To: Montana News Editor
About this article: https://www.montanasnews.tv/single-post/2019/07/08/HBOs-Falsified-Chernobyl-Documentary#!
The one "falsifying" things is the uninformed Dr. Kemm.
-- He says "People died, though fewer than 60." That's basically a propaganda number that no one believes. The Soviet Union first reported that 2 had died, those killed by the explosion. Later they included the firemen who died in three weeks or so, bringing the total up to 31. The UN and others have revised estimates of 4,000 to 93,000. Wikipedia has a fair discussion of it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deaths_due_to_the_Chernobyl_disaster. BBC has an interesting article about it, http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190725-will-we-ever-know-chernobyls-true-death-toll. In any case, "fewer than 60" is laughably ignorant.
-- He goes on for paragraphs agreeing that the story was correct. It seems like his main problem is "The blood and skin peeling scenes". This is a well documented symptom of acute radiation exposure. You can look at pictures of what happened to Hisashi Ouchi: (NSFW) https://www.unbelievable-facts.com/2016/12/hisashi-ouchi.html , or Chernobyl:
http://knowledgeglue.com/amazing-un-seen-photos-chernobyl-disaster-page-5/, or just read what the CDC says: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/emergencies/criphysicianfactsheet.htm. In short, Kemm is uninformed and willing to share his ignorance with you. He is willing to accuse the producers of "Falsifying" when he is the one who is making stuff up.
-- He says "The series tended to show the Soviet authorities of the day as uncaring and unskilled." He doesn't give one single example that was unfair, though. It's true that the authorities ordered Kiev to have the May Day parades go on under heavy radioactive fallout while getting their families to safety. The show includes the amazing evacuation of Pripyat. 49,000 people were evacuated 36 hours after the explosion.
That took some planning! However, the people were never told of the danger, and children were playing outside in fallout, and they were told they should take enough for a 3-day evacuation. (Spoiler: it hasn't ended yet) I don't see what he sees as "Falsified" here.
-- He says "...that contained a large amount of highly combustible graphite. It caught fire." He skipped the step where the reactor EXPLODED and threw its graphite and burning core all over the neighborhood. "Highly combustible" is a lie; it is quite difficult to burn graphite. Inside a reactor core there isn't any oxygen to support a fire. Suppressing the truth is "Falsifying." (He gets to the explosion later, but starting with "It caught fire." is laughable.)
-- He says "...radioactive dust and smoke were swirling around. Human bodies do not become radioactive in a situation like that." Humans that breathe and swallow become radioactive in a situation like that.
-- He says "Any radiation protection officer present would then make him..." There were no radiation protection officers. There was no preparation for an accident at all. The hospital in Pripyat had no facilities for handling radiation exposure. The first responders had to be sent to Moscow, Hospital number 6, for care.
-- He says "Her baby could not have died of heart and liver disease as a result; that too is pure HBO bunk." It is well documented that her baby did die. Perhaps he could have argued that it was not from radiation exposure, but to say that the baby did not die is just ignorant and false.
This was an informative mini-series, never posing as a documentary. For Dr. Kemm to headline that HBO (and Sky, who he ignores) "Falsified" it for profit, is ignorant and laughable.
Every so often I think of pictures of the reactor building after the disaster, and remember Dr. Kemm sagely telling me "It caught fire," and I laugh and laugh. It's the gift that never stops giving.