5 Geo. Int'l Envtl. L. Rev. 375 (1992-1993)
Nuclear Energy Crisis in the Former Soviet Union: Will the Nuclear Energy Protocol of the European Energy Charter Provide the Necessary Solutions

handle is hein.journals/gintenlr5 and id is 381 raw text is: NOTES
Nuclear Energy Crisis in the Former Soviet Union:
Will the Nuclear Energy Protocol of the European
Energy Charter Provide the Necessary Solutions?
On March 24, 1992, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Independent
States (CIS) faced a possible nuclear disaster that many feared would
reach the dangerous levels of the Chernobyl accident.' The Chernobyl-type
reactor at the Sosnovy Bor power station near St. Petersburg developed a
leak and released radioactive iodine into the environment.2 Fortunately, a
serious nuclear catastrophe was averted by safety mechanisms at the power
station. The problem, however, is that many experts fear this accident is
only a sample of what is yet to come if nuclear safety issues in the former
Soviet Union are not addressed immediately.8
The Sosnovy Bor accident only rated a three on the International Nu-
clear Event Scale, whereas Chernobyl rated the maximum               seven.4 Never-
theless, the accident was still a dramatic reminder of the danger facing the
1. Elena Kowalenko, Latvian Outrage, THE WARSAW VOICE, Apr. 5, 1992; John Kampfner, Their
Nuclear Powder Keg: Yesterday's Power Station Accident Symptomatic of the Collapse of Russian
Control Over its Bast Nuclear Legacy, DAILY TELEGRAPH, Mar. 25, 1992.
2. Expert Says Russian Radiation Leak Was Underplayed, Reuter Library Report, (Apr. 1, 1992).
The Sosnovy Bar reactor sprang a leak on March 24, releasing radioactive iodine and sending a wave
of concern around the world. Id.
3. Kampfner, supra note 1; Kowalenko, supra note 1. Kowalenko illustrates the fear of neighboring
Latvians due to Sosnovy Bar:
The accident at the nuclear power station in Sosnovy Bor near St. Petersburg has caused
deep anxiety in Latvia. The anger is due to the attitude of the Russian authorities following
the accident, which resembled that of the former Soviet authorities after the Chernobyl
Kampfner suggests that the Sosnovy Bar incident reminded people that another Chernobyl-type dis-
aster is a possibility in the near future:
Yesterday's accident at the Sosnovy Bar power station re-awakened fears that in the chaos of
the former Soviet Union, control of the nuclear industry, civilian and military, is woefully
lacking. The dangers are innumerable of more explosions on the lines of Chernobyl.
Kampfner, supra note I.
4. Andrew Fisher, Business and Env't: Gaping Holes in the Safety Net, FINANCIAL TIMES, Apr. 1,

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