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Viche 2011 7

7, 2011

To be in Time in a Year

On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the tragedy at the Chornobyl nuclear power station the Verkhovna Rada held hearings on the topic: Current situation and urgent tasks to overcome the consequences of the Chornobyl disaster. Opening the meeting the presents honoured the people died because of similar nuclear accidents in Japan with the minute of silence.

Taking into consideration that the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych declared 2011 as the year of solving the Chornobyl problems, the participants of the hearings stressed on the following: the initiative requires understanding and support of the international community, especially of the Group of Eight and of the European Union.

The most important task is to improve the situation of constant under-funding because now, 10 years after the final closure of Chornobyl, the costs from the state budget are allocated to maintain its security but not its decommissioning. And because of the delay (7-8 years more than it was planned) of realization of the international technical assistance projects the cost of a new shelter has increased from USD 505 million to nearly USD 1.3 billion.

However, the First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Adam Martynyuk said that, according to the results of the first quarter, the parliament will review the state budget for 2011 due to the increased revenues to the state treasury. We will find opportunity and will offer some funds to be redirected for solving the problems of Chornobyl because, really, I know what a little attention is paid by the state to this problem, A. Martynyuk said.

The Head of the State Agency for Management of an exclusion zone Volodymyr Kholosha noted that currently the area of over 30 thousand hectares has been deactivated. Also more than 923 000 cubic metres of wastes were gathered and buried; more than 12.5 thousand tons of materials and equipment were deactivated. Worked out nuclear fuel has been unloaded from all three reactors of the Chornobyl nuclear power station. The third unit is free from nuclear fuel at all. Works on the releasing of fuel the reactors 1 and 2 are being continued.

Finally, the parliamentarian said that today our country takes the 8th place in the world according to the electricity production at nuclear power stations. Objectively nuclear energy remains the one of the most stable areas of fuel and energy complex of Ukraine and covers half of the country's electricity needs.

Oleksiy SYSHCHUK