Bet 511

Duration 25 years (02009-02035)

“There will be a Chernobyl National Park by 2035.”

Stewart Brand


Brand's Argument

It has the perfect ingredients. It is a major historic site---the steam explosion of reactor 4 on April 26, 1986, is regarded as the most serious nuclear power accident in history. When 330,000 people moved out and wildlife moved in, it became one of Europe’s finest natural preserves. The UN Development Programme has called for ecotourism development there. With the exception of a few well-known (and fading) hot spots, radioactivity has dropped to normal background levels. Already reforested, the ghost town of Pripyat, which once housed 50,000, is a poignant reminder of the cost of design folly�the Chernobyl reactors had no containment structure. The site of the reactor itself is a grim monument which, once the final protective shield is in place, may last as long and as evocatively as Stonehenge.

Since Ukrainians prefer the spelling “Chornobyl,� that may be the name of the eventual park... and perhaps World Heritage Site. (Context for this prediction may be found on page 94 of my book, Whole Earth Discipline.)

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