Possibly, yeah. Although Ukraine could technically sue Russia for such negligence on the grounds that as the successor to the Soviet Union, Russia would have inherited all the crap that the USSR had done.
Well it could try, assuming the USSR still collapses as OTL. However unless there's a much more democratic and responsible government in Moscow their unlikely to get anywhere no matter what international courts might say on it. Although since Belarus also suffered very badly you could end up with the two allied against Moscow in some way.
Probably the nuclear taboo won't be known until Tohoku in 2011.
Eh, I doubt it; we had had the Three Mile Island accident already. It would have been weaker without such an example as Chernobyl was... unless another big accident happens later on, spurred on by laxer safety standards due to a lack of a Chernobyl disaster.
I’m not certain of that. Neither the Chernobyl nor - contrary to common perception - the Fukushima accident had previously unknown root causes. Three Mile Island was different. Not that it couldn’t have been prevented at all, but the chain of events (small but undetected loss of coolant) wasn’t really something that was previously thought of, and the incident changed the perception of what was adequate and what wasn’t.
So how is it possible to stop the Chernobyl nuclear plant from exploding?
The most simple measures are: 1) Train the crew not to knowingly ignore the most basic safety regulations to expedite the completion of a safety test. 2) Provide a reactor protection system that will refuse to execute the removal of too many control rods and/or perform an emergency shutdown if that command occurs. Maybe the Sowjets have a Three Mile Island type accident that doesn’t lead to a major release of radioactivity but serves as a wake up call.