[ RadSafe ] Video Guarapari - Chernobyl

franz.schoenhofer at chello.at franz.schoenhofer at chello.at
Sat Oct 29 16:17:19 CDT 2011


I do not know your profession, but I would recommend that you are very careful and cautious to prepare you project in the Ukraine. 
First: Ukrainian is actually a language separate from Russian, though very similar. Usually people from Russia and Ukraine understand each other - if they want. In the area of Chernobyl Ukrainian is spoken, so I would strongly recommend to hire a Ukrainian interpreter. 
Second: Do you have any experience with Eastern Block countries or developing countries? Do not expect that you can simply go to a place and start filming. You will need a permission. It might be difficult to get one and anyway you will have to officially pay heavily for it, not including possible bribes to accelerate the procedure.....  You should try to find someone, who has experience in this matter. 

When I was in Kiev (Ukrainian "Kijiv"!) in 1987, invited by a big institute to show them how to use their Liquid Scintillation Spectrometer for the measurements on the Chernobyl contamination I agreed under the condition that we would go to Chernobyl to take samples to be measured by LSC. When I came there and asked when we would set out to Chernobyl I was told, that unfortunately it was not possible to go there, because the commercial company (!) which was responsible for visits was busy with two film crews (one from Japan and I think the other one was from South Korea). But when I would come the next time they could organize it. Needless to say that I have never again been there, though Kiev is a historically very interesting town. I cannot afford to pay all these crazy fees myself and risking very likely not to be able to reach my goal.

Of course we have now 2011, but all I know from a visit to a different area (Lviv) a few years ago, is that times have not changed very much, though even small changes are hailed by the population. Bureaucracy is very abundand, one needs time and even more patience. When I went to Lviv by my Austrian car from Poland with my younger son it took us three hours to cross the border to Ukraine, going back we needed four hours! When I told the hotel receptionist in Przemysl, the next bigger town in Poland, she laughed and told me that her brother needed ten hours a few weeks ago to cross the border. This in spite of the fact, that European Union citizens do not need a visa to Ukraine (nor to Poland). 

I do not write this to discourage you, but to indicate that you have to approach your project very carefully and cautious. I would first recommend that you might contact someone foreign who has already been there filming and secondly I would recommend that you accept the offer of Dan McCarn. I have unfortunately not met him personally yet, even when he was in Vienna working for the IAEA, but from his conributions to RADSAFE and personal contacts I draw the conclusion that he is not only a nice and helpful person, but extremely knowledgable and as we say in German "standing with both feet on earth and in life".

Hope this helps a little for your preparations and does not discourage you!

Best wishes,


---- Theo Richel <theo at richel.org> schrieb:
> LS,
> I am preparing a video  for which we will visit both the surroundings of
> the Chernobyl area as well as the beaches of Guarapari in Brazil. The
> first is considered hell on earth, the second paradise, but nevertheless
> the radiation levels in hell are much lower then in paradise. We intend
> to contrast the two with a permanent on screen Geiger counter and hope
> to convey the message that we are unnecessarily radiophobic.  Everything
> will be recorded in HD by a professional cameraman, in case you
> wondered. The vid will be available on the internet from the summer of
> 2012.
> In Brazil however they speak Portuguese and in Ukraine (is Ukrainian a
> different language then Russian, I do not know?), so I am very much
> looking for English speaking contacts in both areas that are more or
> less knowledgeable on radiation . Are these people in this group, or can
> anyone refer me?
> Many thanks
> Theo Richel
> theo at richel.org
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Franz Schoenhofer, PhD, MinRat
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Vienna
mobile: ++43 699 1706 1227

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