Saturday, April 12, 2014

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'via Blog this'

Putin and Russia should pay
Ukraine for Chernobyl
While Moscow tries to focus
attention on the unpaid natural gas bills of the new Kiev government, the world
should be making Russia pay to complete the the restoration of the Chernobyl
Russia has left the bankrupt
Ukraine to pay for clean up and maintenance of an exclusion zone around the 26,000-square
kilometer (10,039 square mile) site.
A meltdown at the
Soviet-built and operated nuclear plant on April 26, 1986 created a huge
wasteland barely 80 miles from Kiev that extends into the former Soviet
republic of Belarus, five miles from the reactor.
More of Belarus was
contaminated than Ukraine or Russia, by some accounts.
Russia hid the deadly
accident, the biggest man-made disaster of all time, until Sweden detected
extremely high levels of radiation.
The negligence, which some
scientists believe has led to one million deaths and shortened the lives of
many other people, probably contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Russia has left payment for
construction of a huge dome over the nuclear plant to Ukraine, which lacks the
more than $2 billion left to complete the project. Japan is paying many times
that to recover from its nuclear disaster, triggered by a tsunami and
earthquake, not government incompetence.
Despite the accident, Russian
President Vladimir Putin has continued to push for the development of more
nuclear energy. Considering the huge reserves Russia has of natural gas,
critics consider his position almost criminal.
The Good News
Chernobyl is the one corner
of Ukraine that no one need fear Russia or the empire-driven Putin will seek to
annex. And it is near the border of the obliging former Soviet Republic, Belarus,
only 100 miles from Kiev.
That is the official wasteland
of 2,600-square-kilometers called the exclusion zone. Many scientists think the
area affected by the meltdown of the former Soviet nuclear power plant is much
Scientists do not agree on
how many died as a result of the disaster or had their lives shortened. Some
have put the toll above 1 million.
Other areas in the world,
including surrounding US nuclear plants and nuclear weapon facilities, also
have claimed an unknown number of lives.


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