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Yanukovych warned Europe about Chornobyl threat

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On the 24th anniversary of the world's worst atomic accident, Ukraine's president warned Monday that a reactor at Chornobyl remains a serious threat to Europe.
The 1986 explosion of reactor No. 4 sent a cloud of radiation over much of Europe, and severe health problems persist. President Viktor Yanukovych says about 2 million people have illnesses caused by the radiation, and non-governmental organizations estimate the disaster has caused more than 700,000 early deaths.

The reactor is encased in a deteriorating shell and internationally funded work to replace it is far behind schedule. During commemoration ceremonies Monday, Yanukovych said the reactor is a threat "not only for Ukraine, but for Europe, Russia and Belarus."

Yanukovych laid flowers at a monument to explosion victims in Chornobyl and visited a plant that reprocesses spent nuclear fuel. Yanukovych pledged to provide better care for Chornobyl victims and those who still have related diseases, calling that an issue of "conscience and honor." Prime Minister Mykola Azarov promised better medical treatment, higher pensions and accommodation.
Written by: Publisher Tuesday, 27 April 2010 13:19