Nuclear Nightmares: Twenty Years Since Chernobyl by Knoth and de Jong

MINSK, BELARUS: Twin brothers Michael and Vladimir Iariga, 16 years old.
Michael, with hydrocephalus, is 5 minutes older than Vladimir, who is deaf. (Photo: Robert Knoth)

The Chernobyl disaster may seem like a distant memory to you and me, but more than twenty years later, the after effects of the nuclear disaster are still felt by many people.

In their book, Nuclear Nightmares: Twenty Years Since Chernobyl, photographer Robert Knoth and reporter Antoinette de Jong documented - with harrowing photos - the suffering of victims poisoned by radioactivity:

Chernobyl was just one of the devastating nuclear debacles that have taken place in the last 45 years in the former Soviet Union, including above-ground testing to which many people were exposed without proper safeguards. These photographs by Robert Knoth, from the regions of Mayak, Semipalatinsk, Chernobyl and Tomsk-7, are testimony to the continuing medical, economic and social consequences of the thriving nuclear industry in Eastern Europe. The people who are subjects to these photographs must cope with birth defects, cancer, and other debilitating health issues due to the permeating presence of radiation. They must also face the fear that the genetic damage that they have suffered may be passed down to their offspring.

Link - Thanks Perry!

Previously on Neatorama: Chernobyl: 20 years later | Ghost Town: Chernoby Photoblog

Wow. This brings back memories of watching a documentary about the after effects of Agent Orange and the bomb drops on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. ;_;
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I became a bit obsessed earlier this year with Chernobyl and became fascinated with the abandoned town of Pripyat. It's so horrifying to read about all this. I remember laying in bed when this happened and the radiation was spreading over Europe, just utterly terrified.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Having twice been to Belraus in the past this brought back some memories for me. i was further south then Minsk and these problems are so widespread. Despite how poor Belorussians are there is actually a lot of money available for the Internats (local for orphanage)through charity but beurocratic red tape prevents it from being spent. in bulit into the psyche of the people is that any disability makes a person subhuman and we had to writr "internat" on the clothes that we brought for the children so the locals would not steal them. Sad place.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I heard that the emissions from all the coal driven power plants cause far more health problems than that of all nuclear reactors combined. You would need accidents like that in Chernobyl several times a month to cause a simmilar effect with nuclear power.

I am not too sure, but I think it was Penn & Teller who said this in BS! Season 5 Episode 9. I don't know if this is actually true, but i wouldn't be surprised if it is actually true...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Right because cases of hydrocephalus, congenital mental retardation and brain cancer never ever ever happen anywhere else in the world except near the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Scientifically illiterate photographers desperate to make a name for themselves seem to love flocking to this place to shamelessly parade around the most ghoulishly exploitative photos of what is vastly more indicative of a grossly incompetent health care system rather than the effects of the Chernobyl disaster. NO ONE in the developed world suffers from the effects of hydrocephalus to the degree that child in the picture is because there are highly effective treatments for it. Not to mention the fact that there has never been any study proving that that disease has anything whatsoever to do with radiation exposure or has a higher incidence around the Chernobyl area. But you know, whatever, as long as gritty B&W photos of people suffering from random horrible diseases can be spun into supporting your personal anti-nuclear ideology and it gets the magazines to fly off the shelves who really gives a shit right?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
As horrible as this shot and others are, the book nonetheless is an ill informed propaganda piece. The World Health Organization (WHO), attributed 56 direct deaths (47 accident workers, and nine children with thyroid cancer), and estimated that there may be 4,000 extra cancer cases among the approximately 600,000 most highly exposed and 5,000 among the 6 million living nearby. One death is too many, but compared to deaths caused by coal, oil and gas, even hydroelectric --this is statistically minor.

When Chernobyl happened we all heard initial estimates that hundreds of thousands would die instantly and millions more in the years to come. It is odd that after being so utterly wrong someone would still try to mine this horrible --but limited -- disaster to twist the story on nuclear power.

And in response to what I am sure will be the flames to come, I have no relation to the nuclear power industry. Yes I would prefer prefer if we found better, safer alternative energies, but for now nuclear is the best we got.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Two years since Blake posted nº12, however and no matter how many uninterested-in-thruth-photographers could go there "to make a name for themselves", there is something that cannot be denied, because medical research have gon well beyond any doubt: Nuclear radiation exposure causes malformations in newborns, and different grades of affections in adults as well. No matter how good or bad your healtcare is, spend 10 months in any place near a recent-meltdown power plant and you'll get the point. Those people in the pictures have a reason to look sad.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 15 comments

Email This Post to a Friend
"Nuclear Nightmares: Twenty Years Since Chernobyl by Knoth and de Jong"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More