This is not to speak for or against nuclear power, but to speak against the whitewashing of the Chernobyl catastrophe begun by the Soviets and repeated by those who have a vested interest in minimizing the tragedy. In "Is nuclear power safe?" (March 11), Cecil Adams gives "facts," but no sources. Has he gone to the Ukraine? That's what PBS reporters did. After interviewing scientists there, these are the findings: 4,000 people died early on, not 30 as Adams states. Once lush forests remain blackened wastelands. Babies, in the womb at the time of the crisis, were born with defects and retardation. The whole region now has a lower level of intelligence.
A woman from the university in Kiev told me thousands of sick children were sent to Bulgaria, Russia, and Cuba, making their health hard to track. Thousands of people lined up to have their thyroids removed. The Chernobyl Union of Ukraine, a non-government body, estimates the present death toll at 734,000.