Could Chernobyl Have a Repeat Episode?

Eclipsing megahits like The Crown and Breaking Bad, HBO’s new series on Chernobyl is now the highest-rated TV series ever, The Economist reports.

The series documents how Russian scientists discovered dangerous flaws in the Soviet RBMK-1000 reactor that “spewed radioactive material across northern Europe,” according to LiveScience.

The historical program also highlights a harsh present-day reality: 10 reactors similar to those behind the Chernobyl disaster are still operating in Russia. While they have been modified to lower the risk of disaster, their design makes them less safe than Western reactors. 

Could there be a repeat episode? That remains the great unknown. But despite the far-reaching effects of such a disaster, there is no binding agreement that unites countries under a single set of reactor rules.

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