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Oregon to Bill Soviet Union $73,000 for Chernobyl-Linked Radiation Tests

July 12, 1986|United Press International

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon will bill the Soviet Union for the $73,000 it cost the state to conduct radiation tests on air, water and vegetables after the nuclear plant disaster at Chernobyl.

"The Soviet Union's activity has resulted in this cost in Oregon," state Sen. Ed Fadeley said. "The chances of getting the money are only 10% or 15%, but it's not impossible."

Fadeley is a member of a budget committee that approved a motion Friday ordering the state Health Division to bill the Soviet Union for the cost of tests, use of monitoring equipment and overtime.

A radioactive cloud released by the April 26 nuclear accident at Chernobyl reached Oregon several days later, carrying traces of iodine 131, which prompted warnings about drinking rainwater and eating unwashed vegetables.

"If this were judged under U.S. law, anyone operating an ultra-hazardous facility is liable for the damages caused by that facility," Fadeley said.

He said an act of Congress allows individuals or smaller segments of government to sue foreign nations for damages, adding that he will consider a lawsuit if the Soviet Union refuses to pay the bill.

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