UN Chief Pledges Aid On Chernobyl Disaster Anniversary

NEW YORK, NY -- UN chief Ban Ki-moon marked the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine by pledging UN assistance for the stricken region's renewal.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon

In a statement to mark the anniversary which falls today, he noted that the UN General Assembly has proclaimed 2006-2016 a 'decade of recovery and sustainable development" for the Chernobyl area.

"The UN will do all it can during the 'decade of recovery' to support efforts toward the region's full renewal," Ban said as he urged the world community to "sustain its generosity in supporting the recovery of Chernobyl affected areas."

On April 26, 1986, reactor number 4 at Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded, contaminating large parts of Europe but especially the then-Soviet republics of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.

Over 25,000 "liquidators" who worked on the ruined reactor and constructed a concrete sarcophagus enclosing it, have died since then, according to official figures.

The station, whose last reactor continued to produce electricity, was closed down in December 2000.

Source: The Economic Times