Lenin urged the Bolsheviks to support the modernization of Soviet industry, to take from capitalism its greatest achievements in technology and tie them to socialist "production relations." A technological utopian, Lenin believed that technology was the path to the glorious communist future.
He saw electricity as the key to revolutionize backward Tsarist industry.
On the morning after the explosion, because the authorities had yet to notify the residents of the nearby town of Pripiat about the seriousness of the accident, fishermen downstream from the reactors cast their lines in the river.
At dozens of sites throughout the nation, the Ministry of the Fish Industry joined the Ministry of Electrification to seed fish into rivers made warmer by cooling effluent.
But the roots of the Chernobyl disaster were to be found in a special mindset central to atomic-powered communism.
This was a deep-seated belief dating to the first days of Soviet power in the perfectibility of technology and the ability to place it on any site.
So to keep budgets within projections and somewhat competitive with fossil fuel facilities, the reactors share equipment in common machine halls and employ standard industrial structures, pumps, compressors, conduit, corrugated steel roofs, and piping.
In the engineers' minds, the reactors don't spoil the preserve; in fact, the planners refer to it as a "reactor park." And the canals create a "Venice" of nuclear power, where warm-water effluent in the canals attracts geese and ducks, who winter there rather than completing their southern migration.
In the Khrushchev era, they prepared the way for building massive hydroelectric power stations on the Ob, Irtysh, Angara, and Enesei rivers, at the same time identifying the rich oil and gas reserves of Tiumen Province in northwest Siberia and preparing to harvest coal in the Kuznetsk Basin (Kuzbas) in south central Siberia.No sooner had Lenin endorsed GOELRO, the State Electrification Plan, in 1920 than they embarked on research into Russia's great energy potential.