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THREAD: another astonishing story about #Chernobyl

48 hrs after the disaster a huge fallout cloud, 10 miles wide, began drifting towards Moscow. The Soviet air force were sent up to chase it.
Kate Brown's Manual For Survival, says they flew after the "inky black billows of radioactive waste" and shot at it with silver iodide.
This is known as "cloud seeding" and the effect is to make the targeted clouds rain. The Soviet Air Force were skilled at manipulating the weather in this way, having began studying "cloud physics" during the war.
Brown's book points out that "cloud physics" had peacetime uses too, with TU-16 bombers making sure the sun shone over Moscow for the 1980 Olympics.
So they forced the radioactive cloud to rain, making it unleash its fallout over Belarus, and Moscow was kept safe.
The pilots and crew received terrible doses of radiation. The commander, Grushin, "in his forties walked with crutches. Two men in his command had amputated legs. Five pilots had portions of their stomachs cut out."
Weather manipulation was also used to the opposite effect in Chernobyl. Instead of forcing it to rain, sometimes the Soviets desperately needed dry weather to keep the radiation under some kind of control.
Example: heavy rain clouds approaching the Exclusion Zone provoked worries a sudden cloudburst would swamp the Pripyat River, picking up radioactive particles and flooding them into the Dnipro which feeds Kiev.
So they needed to stop the rain. Pilots released "Cement 600, a mix of cement and reagents that dried up moisture from clouds." So they were making it pour over Belarus, and keeping it dry over Ukraine.
"No-one told the Belarusians that the southern half of the republic had been sacrificed to protect Russian and Ukrainian cities."

All of the above from Kate Brown's new book on Chernobyl, MANUAL FOR SURVIVAL.
Here's my review of the book

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