The Nuclear Legacy in Urbanized Areas: Generic Problems and the Moscow Case Study

Novikov, V. (2007). The Nuclear Legacy in Urbanized Areas: Generic Problems and the Moscow Case Study. IIASA Research Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RR-07-001

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This publication signals the closure of IIASA's Radiation Safety of the Biosphere Program that started in 1995. The goal of the Program was to assess the world radiation legacy after the end of the Cold War. As such, it was a typical IIASA program: interdisciplinary, independent, and involving East-West collaboration.

The Program aimed to investigate the accumulation over the past 50 years of vast quantities of radioactive waste and numerous radioactively contaminated sites resulting from the production and testing of nuclear weapons, as well as from nuclear accidents, in several countries, particularly Russia and the United States.

While it was not possible for the Program to provide a complete inventory of all sites and remediation options, it did select the most significant examples. Studies of Russian sites, a comparison of these to similar sites in the United States, and ongoing studies in China helped to provide a greater perspective on the problem.

The Program carried out one of the first unclassified studies of the local problems related to radioactive contamination in areas of the former Soviet Union. This led to the publication of the book "Radiation Legacy of the Soviet Nuclear Complex", which presented the first authoritative and detailed information available outside the former Soviet Union about the nuclear inheritance of the past half-century.

The Radiation Safety of the Biosphere Program also attracted the attention of policy makers to the problem of the nuclear legacy in urban areas. The directorate of the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow requested IIASA to start an international study to assess the radiological risk and resulting public impact from past waste management practices at the Institute.

Responding to this request, the Radiation Program performed a scoping analysis of the environmental and social impacts of the radioactive waste disposal sites on the premises of the Kurchatov Institute which, because of the growth of the city of Moscow over the last 50 years, had actually become a part of downtown Moscow.

This case study, which is reported in this Research Report, is an illustration of the general problem of the nuclear legacy in urban areas. With this report IIASA finalizes a successful program, which was not only an example of the Institutes collaborative work across the East-West political divide but also of IIASA's commitment to addressing issues of global change.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Report)
Research Programs: Radiation Safety of the Biosphere (RAD)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:39
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:19

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