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Ukraine Leader: World Must Pay for Chernobyl
Awhile back there was an article that concluded there were tens of
thousands of cancers, etc. due to Chernobyl. Some intuitive
individuals stated that the insinuations were in reality, requests
for funds.. Well, here is the request! The world should pay ... of
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian leader Leonid Kuchma on Saturday urged the
world to pay for the Chernobyl nuclear disaster as thousands of
Ukrainians and Belarussians prepared to mark the 12th anniversary of
"It is a tragedy on a planetary scale and the whole world must pay for
the damage," President Kuchma, cited by Interfax Ukraine news agency,
told reporters in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
At 1.26 a.m. on April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl station's fourth reactor
exploded, releasing a lethal radioactive cloud.
The cloud poisoned not only 150,000 sq kilometres (40,000 sq miles) of
territory in Ukraine and the neighbouring republic of Belarus -- both
were then part of the Soviet Union -- but also affected places as far
away as farms in England and Wales.
Hundreds of thousands had to abandon the immediate zone around the
plant where weeds and trees now choke billions of dollars worth of
housing and equipment contaminated in the accident.
Last week Ukraine's health ministry said radiation-related diseases
were 3.9 times more prevalent than before the explosion, with rates of
thyroid cancer among children 10 times higher.
The accident also had enormous political consequences for Mikhail
Gorbachev, Soviet leader at the time, as the preliminary hush-up after
the explosion sorely tested his new policy of glasnost, or openness.
On Sunday Ukrainian workers at Chernobyl who were moved to the nearby
town of Slavutich will place candles in front of photographs of those
who died from massive doses of radiation, mostly firemen, at exactly
the same time as the explosion.
In Minsk, capital of Belarus, opposition activists are planning a
protest to mark the disaster.
Belarus police units were already much in evidence on the streets of
Minsk on Saturday, Reuters reporters said.
The protests are usually the opposition's largest annual demonstration
in the republic ruled by authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Ukraine says it will restart Chernobyl reactor Number Three -- the
only one of four which has functioned since the disaster -- in the
middle of May.
It was shut down last year after cracks were discovered in the cooling
This will not please Western nations pressing Ukraine to close down
the stricken plant.
Donor nations, including the Group of Seven (G-7) richest industrial
nations, have agreed to give more than $300 million in aid to repair a
steel and concrete "sarcophagus" covering the destroyed fourth
But Ukraine argues it needs $750 million to do the job and a further
$1.6 billion to finish two new nuclear reactors in the west of the
country, which the government says are needed to replace Chernobyl's
Kuchma, quoted by Interfax, criticised G-7 countries for delays in
providing aid and said of the two new reactors: "I don't see today any
alternative to nuclear energy."
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