Losses from Chornobyl Disaster to Approximate USD 180 Billion in 2015 – Ukrainian President
KYIV, Ukraine, April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –
In order to minimize the economic losses from the disaster which may reach USD 180
billion in 2015, it is important to come up with a comprehensive development program for
the regions affected by the Chornobyl Nuclear Power plant explosion in 1986. Such
statement was made by the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych during his visit to the
plant in Chornobyl on the 27th anniversary of the nuclear disaster. Construction of a new
safe confinement is one of the core aspects of converting the zone into an ecologically
safe area, reiterated President Yanukovych.
About 2,700 people are still employed at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power plant, despite
the fact that the last reactor has been shut down in 2000. The parliament of Ukraine has
adopted a program of plant decommissioning which includes four stages: extracting the
nuclear fuel (2010-2013), conservation of the reactor systems (2013-2022), decreasing
radioactivity of the systems (2022-2045), and dismantling them (2045-2065).
On April 26, 2013, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov informed that the works
on the new safe confinement for the fourth reactor at the Chornobyl plant are underway and
will be concluded in 2015. The New Safe Confinement project, supported by more than 40
donor nations, is funded through The Chornobyl Shelter Fund, established in December 1997.
Currently, the reactor is contained by the original sarcophagus, constructed hastily
as the firemen and rescue team workers put out the fire in the reactor. More than 400
thousand m3 of concrete and 7,300 tons of metal were used to lock in tons of uranium,
plutonium, radioactive corium, and contaminated dust. Risking their health and life, about
600,000 people participated in the rescue works at Chornobyl over the period of several
years after the disaster.
As a result of the explosion at the fourth reactor at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power
plant, located 100 kilometers north of the capital of Ukraine Kyiv, radioactive substances
contaminated the area of 145,000 square kilometers, including the territories of Ukraine,
Belarus, and Russia. Nearly 5 million people were affected by the disaster. The area with
the radius of 30 kilometers around the plant officially remains uninhabited.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine