Ukranian and Russian Presidents visit Chernobyl Cathedral on 25th anniversary of explosionApril 26th, 2011 - 9:25 pm ICT by BNO News
KIEV, UKRAINE (BNO NEWS) — Presidents Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine on Tuesday visited St. Ilya Chernobyl Cathedral, as Ukraine marks the Chernobyl Disaster’s 25th anniversary.
On April 26, 1986, an explosion at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant’s No. 4 reactor in then the Ukranian SSR (now Ukraine) released large quantities of radioactive contamination as it was classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale. The incident ultimately affected around 9 million people, as it released around 400 more times radiation that the U.S. atomic bomb dropped over Japan’s Hiroshima during World War II.
That year, 31 deaths were reported to be directly attributed to the incident, but in 2008, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation said the total number of confirmed deaths was 64.
According to the World Health Organization, the number of deaths resulting from the accident could have been up to 4,000, while a Greenpeace report said it could have been 200,000 or more. Meanwhile, a Russian publication said that between 1986 and 2004, 985,000 excess deaths occurred due to Chernobyl’s radioactive contamination.
During the ceremony, the victims were remembered as President Medvedev called for establishing new international standards regarding nuclear safety to help prevent future nuclear catastrophies.
Others gathered at the Russian Orthodox Church in Kiev, Ukraine and the Chenrobyl victim’s monument in Slavutich.
Currently, Ukraine is trying to gather $2.2 billion to build a new shelter over the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl to make the area environmentally safe, as the concrete, steel, and lead sarcophagus constructed over the reactor is deteriorating. After 16 years of raising funds, around 50 percent of the funds have been reportedly gathered.
President Medvedev said that in the upcoming two years, Russia would grant 45 million euros for the construction of the shelter.
Following Japan’s ongoing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis, which was triggered by the catastrophic March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami, renewed international nuclear concerns have caused leaders around the world to discuss and review nuclear safety standards.
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- Medvedev to propose blueprint for greater nuclear safety - Apr 26, 2011
- On Chernobyl anniversary, experts confident about nuclear energy - Apr 26, 2011
- No increased radiation in India: atomic panel - Apr 12, 2011
- Ukraine, NATO to carry out radioactive clean-up - Jun 25, 2011
- India carries radioactive checks at airports after Japan disaster - Mar 16, 2011
- Fukushima crisis level raised to highest level-7 (Lead) - Apr 12, 2011
- Japan has 48 hours to avoid another Chernobyl: Experts - Mar 17, 2011
- Anti-nuke rally to mark Chernobyl's 26th anniversary - Apr 26, 2012
- Nuclear safety needed to avoid Chernobyl like tragedy: UN - Apr 27, 2010
- Japan n-plant damage: US ship crew exposed to radiation - Mar 14, 2011
- Nuclear power as safe as air travel: Kakodkar - Sep 04, 2012
- Japan raises Fukushima accident level to worst - Apr 12, 2011
- Ukraine to open Chernobyl reactor to visitors in 2011 - Dec 14, 2010
- Will Japan's radiation leak reach India? - Mar 21, 2011
Tags: chernobyl disaster, chernobyl nuclear power, chernobyl nuclear power plant, confirmed deaths, dmitry medvedev, effects of atomic radiation, excess deaths, greenpeace report, kiev ukraine, nuclear power plant, nuclear reactor, radioactive contamination, russian orthodox church, russian presidents, russian publication, slavutich, united nations scientific committee, viktor yanukovych, world health organization, world war ii