NEARLY a decade after the world's worst
nuclear disaster, Ukraine has finally
decided to close the Chernobyl nuclear
power station. Ukraine and the Group
of seven industrial nations met recently
at Ottawa, Canada and finalised the
deed to bring the curtains down on Chernobyl.
The memorandum Of Understanding involves US $2.3 billion in aid to close the reactor which wreaked havoc across Europe, after a fire and explosion in the summer of April 198o leaked harmful radiation, the after-effects of which are still in evidence today. The deal foresees the closure of Chernobyl by the year 2000 and will also help develop Ukraine's energy sector, including the completion of two safer nuclear plants. Currently, two working reactors of Chernobyl which are still open produce about five Per cent of Ukraine's electricity.
The accord was signed by Ukraine's environment minister, Yuri Kostenko arid Canada's deputy prime minister and environment minister, Sheila Copps. Said Copps, "The closure of Chernobyl will be an important step toward improving nuclear safety, not only in central and eastern Europe, but throughout the entire world as well."
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