Just so HN readers know… this ^ quote is total bullshit.
The USSR did not take responsibility or implement good clean up from day 0; at all. They lied/covered up as much as they could, for as long as they could, endangering their own land, people, and economy. Chernobyl is historically regarded as a propaganda clusterfuck and a major economic, civic, and political failure of modern history.
I could argue a number of this guy’s points, but the specific claim that the USSR excelled at “taking responsibility” and implementing an institutional clean up/response “from day 0”, is the polar opposite of all existing historical and scientific fact.
The historical fact here is that the USSR’s response to Chernobyl was horribly botched, heavily manipulated by propaganda, and that the public was extremely uninformed of the context, causes, and consequences (both immediate and future), of the disaster.
The response was swift, yes, but dangerous, uninformed, and unorganized. Even the military/emergency crews and government employees/engineers first sent in to respond to the disaster, were lied to about the specifics and risks of the incident. For civilians in the USSR, there was a total information black out for the first 2 days. Most citizens gleaned only limited facts/information, days and weeks later, largely via rumor or from international media. Effective institutional response (from inside the USSR) and more accurate reporting only arrived after much international pressure and media attention. The major civilian backlash at the falsehoods and failures of Chernobyl, and the extreme financial expense of the disaster, was one of the final blows in exposing and crippling the Gorbachev regime.
[Source: I'm an environmental historian and science teacher]