Sep 26 2007

Former Soviet republics top list of “World’s Most Polluted Places”

by in Uncategorized

The Blacksmith Institute recently published its list of the world’s most polluted places, with four of the top ten located in the former Soviet Union:

* Sumgayit, Azerbaijan (chemical industry)
* Dzerzhinsk, Russia (chemical weapons production)
* Norilsk, Russia (nickel mining)
* Chernobyl, Ukraine (radiation)

Never made it to Sumgayit when I was in Azerbaijan, but the area outside of Baku was the most polluted place I’d ever seen…huge pools of crude oil, rusting equipment, broken pipelines…the place was just a damn mess. Chernobyl, of course, is also extremely polluted, but you could easily mistake it for a nature preserve if not for the “Warning! Radiation!” signs planted throughout the exclusion zone.

In other Chernobyl related news, the Ukrainian government signed a $600 million contract with the French company Novarka for the construction of a new shield to cover reactor four and the current dilapidated sarcophagus. Work is expected to start in October, with a targeted completion date of 2012. The EBRD is picking up most of the tab.

Source: BBC

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