Environment: Legacy Of a Disaster

A Soviet photographer captures haunting images of life after Chernobyl

Four years have passed since the meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, but the grim legacy of the Soviet catastrophe is still unfolding. Large populated areas surrounding the reactor site in the Ukraine and in nearby Belorussia remain contaminated with high levels of radioactivity. The poisoning of the land has created dire health problems and economic devastation. A new study by the chief economist of a Soviet government institute calculates that the cost of Chernobyl, including the price of the cleanup and the value of lost farmland and production, could run as high as $358 billion -- 20 times as much...

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