Chernobyl Nuclear Exclusion Zone, Ukraine -- On the Ukrainian holiday commemorating victory over the Nazis in WWII, a return to the entombed, but still smoldering, reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant makes vivid another great war waged following the nuclear accident in 1986. The fight to contain the shattering explosion that exposed the nuclear core had all the hallmarks of war. It was brutal and costly, governments lied and blundered, and lives were devalued and sacrificed in a grisly calculus.
Heroes fought bravely, but heroes were also thus anointed as poor compensation for unnecessary, and often unknowing, sacrifice. After the war was won--or more aptly a temporary truce with nature secured--those called to duty were cast adrift to lead uncertain lives. (more)