baquet. This is what should be plastered on the front page.

  76. 76
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    My response to the Killary Truthers was always:

    “So, you believe that Bill and Hillary have had people killed,”

    “Can kill anyone, anywhere, and get away with it,”

    “And have kill lists”,

    “And you are going public with this”,

    “To get your and your family’s names on the list?”

  77. 77
    zhena gogolia says:

    @NotMax:

    I knew I was getting that wrong!

  78. 78
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @NotMax:
    “Timex”, as in the watch brand? Did they sponsor it or something?

  79. 79
    zhena gogolia says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    My husband wears a trenchcoat! They’re very practical.

  80. 80
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Jay:

    I thought the punchline was going to be something regarding the continued respiration of one DJT.

  81. 81
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    If you regularly wear a suit, you need a trenchcoat.

  82. 82
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    Nothing wrong with trench coats honestly. I like them. You just don’t see them much anymore. At least I don’t.

  83. 83
    Jay says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Naw, I liked making them paranoid,

    Or getting them to admit they didn’t really believe any of the bullshit they were peddling.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Jay says:

    Video: Migrant Children Are Being Given To Adoption Agency Linked To Betsy DeVos https://t.co/eexXBBDNqr via @highbrow_nobrow— Stacey Maxwell 🗽🌊🏳️‍🌈 #TheResistance #Impeach (@staceyinpieces) August 10, 2019

  86. 86
    zhena gogolia says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    I got mixed up — it was John Cameron Swayze who advertised Timex. “Takes a lickin but keeps on tickin.”

  87. 87

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: “If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women, take their money and then vote against them, you have no business being up here.”

  88. 88
    misterpuff says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    probably some Russians too

    Probably? The Russians and their subject people survived on seeing through the propaganda of the Soviet Commissars for decades, they just were not allowed to question or mock it out loud. I’m sure the current generation has the same ability.

  89. 89
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    Swayze was the spokesperson for Timex for many, many, many a year. “it takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” Example

  90. 90
    Jay says:

    If your party can devolve, in 70 yrs, from Ike to Nixon to Reagan to W to Palin to Trump, don't act all surprised when Kid Rock shows up.— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) August 10, 2019

  91. 91
    misterpuff says:

    @NotMax: I’m sure as a babe I sat in front of John Cameron Swayze’s newscast, but I only remember him from the “crazy”* Timex ads. I remember all of the famous 60s anchormen: Chancellor ,Huntley and Brinkley, but predominantly a CBS News household, Uncle Walter.

    *for the times, as onion belts were de rigueur.

  92. 92
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @NotMax:
    I had no idea that was a thing. Was it a thing? I vaguely remember that show.

    @misterpuff:

    I was hedging more than anything. Some of them certainly believe the propaganda

    @zhena gogolia:
    @NotMax:
    Ah. I thought it was a news program or something. I know some programs then got corporate sponsors in their titles.

    I’ve owned Timex watches and they were fine but when I was younger I kept losing them all the time! I own two Casio wristwatches and they’re great. Just replaced the battery in one the other day after three years.

    @John Revolta:
    “Neo-liberal shills bad! What does neo-liberal mean again?”

    @Jay:

    Everything’s a grift with these people

  93. 93
    chris says:

    26-year-old Richard Clayton is in Orange County jail, accused of posting a threat on Facebook, saying he was getting his AR-15 back and to “stay out of @Walmart next week.” He was arrested at the Winter Park house of his family #WESH pic.twitter.com/nAEiNpaa9o— Bob Hazen WESH (@HazenWESH) August 10, 2019

  94. 94
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @NotMax:
    Also, that watch didn’t sound like it was ticking anymore in that commercial lol

  95. 95
    Jay says:

    Everyone forgets that Cody made Hatreon, a site to relay donations to his nazi friends, and fucked up the code so badly that when you donated a negative amount the site paid *you*.I don't know how that isn't emblazoned on everything mentioning Cody until his death. https://t.co/IgCXbxBvEI— William Gillis 🏴 (@rechelon) August 10, 2019

  96. 96
    Jay says:

    Spokane police investigating rumors of neo-Nazi ‘hate camp’ https://t.co/Fkli5OSrua— 🏴 (@leftkist) August 10, 2019

  97. 97

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    In HS, my Spanish teacher claimed that because of Chernobyl, what was considered the normal baseline radiation levels (natural background) in Europe had to be revised as a result of the disaster.

    I doubt this is true. Background levels in Europe except for the closest places to Chernobyl are back to normal by now.

  98. 98
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    The day Toni Morrison’s death was announced, an obscure channel, Decades, featured Dick Cavett’s two-part interview with her. It was from sometime in the early 1980s. I was just flipping through the channels and there she was!

  99. 99
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    I know some programs then got corporate sponsors in their titles.

    In the infancy of broadcast TV, the NBC news program’s title was The Camel News Caravan*. Coincidentally hosted by Swayze, it was replaced later on by The Huntley-Brinkley Report, and Swayze moved on to the news division at ABC..

    *On some days when the tobacco company wasn’t paying for sponsorship it magically became The Plymouth News Caravan.

    @misterpuff

    We too were an Uncle Wally household through and through, once he became established after replacing Douglas Edwards.

    @joel hanes

    Gotta give honorable mention as well to the redoubtable Howard K. Smith, who wasn’t exactly chopped liver when it came to sober presentation of the news.

