The Rock in Our Future
Uran – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail (2015) je třídílný televizní dokumentární seriál o uranu, jeho historii a jeho použití. Produkce byla vyrobena Gene Pool Productions pro PBS a SBS a premiéru v obou sítích koncem července a srpna 2015. Série byla koncipována, vytvořena, napsána a režírována Wain Fimeri, byla natočena v devíti zemích a je představena Derekem Mullerem, inženýrským fyzikem a PhD v oboru fyziky a přednášejícím na vědeckém programu ABC Catalyst. Muller je také znám svým YouTube kanálem Veritasium.
Třetí a poslední epizoda popisuje způsob, jakým uran přispívá k medicíně a její roli potenciálního zdroje udržitelné energie. Dr. Derek Muller navštíví Černobyl a Fukushima, místa spojená s jadernými katastrofami. Tvrzení, že v našem energeticky hladovém, oteplovacím světě je uran pokaždé pokoušet s neuvěřitelnou silou a ohrožuje celý život na Zemi, je zkoumán – jeho dvojí role jako ničitel a spasitel, sen a noční můra.
The Rock in Our Future
Legends say there’s a world beneath this one were a dragon lies sleeping they say be careful how do you wake the drink
[Music] around the turn of the 20th century uranium is almost unknown it is basically worthless but then in 40 years just a single generation it becomes the most desirable and terrifying rock on earth this is uranium as a physicist I’m fascinated by its unique scientific properties but even more so by how this one rock has shaped the entire modern world uranium changes everything [Music] in our last episode we discovered how uranium is forged in the explosion of a star uranium is a shape-shifting it transforms itself a lump of uranium will do this all by itself we learn how to release the incredible energy inside uranium a little bit of mass can be converted into a lot of energy we took a rock and we made a bomb on July 16 1945 exactly 5:29 and 45 seconds the dragon rolls now come with me on a journey into the Atomic Age this is a nuclear reactor an age of pumps and fear where uranium offers a dream of clean limitless power or a nightmare of silent and poisoned earth this is the story of how a rock changed the world uranium twisting the Dragons tail is made possible in part by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you thank you in 1945 America is at war with Japan the Americans strong a uranium bomb on the city of Arusha it explodes select the fiery breath of a dragon and then three days after Russia another bomb is dropped on the city of Nagasaki [Music] to look at these pictures is to see the paradox of uranium the two atomic bombs have killed at least 100,000 people but a war that killed tens of millions has ended these people don’t know it but they’re dancing the old world away tomorrow will be different uranium has brought us a new age the Atomic Age was born there is no denying that since that moment the shadow of the atom bomb has been across all our lives wisdom demands that we take time to understand this force because here in fact is the answer to a dream as old as man himself a giant of limitless power at man’s tool and despite the rubble of Hashima uranium promised a new age its potential was clear the atomic fire that destroyed a city could be controlled we could harness a nuclear dragon no longer would we get our energy from burning coal or oil instead we would get it from the nipple a ting of fundamental particles of the universe from within the atom the future of the world brand new age would be atomic today we are reaching into the core of nature itself for a source of energy so great that one ounce of matter can yield enough energy to light this 100 watt bulb for 1 million years uranium promised a new world where everything would be perfect in turn and I wings done miles we’re getting bound shape because it feels just like his drink uranium will take us into a dreamy future of limitless energy infinite but that future would come at a cost atomic got down after the war the United States is the only country to possess the secret of the atom bomb it’s an exclusive club of just one member but that’s about to change in 1949 Soviet Russia tests an atomic bomb [Music] two superpowers Russian communism and Western democracy face off against each other under the Truman traumatic enough but Russia had the atom secret cause State Department all in the world run easily uranium fuels a new type of conflict not a hot shooting war but a cold war and everyone began to test bigger bombs here at the Atomic Energy Commission Nevada Test Site a problem to test the effects of an atomic blast upon the things we use in our everyday lives naturally I was very interested in preparations for the testing of textiles and synthetic fabrics for people not worried to go more than ample just like the people in Japan stop touring light heat set that box and down fire from the sky shall know the rainbow side don’t be one with five next time you’ll know not every uranium forces people to confront an elemental power of the universe but it also forces them to confront something elemental within themselves fear uranium transforms into its own unique genre of movie the Atomic Age monster there is now attacking the United Nations but the real horror is that with uranium we now have the power to destroy all life on Earth [Music] we will all burn together when we burn there’ll be no need to stand and wait your turn and when it’s time for the fallout and Saint Peter calls us all out we’ll just drop our agendas and the journey [Music] every Octonauts and every ask you when the air becomes your reneus we will all go simultaneous yes we all will go together when we all go together yes we all will go together deep underground beneath my feet is the closest you might come to a certain type of help a place where the end of the world begins any jerk how you do it good welcome to 1:7 that’s a nice ride you got here yeah get up here for animal hop on board and we’ll take a look around thank you very much you’re welcome this facility was operational from 1963 until 1982 and it was built to house a terror weapon from the Cold War deep in an underground silo Derek this is