Chernobyl is as much a symbol of nuclear risks as a distraction from other problems: some 70 years into the age of nuclear power, we do not have a single reactor that would have a chance without huge public subsidies.

Nor do we have words for, or even a proper picture of, those who suffered most from Chernobyl and Fukushima: the people who clean up. Now that Britain is banking on a nuclear revival we need to learn about the long path to a new generation of reactors.

Uekötter is a Reader in Environmental Humanities at University of Birmingham. He talks to journalist and author Mark Lynas.

Image [top] - 'Untitled', courtesy of Richard P J Lambert