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Romania's Industrial Legacy Leaves Deep Scars [Slide Show]

Six decades ago, Romanians were promised economic prosperity as their country was industrialized, but in most cases, they were left with collapsed buildings, poisoned soils and disoriented communities

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During industrialization, new towns and residential quarters were built to accommodate the urban workers needed to run Romania's new industries. The standard of living of many former villagers grew after the moved into relatively comfortable flats and guaranteed jobs.....[ More ]

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Built in the early 1960s, the large steelworks in Galati remains the keystone of the city's economy.....[ More ]

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In the 1980s the C.U.G. Heavy Machinery Plant in Cluj-Napoca had more than 8,000 employees. Now the production halls are empty and the majority of the workers are unemployed.....[ More ]

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The slag heap of the Mintia thermal power plant remains long after the plant's electrical production slowed. The facility, constructed in 1966, was part of a network of power plants built to fuel Romania's new industries.....[ More ]

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The gold mine in Certeju de Sus closed in 2006. Now, a largely foreign-owned company has obtained most of the approvals needed to reopen the mine. The future of the depleted pit and the cyanide-containing tailings remains uncertain.....[ More ]

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As young adults, Ioan Rosca and his wife followed the promise of industrial jobs to Hunedoara. They returned to their native village of Geamăna in 1991, which had been transformed into the tailings pond of the Roșia Poieni copper mine.....[ More ]

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A non-ferrous metal mine, the only source of jobs in Muncelu Mic, Hunedoara, closed in 1998 after five decades in operation. Now, only a few buildings remain in the depopulated mining town. Children who attended the local school, which also closed, are transported to schools in a nearby valley.....[ More ]

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Ocna Mureş used to be a small industrial town. The soda plant, which functioned here for more than a century, has closed. Most of its young inhabitants left to work in other towns or abroad.....[ More ]

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Behind the boy are the city of Târgu Mureş and the chemical plant built next to the town. The fertilizer plant provides income for several thousand local families. It also releases nitrogen oxides, ammonia and other gases, threatening the health of more than 100,000 nearby residents.....[ More ]

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A young boy watched cattle graze on pasture land behind the Azomureş chemical plant.....[ More ]

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A scrap metal collector smokes a cigarette rolled from a piece of newspaper on the tailing pond of the closed Bicapa chemical plant.....[ More ]

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A scrap collector who identified himself only as Nicolae digs out pieces of discarded metal from the tailings pond of the closed Bicapa chemical plant in Târnăveni. On lucky days he finds 15-20 kilograms of scrap, which he can sell to the local scrap metal dealer for 10-14 lei (between $3-$4 US).....[ More ]

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