Friday is the final day of a four-day conference on Chernobyl, itself the curtain-raiser for a week of commemorations in Ukraine of the nuclear accident which took place a quarter-century ago.
With the green light given to over a half a billion euros to build a new anti-radiation concrete shell over the gutted reactor, guarantees are now needed that the new shield will represent value for money, and do the job.
“The most terrible thing is that the money was out of control. Today the most serious problem deals with controlling the money spent. A lot of the 700 million already spent has been wasted. Apart from money, Europe can help with specialists. This is very, very important. I think that today although money is important we need a high quality approach to solve this problem. It was Fukushima that sent out a very serious signal -you should pay great attention to the consequences of accidents like these,” says Chernobyl official receiver, Anatolyi Rakhanskyi.
Until Fukushima Chernobyl was the world’s worst nuclear accident, and Ukraine has lived with that crippling legacy for 25 years.
“For Ukrainians the social consequences operate on many levels,” says euronews’ Julia Poukhli.
“I was born in that year. I know the problem. I have passed the medical examinations and they said that almost all the kids born in 1986 had thyroid gland diseases and a lot of others,” said one young local man.
“Not everything is fine. Everybody speaks about the sarcophagus, about the plans to construct something new and totally hermetic, but we do not see it and do not know. We all understand that things are not going really well but we have lived with this for many years,” was an elderly woman’s opinion.