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It also shows that because of increasing economic, ethnic, and social inequality in the former Soviet states, debates over environmental justice are beginning to come to the fore.

The book explores the varying environmental, social, political, and economic circumstances of these countries—which range from the Western-style democracies of the Baltic states to the totalitarian regimes of Central Asia—and how they affect the ecological, environmental, and public health. Citizens of the Former Soviet Union give voice to environmental issues and their interrelation to ethnic conflicts, nationalism, criminality, and other issues.

This book convincingly shows how environmental issues and their solutions are critically tied to other factors.

3.1 Introducing the Realm

The compilation illustrates that justice concerns across the FSU are as varied as the many cultures and unique environmental conditions found on a continent spanning half the Northern Hemisphere…. An excellent group of contributing authors provide examples from the Russian Far East, Central Asia, and the Baltic States, and span a host of environmental problems. Summing Up: Recommended. Ostergren Choice.


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From the macro economics of globalization to the micro village economies dependent on natural capital, the authors in this book weave a startling account of economic inequalities, political turmoil, and the direct connection between environment, politics, and demographics…. Challenges in relation to nuclear-waste and accidents The first generation nuclear reactors have reached their designed lifespan.

Gorbachev's Glasnost and Perestroika

The first generation reactors create a higher probability of nuclear accidents, and should be closed at the planned expiry date. They should not be granted permits for prolonged operation.

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Necessary funds for decommissioning must be established, and the preparation of decommissioning started. By-products of nuclear weapons production caused permanent damage near Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk in southern Siberia, and near Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains.


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Nuclear reactors and wastes were dumped into the Barents and Kara seas of the far north, and in far eastern Siberia. Dumping of nuclear wastes in the Sea of Japan East Sea continued until The disposal of nuclear submarines and nuclear waste is still a problematic issue.

Although a number of nuclear submarines have been decommissioned, many are still docked at Russian ports as a result of a lack of money and facilities for storing nuclear wastes. Erosion and degradation of land and water Land and water resources experienced severe degradation during the Soviet period. Chemical fertilizers and airborne pollutants have contaminated some agricultural areas.

Environmental Justice and Sustainability in the Former Soviet Union

Soil resources have also been adversely affected by mismanagement. Broad areas of land in southern Russia suffer from erosion. Wind erosion has affected the more arid parts of the North Caucasus, lower Volga River basin, and western Siberia. Pollutants released into rivers have accumulated in lakes and seas with limited water exchange, including the Caspian Sea, the Sea of Azov, and the Black Sea.

A toxic layer of hydrogen sulfide covers the Black Sea, due in part to organic compounds from agricultural byproducts and untreated sewage.