News of the WeekEnvironment

Russia's Forest Fires Ignite Concerns About Chornobyl's Legacy

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Science  13 Aug 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5993, pp. 738-739
DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5993.738-b

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In the midst of an unprecedented heat wave this summer, Russia has been scrambling to respond to a devastating epidemic of forest fires, some of which have threatened nuclear research and weapon facilities. Officials in Moscow last week warned of a further nightmarish scenario: Fires could spread to neighboring Ukraine, to its forests contaminated by the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear accident, sending radioactive smoke high into the air and downwind.