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Chernobyl Atom Station Dangerous Again? - 17 December, 2002

Chernobyl Atom Station which was closed two years ago still constitutes a serious menace. According to the agency Ukrainskiye Novosti, Chernobyl Atom Power Station could be declared under emergency situation regime. The emergency situation is real because the station administration was informed about possible gas and electricity cut-off, as well as about stopping railway transportation of the power station workers from the Slavutich town. The power station owes 6 million grivnas (approximately $ 1.2 million) for gas and electricity, 2 million grivnas (approximately $ 0.4 million) for the staff transportation, over 9 million grivnas (approximately $ 1.8 million) to contractors for fulfilled work, and about 7 million (approximately $ 1.4 million) to the station workers.

According to the station information service, Chernobyl Atom Station did not receive 94 million grivnas which are necessary for keeping the station in save state, 7 million grivnas  which are necessary to turn the object Ukrytie (shelter) into an environmentally secure system.

Having closed the station, the Ukrainian leadership started to consider the Chernobyl issue to be “closed” as well. Though, this is not so. According to the TV channel Inter, while digging a foundation pit at a distance of 500 metres from the object Ukrytie, “hot particles” were found. Ex-chief of the object, Valentin Kupny said journalists that “alpha-activity” had been registered there. There is americium, europium. This signifies presence of “hot particles.” The territory is polluted, while builders work in this polluted area as if they are somewhere in the city of Kiev, they simply dig a foundation pit.

While in the object Ukrytie, there is now a danger of fire, which could appear during any welding works. Forest fire in the polluted area is very dangerous, too. According to the TV channel Inter, during such fires, radioactive aerosols are being spread to 100-250 km. This is why, Kiev cannot be guaranteed from new radioactive troubles.

It should be remembered that the West still has not fulfilled its financing promises to Ukraine in exchange to closing the station. In particular, to finish the building of atom stations in the cities of Rovno and Khmelnitsk, Ukraine has received $ 44-million credit from Russia, however the seven industrial powers were supposed to help Ukraine. The Chernobyl Atom Station resource was intended to be exploited till 2011, so the decision to close the station was purely political. Though, the West did not properly evaluated this “gesture of good will.”

Apropos, these days, Prime Minister of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich is going to visit Chernobyl Atom Station and the Slavutich town, where the station workers live. According to the Interfax-Ukraina agency, the Prime Minister plans to study the situation in the object which is being built to prepare waste nuclear fuel for storing, to visit the object Ukrytie, and Slavutich international centre of nuclear security, radioactive waste and radioecology.

Morbid questions of Chernobyl Atom Station will be considered at a special sitting. Hopefully, the possible decisions will be adequate to the Chernobyl new challenges.

Andrei Lubensky
PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Vera Solovieva

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