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The shadow of Chornobyl. Ukraine thirty years after the disaster. OSW COMMENTARY NUMBER 210/22.04.2016

Olszański, Tadeusz A. (2016) The shadow of Chornobyl. Ukraine thirty years after the disaster. OSW COMMENTARY NUMBER 210/22.04.2016. [Policy Paper]

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    Thirty years after the Chornobyl nuclear power plant disaster, its aftermath and consequences are still a permanent element of the economic, environmental and social situation of Ukraine, Belarus and some regions of Russia. Ukraine, to which the scope of this text is limited, experienced the most severe shock because, among other factors, the plant where the accident took place was located just 100 km away from Kyiv. Its consequences have affected the course of political developments in the country, and have become part of the newly-shaped national identity of independent Ukraine. The country bore the huge cost of the clean-up effort but did not give up on nuclear energy, and today nuclear power plants generate more than half of its electricity. The system of social benefits for people recognised as disaster survivors, which was put in place by the Soviet government, has become a huge burden on the country’s budget; if implemented fully, it would account for more than 10% of total public spending, and is therefore being implemented to only a partial extent. This system has reinforced the Ukrainian people’s sense of helplessness and dependence on the state. The disaster has also become part of the ‘victim nation’ blueprint of the Ukrainian national myth, which it has further solidified. The technological and environmental consequences of the disaster, and hence also its economic costs, will persist for centuries, while the social consequences will dissipate as the affected generation passes away. In any case, Chornobyl will remain an important part of the life of the Ukrainian state and society.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Ukraine
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2016 13:32
    Number of Pages: 9
    Last Modified: 28 Apr 2016 13:32

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