  100. 100
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    For grins, the semi-famous Timex ad showing a pitfall of doing live TV.

  101. 101
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @J R in WV: We always had to be quiet when the local news came on and led with their horror stories of dead youth, because my mother was a school psychologist who worked in high schools and was always worried that “one of her kids” would be the subject. Sometimes they were.

  102. 102
    Dan B says:

    @Jay: A cohort of mine did the study that showed the Pebble Mine would destroy the salmon spawning grounds. I got to see the study before it was published. This mine would wreak havoc on Alaska and Seattle’s fleet.

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    Another Scott says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Not Cheryl, but, I don’t think we should expect much in the way of sensible explanation this early. There’s nothing at The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists yet.

    And we should remember that “isotope” just means “different number of neutrons in the nucleus” – it doesn’t necessarily mean radioactive. (But the fact that radiation sensors detected something means that something radioactive was involved.)

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  105. 105
    J R in WV says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Yeah, my Dad was always looking for a local politician to be arrested or indicted, which was prime material for a blistering editorial in the morning paper. I got my bell rang — not really, just a whack with his signet ring — if I got too loud during the local news.

    Once the national news started, we all listened pretty well, and plus he wasn’t usually going to write an editorial or a column that night about national or world news. Back then “Afganistanism” meant writing editorials about something that would never matter to the local folks, until suddenly it does matter to everyone.

    Dead folks coming home to Dover AFB ALWAYS matters. At least it should!

  106. 106

    @Uncle Cosmo: I am working on a post. Probably will publish it tomorrow morning.

  107. 107
    Chris T. says:

    @JPL: All this mention of Huntley and Brinkley, in the midst of a post about bombs and radiation, reminds me of Tom Lehrer’s “So Long Mom, I’m Off to Drop the Bomb”:

    http://lisahistory.net/hist111.....lehrer.htm

  108. 108
    Jay says:

    Bret Stephens murdered Jeffrey Epstein to distract from the reception his latest awful column is getting, including from generally like-minded people who know anything whatsoever about arms control pic.twitter.com/b6QC1zIlHK— David Klion🔥 (@DavidKlion) August 10, 2019

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    JR says:

    @Another Scott: the entire principle of NMR relies on nonradioactive isotopes, although the most familiar form — MRI — works with just plain old hydrogen.

  110. 110
    opiejeanne says:

    @Jay: My youngest works for a shipping company whose biggest income is salmon season. The varieties she is in charge of are in very short supply this year because the cold water in the home streams isn’t cold enough, and the ones that are spawning are heading farther to the north to areas that are off-limits to commercial fishing.

  111. 111
    Another Scott says:

    @JR: Also too, Dilution Refrigerators – the most common way to reach temperatures as low as 0.002 K – use helium-3 and helium-4 isotopes. Neither are radioactive.

    Natural gallium is about 60.1% Ga-69, and about 39.9% Ga-71. Both are stable (not radioactive).

    Natural silicon is mostly Si-28. Si-29 is often used in ion implantation in semiconductor device fabrication. It’s not radioactive.

    Etc.

    I suspect, but don’t know, that some sort of transuranic element was involved, not U-235 or Pu-239, thereby being a different “isotope” than those most commonly used in nuclear weapons, but the point is, news stories that talk about some “isotopic sources of fuel on a liquid propulsion unit” doesn’t really say anything meaningful.

    I’m sure we’ll know more eventually. Looking forward to Cheryl’s post.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  112. 112
    Fair Economist says:

    I saw a mention of a nuclear supply ship in the harbor so while there’s every reason to think this is a conventional explosion, it’s possible the explosion affected handling of nuclear materialsm, and hence the release.

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    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @NotMax: Cue Allan Sherman, though I can’t track down a vid. To the tune of “My Grandfather’s Clock”:

    Oh my grandfather’s clock was the best ever made
    By the Timex company.
    Just like the clock John Cameron Swayze displayed
    Last night on the old TV.
    Oh it works underwater so perfectly,
    And it still makes a ticking sound.
    Which my grandfather tried only this afternoon,
    And that’s how the old man drowned.

    :^D

  114. 114
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @NotMax: The ultimate pitfall of doing live TV was the refrigerator ad when the young lady couldn’t get the door open. (Can’t find a vid but it’s got to be there somewhere.)

    Major embarrassment at the time, but as it happened, it was caused by a safety feature that worked exactly as it should have: The door could not be opened unless the fridge was plugged in, so kids who came upon a discarded unit wouldn’t be able to crawl inside, lock themselves in & suffocate – something that IIRC happened more than once in the 40s & 50s.

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    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Another Scott: Um, I hold a physics BA with honors from Johns Hopkins & a year of graduate study in astrophysics at Cornell. Teach your grandmother to suck eggs, why doncha, you arrogant shit.

  116. 116
    NotMax says:

    @Uncle Cosmo

    If it happened to have been Betty Furness, no one was looking at the fridge anyway.

    :)

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    catclub says:

    @JPL:

    thirty minutes than the 24/7 cable news does now

    Kashmir and Hong Kong spring to mind as things ignored by cable news – and virtually all US news.
    Not to mentions greenland ice melting veeeery fast.

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    Another Scott says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Skyler writes Uncle Cosmo a letter.

    Here’s hoping that comes through a little better than my comment did…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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    NotMax says:

    @KSinMA

    Found it also in full on YouTube.

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