ТОП 10:

Radioactive Contamination Knows No Bounds

It was not until the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant that information began to leak into the open press on the scope of radiation pollution on the territory of the former Soviet Union.

The first centres of radiation pollution on the territory of the former USSR began to develop late in the 1940s, when under the guidance of Lavrenty Beria, the head of the secret police (NKVD), the objectives of the nuclear military-industrial complex were rapidly being built in different parts of the country and hurriedly put into operation.

When Beria’s authorized representatives arrived in the South Urals to select a site for a plutonium plant, nobody asked the opinion of native residents. The construction of the secret structure began near the village of Myuslyumovo. It was only ten years later that the inhabitants of this village realized what a dangerous neighbour they had acquired.

On September 29, 1957 a tank with highly radioactive waste exploded at a secret plant (now the Mayak production association). In an instant, two million curies of mainly long-life radionuclides were ejected into the environment in the form of vapors and aerosols. Two hundred and seventeen towns and villages with 275.000 people were situated on the contaminated territory.

The Chernobyl disaster has undoubtedly made the most substantial contribution with regard to the scope of pollution and the consequences for the population. The density of plutonium pollution within the 30 kilometre sanitary-protective zone exceeded 3 700 Becquerel per square metre.

Conduct a survey of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident, present the result to the class.

Task 20. Read the text and express your opinion on nature preservation in Ukraine. Work out the draft of expansion of existing reserves (such as the Polisky Reserve, the Kanivsky Reserve, the Ascania-Nova Reserve, etc.) and the arrangement of the new ones. Where must they be established? What is the purpose of arranging them?

Standards of Wildlife

Few places in the world are left untouched, not adapted by human beings for satisfying their ever increasing demands and needs. The number of species included into the Red Book is ever increasing, which testifies to the sad fact of the land habitants flora and fauna extinction.

The loss of flora and fauna species, original landscape and other unique nature phenomena is not only the disaster for nature, but for mankind. Such loss limits the possibilities of progress. Since every plant and animal species has its own peculiarities, inherited by generation after generation which empowered the species with the possibility to adapt to the conditions of the environment and occupy their own place in the tightly knitted chain of life.

In case any species gets extinct – the chance of using its unique possibilities either now or in the future is also lost. The link in the life chain is missing.

The problem of nature preservation is acute for Ukraine, since its territory was subjected to strong anthropogenic pressure and ecologically unsustainable economic activities, obsolete technologies and equipment used here have deteriorated the ecological situation to the extreme.

Yet long-suffering but blessed land of Ukraine has not totally lost its charm, it is still abundant in treasures and unique natural resources. And our sacred duty is to preserve them from reckless and thoughtless destruction.

The genetic pool of flora and fauna, biodiversity of landscapes of Ukraine demand great care and concern. The network of reserve territories, which involves nature reserves, biosphere reserves, national parks, regional landscape parks, preserves, nature monuments, isolated terrain features, botanical gardens, dendrological gardens, zoological gardens, areas of unique natural beauty, is designed to conserve nature treasures.


Task 21. Regional ecological problems are the main theme of the discussion in Association of Ecologists. Choose one of the given regions and present the results of your survey in the definite region to the participants of the conference. Make use of the given words and word combinations. Show the region you represent on the map.

The Technogenic Overstrain of the Donetsk-Dnipro Region:

• to cover an area of 112.3 thousand sq. km;

• to be occupied by some 5 thousand enterprises of metallurgy, chemistry, energetics, machine-building, mining etc.;

• intensive land use for agriculture;

• to implement highly effective purification facilities;

• resource-saving, energy-saving and high scientific technologies;

• to close down the enterprises heavily contributing to pollution;

• to develop an industry of waste recycling;

• to implement stricter regulations concerning the payment for natural resources;

• to fine for discharging pollutants to the environment;

• significance of international collaboration.

The Azov-Black Sea Region:

• to accumulate pollutants from almost all the territory of Ukraine;

• to discharge to the seas 28 thousand tons of organic pollutants;

• intensive irrigation, especially regarding rice fields;

• hydrological changes influencing coastal territories;

• highly mineralized drainage waters;

• the degradation of sea inlets and bays;

• a threefold drop in fish catches;

• to save these seas from total ecological destruction;

• international cooperation;

• to implement international measures to improve the water quality of the Danube River;

• a Declaration on the Protection of the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian Polissya:

• the northern parts of Volynsk, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Lviv regions;

• the degradation of soil involving the depletion of the humus layer;

• acidic and eroded areas;

• irreversible hydrological changes;

• decrease in area and number of specific flora;

• to challenge the negative impact of drainage and radioactive pollution;

• the Resolution "On Urgent Measures Concerning the Improvement of Ecological Conditions in the Polissya";

• to establish ecological groups for the monitoring of amelioration activities;

• land reclamation.

The Ukrainian Carpathians:

• to cover only 4% of the country’s territory;

• to concentrate 1/3 of the forest resources of Ukraine;

• 2110 plant species are met here;

• to act as "lungs";

• to be severely endangered by timber-cutting, soil erosion, destruction of the natural vegetation;

• overgrazing livestock in alpine meadows (polonyny);

• chemical contamination;

• acid rains;

• biodiversity conservation;

• to become a recreation zone;

• to introduce environmentally unharmful technologies;

• international collaboration.

The Dnipro River:

• to supply water to 2/3 of the population of Ukraine;

• intensive consumption of water;

• discharge of pollutants coming from the industries, agriculture and sewerage;

• the run-off of fertilizers and pesticides from fields;

• the negative influence of irrigation;

• wetland drainage;

• a cascade of fairly shallow reservoirs (6 reservoirs);

• to destroy the river ecosystem;

• contamination by long-living radionuclide (cesium – 137, strontium – 90);

• to concentrate heavy metals and other toxic elements;

• the decline of fish catches;

• low water quality unsatisfactory for agricultural or domestic use;

• the ecological rehabilitation of small rivers;

• to adopt an all-nation complex program;

• close cooperation with Belarus and Russia.


Task 22. Read the following text and speak on ecological education, and public ecological movement. State its importance for you personally and your community. What should be done to make this ecological movement all-Ukrainian?

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