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Disaster policy and nuclear liability: Insights from post-Chernobyl agriculture in the United Kingdom

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The recent events at Chernobyl have again brought the issues of nuclear safety to the forefront of the nuclear power debate. Fortunately, our experience with such incidents has been very limited, but it is important to learn as much as possible from such events so as to minimize the cost and effect of any other nuclear incidents, be they small or large. Much of the discussion about the possible effects of nuclear incidents has centered around the human cost in terms of health. While this is undoubtedly of paramount concern, the effect of the release of radiation from Chernobyl on the agricultural resource base in Europe can provide valuable insights on how to reduce the costs associated with the contamination of agricultural areas. This article outlines some of the lessons that can be learned using the livestock-raising industry in northern Wales as an example.

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Kerr, W.A., Kwaczek, A.S. & Mooney, S. Disaster policy and nuclear liability: Insights from post-Chernobyl agriculture in the United Kingdom. Environmental Management 13, 521–527 (1989).

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