level 2 the silo were down some 10 meters below the surface now and this is launched up and that is tightened to the largest and most powerful missile weapon system ever deployed by the United States it’s a 9 Megaton weapon compared to the Russian Oh call it 650 times an enormous leap over to the weapon the idea that I tightened to was to instill in a fear in the mind of the enemy to cause them to think twice about launching an attack against us knowing that 10 meters below the desert that our horrified concrete bunker we can ride out their first strike and lift a battalion if we’re forced to do that the consequences where the enemy would be so unspeakably horrible maybe they would prefer not to get into it with us in the first place that’s the essence of deterrence with the breakup of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War we think that the threat of nuclear annihilation has gone away but there are still more than 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world today enough to destroy all of us many times over it’s easy to fear these terrifying the sums of the atomic age but it’s also easy to forget that – they’re bombs they carried us into the new world of space Neil Armstrong first lifted off atop one of these missiles and in 1977 it was a Titan that launched the Voyager space almost 40 years later Voyager has left our solar system it’s still traveling still sending data it’s battery is nuclear the slow release of its radiation creates heat which is converted into electricity solar wouldn’t work out here and normal batteries don’t last these images come to us courtesy of uranium uranium has taken us on an incredible journey [Music] my journey has brought me to an ancient land that has some of the richest deposits of uranium on earth where ancient stories warned that a powerful creation spirit sleeps underground here I’m at Jeffrey Lee the traditional owner of this country when I walk around here I get goose bump you do not need to have will not touch anything Jeffrey’s people believe that disturbing the powerful spirit beneath this land with Unleashed disaster Jeffrey refused to share of five billion dollars to mine here that tons and tons of uranium yeah and I don’t want any coming up on the ground don’t do any other country because if you do something other country he’s gonna come for you and you’re gonna happen miss asta in the age of uranium we learned to live uneasily with the dragon then on April 26 1986 far away from here the Chernobyl nuclear reactor is a catastrophic accident there has been a nuclear accident in the Soviet Union and the Soviets have a better than it happened one of the atomic reactors at the turnable atomic power plant in the city of Kiev was damaged in 1986 the uranium-fueled nuclear reactor at Chernobyl suffers a catastrophic failure radiation is released across Europe a radioactive cloud headed north across Poland today and in a Denmark where radiation levels were five times normal to Finland six times normal soldiers are ordered to smother the reactor and to limit their exposure to the intense radiation they’re allowed to work for short periods only before they must be replaced by others the first responders to the accident in the early hours of that morning with a Chernobyl fireman they charged with incredible courage into a massive level of radiation they put out the fires and then they were taken to hospital where they began to die [Music] in the nearby city of prypiat people are asked to pack a few small personal belongings they are to be temporarily evacuated but they have never returned high levels of radiation mean the city and the countryside around the reactor remain an abandoned exclusion zone the Chernobyl exclusion zone I’m traveling with a physicist who works in nuclear medicine she prefers to be called bionerd she’s been here several times before studying radiation so you can see how this radio horizon levels here okay go to work or find my procedures no I’m over a nine microsieverts an hour the alarms going off on my diet heaven the thing is screaming yeah yeah eleven Mike Racine is a known like 105 natural background natural background is the level of radiation naturally occurring on earth on average it’s around point two microsieverts per hour but this place isn’t going to be natural bionerd and I are going into the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident we are going into the city of Pripyat where the warm forest slowly claims the city visitors are allowed in here but only for brief periods and never overnight this was a model city about 50,000 people lived here mostly workers at the nuclear power plant and their families this is what the moon looks like nuclear reactors like the Chernobyl reactor split uranium atoms they smash them into fragments that releases heat which is how they generate electricity when uranium atoms smash they break into smaller fragments and when the Chernobyl reactor blew it spread those fragments across the city like dust [Music] the light dusting of invisible smashed uranium atoms still radioactive is what our Geiger counters are picking up the radiation level is about 20 times average background that’s not too dangerous for this place because the radiation released from the reactor coated this city unevenly so there’s hot spots that are really dangerous even lethal a lot of people are afraid of radiation but you’re not why not I’m not scared of radiation because you know I just can attach a different kind of sense to myself by using a Geiger counter and if you know what you’re doing and if you know how to is previous readings then you’re pretty much as safe as if you were to cross a road and just look left and right for the cars I’m only walk when there’s no count what are the biological effects of getting exposed to radiation he’s high doses of radiation if it’s very very high doses like this it does not only damage your immune system but it also yeah damages your entire body you could you can say it’s pretty much to being hit by a truck so DNA gets wrecked the cells don’t function anymore and if your cells don’t function you know you’re done