5-minute documentary about nuclear-powered Soviet lighthouses

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2021/01/11/5-minute-documentary-about-nuclear-powered-soviet-lighthouses.html

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Link doesn’t seem to work

Hear me out: Robert Pattinson, Willem Dafoe, Jared Harris, Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård in Chernobyl Lighthouse.

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And at night, the Deep One anti-nuke protestors come.

Apparently there are places so lonely and cold even Russians can’t tolerate them.

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The Soviets used nuclear powered radio repeaters as well to transmit signals along great distances. There have been a couple of cases where people ran across these and unwittingly got exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.

Note to self: if I’m ever out in the woods in the former Soviet Union, do not place the nuclear fuel cell in your sleeping bag, no matter how cold you are.

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During the Cold War the USSR used radium-based paint to illuminate the interiors of the concrete military bunkers built along their borders. The phosphor in the paint gave out long ago, so the paint no longer glows, but the radium is still highly radioactive.

Additional note to self: If I’m ever out in the woods in the former Soviet Union, do not put my sleeping bag inside the cozy bunker. No matter how cold I am.

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Installing these nuclear devices is both a gamble and a promise: you’re promising to the future that you’ll take care of this material for as long as it’s dangerous… and you’re gambling that nothing is going to happen to keep you from keeping that promise.

I’m not convinced that any of the current nuclear powers can cover all their bets.

Between The Lighthouse and Cold Skin, I think I am done with lighthouse videos for a while. Even short ones with Chernobyl aspirations.

do not place the nuclear fuel cell in your sleeping bag, unless it will prevent you from actually freezing to death.

I think if you are at the point of weighing up the pros and cons of sleeping with a nuclear fuel cell then you are already dead.

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Actually I thought that part of The Martian was fairly realistic.

But that nuclear fuel cell was not Soviet Union era, and Mark Watney was wearing a space suit designed to protect people from radiation.

The RTG that Watney was dealing with was sealed, so theoretically it was safe to sit next to.
At one point in the book he puts it in a bucket of water to heat it up so he can have a hot bath.
In general, RTGs are safe as long as you don’t disassemble them.

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A new spin on the old joke.

“We are the great and powerful aircraft carrier x, you change course!”
“We are a nuclear-powered lighthouse. Your call.”

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