Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chernobyl conferences end inconclusively

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich (left) and French Prime Minister Francois Fillon shake hands during their meeting prior to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund Nuclear Safety Account Pledging Conference in Kiev April 19, 2011. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KIEV - A QUARTER-CENTURY after the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion, a week of meetings assessing the effects of the world's worst nuclear accident has concluded without formal conclusions.

But the conference that ended Friday did send the clear message that Chernobyl will remain expensive and anxiety-provoking for decades to come.

The Ukrainian government organised four days of conferences in the capital Kiev marking the 25th anniversary of the April 26, 1986, blast that sent radioactive fallout over much of Europe.

An international donors' conference raised pledges of 550 million euros (S$988 million) to build a shelter to cover the exploded reactor building for the next century. But that was short of the 740 million euros sought for the shelter and a facility for storing spent reactor fuel. 
-- AP

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