Welcome to Chemistry Connections, my name is JACQUELINE SUN and I am your host for episode #18 called The Chemistry of Lake Karachay. Today I will be discussing what is arguably the most polluted and undoubtedly the most radioactively contaminated lake in the world, Lake Karachay, as well as the chemistry behind what made it that way in the first place.
The history behind why Lake Karachay earned its name as the most polluted place on earth is convoluted and widely unknown.
WHAT IS RADIATION?
HOW DOES RADIATION IMPACTS HUMANS?
Even though its threat level was comparable with other well-known nuclear disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, Lake Karachay is not widely known. In fact, information on it remained classified by the Russian Government until the late 80s. The local residents of the lake had been in the dark about the so-called “mysterious illness” that had been afflicting them, not knowing that it was radiation poisoning. Lake Karachay shows just how impactful nuclear warfare can be even in “non-war” times and environments and why steps should be taken to rid the world of nuclear threats and influence. Today, Lake Karachay is covered by cement blocks in an effort to prevent the further irradiation of the environment and nearby residents. Even if the incident is quietly literally buried in the past, it is imperative to bring it to light to make sure the same mistakes are never made again.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Chemistry Connections. For more student-ran podcasts and digital content, make sure that you visit www.hvspn.com.
Warm Nights by @LakeyInspired