Speaking at a news conference Monday on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the worst ecological disaster, the Ukrainian Embassy Trade and Economic Minister Dr. Yaroslav Voitka, however, said the complete decommissioning of the entire nuclear power plant and transforming the facility into an ecologically safe system will take about 70 years.
The accident happened on April 26, 1986, when one of the four reactors exploded sending tonnes of radioactive material into the air. Some of these were carried around the world, but 70 per cent of the radioactive substances blew north over the population of Belarus, eastern Europe.
Though only 50 deaths were reported directly, but as a result of the accident more than 145 thousand square kilometres in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia were contaminated, over five million people were affected and about five thousand settlements were contaminated with radioactive sediments. Some 2218 towns and cities with a population of approximately 2.4 million in Ukraine alone were affected.