Russia'S Nuclear Scare Is Omen : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Russia'S Nuclear Scare Is Omen Source: Dayton Daily News Publication date: 2000-09-29 Arrival time: 2000-09-30

KREMLIN APPARATCHIKS WOULD have been proud. On Sept. 13, a Russian news agency reported the scariest nuclear near-miss since Chernobyl by saying, `The Beloyarsk nuclear power plant . . . restored its regular working regime today after a major power cut that paralyzed the area last weekend.' Here's the Scripps Howard News Service translation: A "nuclear catastrophe" involving Russia's aging electrical grid was narrowly averted, but "such close escapes could be expected with growing frequency.'

A short circuit in poorly maintained equipment may have sparked a sudden reactor blackout. Before it was over, the reactor and a plutonium processing plant had spiraled toward meltdown. And Russia reportedly came within half an hour of plunging into another Chernobyl, the 1986 accident that fanned a vast radioactive cloud across northeastern Europe and may have resulted in up to tens of thousands of deaths.

This spring, President Clinton pledged substantial aid to Ukraine to help close Chernobyl and replace the power it generated. Western nations may have to consider a similar strategy for Russia, unpalatable as it may be. That impoverished nation depends heavily on aging nuclear plants it lacks the resources to maintain. Helping may be far less costly - and painful - than coping with a major accident with global repercussions.

But Russian leaders also have a price to pay. To get the help that could keep their country from nuclear disaster, they must be far more willing to let others inspect their plants to assess potential dangers.

-- Martin Thompson (, October 01, 2000


I have long thought this is the kind of world impact accident waiting to happen.

-- LillyLP (, October 01, 2000.

After the fall of the Berlin wall, USA was to help Russia captivate capitalism. We failed. This is the outcome. Thank you Mr. President, and thak you Al Gore, the USA's Russian contact for this administration.

-- Ruth Angell (, October 01, 2000.

Maybe if Russia would quit spending all their money on weapons they would be able to have some to spend on fixing their aging equipment. Maybe they should get their buddies in the middle east to help out.

-- Ann Carter (, October 02, 2000.

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