Kiev hosts international conference on 25th anniversary of Chernobyl tragedy

Ukrainian capital Kiev will host on Wednesday an international scientific conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of tragic events at the country’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

The conference will be attended by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, UN Secertary General Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland, European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and other high-ranking officials, experts and scientists.

An explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 resulted in highly radioactive fallout in the atmosphere over an extensive area. A 30-kilometer (19-mile) exclusion zone was introduced following the accident.

Vast areas, mainly in the three then-Soviet republics of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, were contaminated by the fallout from the major nuclear meltdown. Some 200,000 people were relocated after the disaster.

Over the last 16 years, Ukraine has consistently been trying to raise funds to build a new shelter over the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl and make the area environmentally safe. The total amount needed to implement the entire project is approximately $2.2 billion. About half of this has been raised so far.

KIEV, April 20 (RIA Novosti)

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