Following The Collapse Of The Soviet Union, The Environmental

1212 WordsMar 15, 20175 Pages
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the environmental problems of the Soviets came to widespread light. I was interested particularly in the city of Norilsk, which is located north of the Arctic Circle in Siberia. In the paper, I examine Norilsk and its main employer, Norilsk Nickel. I will discuss and analyze the situation of the city in the early 1990s and today, as well as the environmental impact of Norilsk Nickel in the 1990s and today. Finally, I will examine the perception of the environment among Russians in northern towns that are like Norilsk and environmental activism, especially at the local level. In northern Siberia lies Norilsk, an industrial town of over 100,000 people. According to (Textbook) Norilsk is close to…show more content…
34). Norilsk’s main pollution product is sulfur dioxide; Peterson documents Norilsk as the “largest point source of sulfur dioxide emissions in the world” (p. 32) and Pulsipher and Pulsipher further state that the soil around Norilsk is able to be mined profitably for metals (p. 200). This starkly illustrates the picture of Norilsk: an environmental catastrophe where positive action is slow in coming. The lack of action is traceable to Norilsk Nickel, the successor to Norilsk Mining-Metallurgical Combine which was the Soviet enterprise that mined and smelted nickel, copper, and other metals around Norilsk. Norilsk Nickel also operates similar plants in cities across Russia, especially on the Kola Peninsula. The facilities on the Kola peninsula turn a mainly national pollution problem into one that has international implications. Pulsipher and Pulsipher state that Norilsk Nickel is “unconstrained by meaningful environmental regulations” (p. 201); Kotov and Nikitini (1996) further damn the company’s environmental record, “Norilsk Nickel and its subsidiaries are the largest source of air pollution in Russia” (p. 8). Kotov and Nikitini add “approximately 21 percent of the sulfur was deposited in Finland” (p. 9) from the company’s operations in the Kola. Kotov and Nikitini state that in 1996 “the Russian government solicited bids from foreign companies and selected a proposal from a group of Norwegian and
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