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Chapter Twenty-One Arctic Nuclear Pollution

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Chapter Summary

This chapter briefs about the the Arctic region's particular vulnerability. It then reviews the problem of Arctic nuclear pollution that began with the nuclear build-up of the cold war. The chapter deals with the current energy crisis and the re-emergence of nuclear power as a viable non-greenhouse gas emitting response. It also examines of the waste problems of the Northern and Pacific Fleets, Russia's nuclear power program, and the extent to which Russia's ambitious civil nuclear program will aggravate the waste problem. The chapter then analyses the current legal overlay, pointing both to its promise and its weaknesses. It addresses future concerns and offer suggestions for modest and feasible legal changes that would smooth passage along the long and difficult journey of cleaning up and preventing further Russian nuclear pollution of the Arctic. The Arctic coastal regions therefore are a global commons of high conservation value.

Keywords: Arctic nuclear pollution; cold war; high conservation value; non-greenhouse gas



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