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Russia/Ukraine/ex-USSR

The former Soviet Union was rocked by one of the world's worst environmental disasters on April 26, 1986, when Unit 4 at the Chernobyl reactor site exploded, sending a radioactive plume across the world. The former Soviet Union is still also the site of some of the world's worst radioactive contamination from its nuclear weapons program.

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Thursday
Dec022010

"Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment" available online for free

Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, Dec. 2009, 335 pages, published by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), is viewable online at no charge in PDF format. Go to: http://www.nyas.org/Publications/Annals/Detail.aspx?cid=f3f3bd16-51ba-4d7b-a086-753f44b3bfc1. Then click on “Full Text.” Then, under “Annals Access,” next to “Nonmembers,” click on “View Annals TOC free.” This will allow you, chapter by chapter, to download and/or view the entire text of the book, for free. As the 25th commemoration of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe approaches (April 26, 2011), this vital book could not be more timely. It is written by Alexey V. Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow, Russia; Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Nesterenko, of the Institute of Radiation Safety in Minsk, Belarus. Janette D. Sherman-Nevinger of the Environmental Institute at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A. has served as the Consulting Editor. Please help spread the word about this significant scientific study, and its availability online at no charge. Its hardcopy sale price from the NYAS has been a whopping $150 for nonmembers – out of reach, of course, for most all-volunteer anti-nuclear groups. Besides that, NYAS only printed 700 hardcopies of the book to begin with. Now, no copies are left, and it is unknown if more will be printed.

Thursday
Sep162010

Radiation scare for Moscow parks

Levels of radiation on Moscow’s streets have reached a level so high that the authorities are about to spend 4.7 billion roubles to get rid of it. Given that Russia’s chief doctor Gennady Onishchenko has already warned that Moscow can reduce life expectancy by up to five years, the clean-up cannot come a moment too soon. The Moscow News.

Tuesday
Sep142010

Accident at Russia’s Kursk Nuclear Power Plant reveals blatant disregard of safety standards

Incidents of various degrees of severity are not uncommon at Russian nuclear power plants (NPPs), but when repairs take longer than a month – as was the case with Reactor 1 of Kursk NPP, which was scrammed on July 22 and only went online on August 31 – concerns arise that serious damage must have occurred. A scrutiny of what happened at Kursk NPP seems to indicate the frightening possibility that a malfunction involving any RBMK reactor may turn out to be as devastating as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Bellona.

Tuesday
Sep072010

New book concludes Chernobyl death toll 985,000

This past April 26th marked the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident. It came as the nuclear industry and pro-nuclear government officials in the United States and other nations were trying to "revive" nuclear power. And it followed the publication of a book, the most comprehensive study ever made, on the impacts of the Chernobyl disaster. OpEdNews.

Friday
Aug202010

Fallout from Russia's fires: the ashes of Chernobyl?

A deputy for the regional parliament in Bryansk, Lyudmila Komogortseva, found that radiation levels in the burning forests were six to 12 times higher than they were before the fires began. But just as Moscow kept many of Chernobyl's victims in the dark for days about the dangers they faced — volunteer cleanup crews worked in the wreckage with their bare hands, unaware that they were being exposed to lethal doses of radiation — Russia's leaders again tried to pretend nothing was wrong. Time.