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Doubts over finance as Chernobyl conference closes

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Doubts over finance as Chernobyl conference closes


A conference on the on-going problems of the Chernobyl nuclear plant comes to an end today. However, there are fears the money pledged by world powers to contain the gutted nuclear reactor will fall short of what is required.

Despite guarantees of more than half a billion euros following four days of talks in Kiev, the sum is some 200 million euros below what Ukraine had hoped.

Euvgenia Stepanova, a medical professor and the head of Ukraine’s Academy for Paediatric Medicine said: ‘‘We’ve become the most experienced country in the world in dealing with the consequences of such nuclear disasters. But we don’t have enough resources. We have the know-how, but we don’t have the means.’‘

It is exactly 25 years since the reactor at Chernobyl blew, but the recent events in Japan and the risks of nuclear power have cast a deep shadow over the conference.

Our correspondent at the conference in Kiev, Ioulia Poukhli says: ‘‘We’re all in the same boat.’‘ These words resonate and are a call from the organisers of this conference and Ukrainian authorities to the international community. Ukraine, but also Belarus and Russia, cannot solve the health and ecological problems caused by the Chernobyl accident alone.’‘

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