but the effects radiation has on a person always depends on the divorce at the time it’s received you know for example if I give you one bottle of vodka and I say suck it down and you’ll be going to the hospital because it will be intoxicated poison plant if I give you one bottle of vodka and say drink it evenly over a year you won’t feel anything so it’s the amount of substance or radiation explosion the terms that actually makes a poisonous or not poisonous the most insidious thing about radiation is how invisible it is you can’t feel it you can’t smell it or see it this could be pristine wilderness but it’s not and even the effects of radiation are almost invisible it may make you sick but perhaps not today or this year maybe you’ll find out in ten years time that you have certain form of leukemia was that caused by your exposure to radiation or were you going to get it anyway and that’s the problem with radiation that’s why people fear it I think so much I’m about to go into the hospital at Pripyat this is where the firemen were taken after they fought the fires at the Chernobyl reactor that is the door to the emergency room at the previous patrol this is where the firemen were brought after fighting the blaze over at the Chernobyl reactor their clothing is actually still in the basement [Music] but I want to go down there to see how contaminated that clothing is and I want to understand what those firemen went through Barnard says the radiation down there might be ten thousand times higher the natural background and that’s dangerous so we need protection you don’t want to ingest or breathe in this stuff I think this is the time when I get a real sense of the danger of radiation it’s right here [Music] the main radiation down here is from one particular fragment of split uranium atoms it’s called cesium 137 and the radiation is releasing is what you can hear the piston in the basement is not too high it’s under that one like receiving program just slipping at us become an edge with my boots on us – right that’s another one micro sievert per hour that’s five times natural background on the floor up ahead what we had come to see a boot from one of the Chernobyl fire that’s 10,000 times natural background radiation and then we found a room with a pile of the firemen’s theater tunics boots and helmets heaped on the floor and then you see it’s any magazines in an aesthetical that’s 2,500 times higher than natural background radiation and I was happy to stay outside but then bionerd Hey we had been down there just four minutes but that was enough we had seen the clothing of the firemen of Chernobyl [Music] is it since [Music] put that in perspective if you’re down there for an hour that would be what you’d normally receive in a year and I’ll also you know if you receive your dose all at once it’s much worse than having it spread out throughout the year because over that time your body is time to repair any damage but you know you get higher doses all at once that’s when it becomes dangerous to understand why this place is still so toxic we need to understand half-life the rate at which radioactive atoms decay imagine this soccer ball is an atom of cesium 137 it is unstable and at some point in the future it will spit out particles decaying into something that is no longer dangerous but I cannot tell you when it will do that it could be today or next week or even a hundred years from now what I can tell you is that if you have a whole bunch of these atoms then in 30 years exactly half of them will have decayed emitted their radiation and become no longer dangerous that is the half-life of cesium 137 it’s 30 years now it’s been about 30 years since the Chernobyl accident and in that time half of the caesium-137 that was released has decayed and the other half of it is still here still releasing radiation that is why the firemen’s clothing is still dangerous it’s also why people won’t live here again for hundreds of years [Music] uranium has ensured the people of prypiat will never return [Music] some fragments of split uranium atoms have half-lives of just seconds but others like cesium 137 last for decades high above the city out on the horizon the Chernobyl reactor itself and the most astounding half-life of them all uranium that is the damaged Chernobyl nuclear reactor in 1986 after the accident it was encased in the sarcophagus that you can see now but it’s weathering and cracking and needs to be replaced so they’re building a new confinement structure over here they can’t build it above the old sarcophagus because the levels of radiation are still too high so they’ll have to slide the whole structure across it’ll cost billions of dollars and this structure will last a hundred years and that is only a temporary solution because the half-life of uranium 238 is four and a half billion years it’s the same as the lifetime of the earth so in five billion years when all life has ceased on this planet and the Sun is engulfing the earth only half of the uranium which is still in that sarcophagus will have decayed away but there are other dangerous radioactive fission fragments in there with much shorter half-lives the astounding thing is some of these can be used to save lives in this unremarkable building they take what makes Chernobyl so dangerous and they make a life-saving medicine all right I am all set suited up and ready to go into Australia’s one and only nuclear reactor this is not a power reactor it is a research reactor and here they create medicine and technology the medicine they make here is called technetium-99m applause until accounting is today but what’s really exciting is where they make it okay please proceed [Music] this is a nuclear reactor it’s actually open cool reactor which means that the core is visible 12 meters underneath that water [Music] you can see a blue glow down there which is actually called Cherenkov radiation what that is is electrons moving through the water faster than light can move through the water and that creates what’s kind of like an optical sonic boom that’s the blue glow of light which forms a cone behind every electron