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Third, is Chernobyl representative of the nuclear power industry in the USSR?

Nuclear power plants - Ukraine - Chernobyl - Accidents. Is there, for example, a well-documented history of neglect and general safety problems at Soviet nuclear power plants?

Moreover, the author’s sphere of expertise pertains to the Soviet economy rather than nuclear physics.

It should be stated at the outset that the object is not to judge or condemn the USSR, or to make any kind of political comment, but to an- alyze an industry that has remained shrouded in secrecy since its incep- tion in the USSR in 1954.

For Ukrainian offi- cials, nuclear power represented a way out of an impasse, a passport to an enterprising future.

Consequently, while this book comprises a study of the Soviet nuclear power industry in its entirety, the emphasis is on the Ukrainian scene.

Ukrainians in the West have catalogued Chernobyl as another chapter in a sad twentieth-century history that includes a man-made famine in 1932-3, the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, and many of the major con- flicts of the German-Soviet war of 1941-5.

The book was completed with the fi- nancial assistance of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), University of Alberta. The accident in the northern reaches of Ukraine received world attention as soon as the radiation cloud that re- sulted drifted over Scandinavia.

Immense pressure has been placed on lo- cal officials to comply with ambitious development plans.

Ukraine has remained one of the most important economic regions of the USSR , but in several key spheres, its industries have stagnated or declined in output: coal, steel and chemicals being the most important.

It seeks the answers to several pertinent ques- tions.

In origin, it predates the Chernobyl accident, but inevitably its format has been determined by that event.Whether reports took the form of a news report from the site itself, a speech by Mikhail Gorbachev, or an Izvestiia correspondent’s denuncia- tion of the West followed by a listing of “accidents” at nuclear power plants outside Eastern Europe, the goal was the same: to avoid prejudic- ing the future of nuclear power in the USSR.