Belarus to test reusability of land near Chernobyl

August 5th, 2011 - 7:34 am ICT by IANS  

Minsk, Aug 5 (IANS) Belarus will examine the possibility of reusing thousands of hectares of lands near the disaster-hit Chernobyl nuclear plant, an official said.

“Over the 25 years that have passed since the disaster, elements such as caesium and strontium - the key pollutants of the territories - have already half disintegrated. That is why the issue of the reuse of such lands is coming to the fore,” Vladimir Chernikov, director of the department for liquidation of the Chernobyl aftermath, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Belarusian specialists believe that some of these lands might be used for “planting trees, grass, probably not for growing food crops but rather for seed growing or for growing technical cultures”.

Chernikov said some of the polluted territories, such as the Polessky radiation reserves, have been put out of use for centuries. Other lands will be assessed by experts within two months.

The nuclear powere plant was located around 16 km from the Ukraine-Belarus border.

On April 26, 1986, Chernobyl’s reactor No.4 suffered a catastrophic power increase, leading to explosions in its core. This dispersed large quantities of radioactive fuel and core materials into the atmosphere and ignited the combustible graphite moderator.

The cost of the Chernobyl disaster in Belarus was estimated at $235 billion, and over the past 25 years, Belarus has spent more than $19 billion in dealing with the disaster.

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