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Ukraine: Yatsenyuk watches on as forest fires close in on Chernobyl01:12

Ukraine: Yatsenyuk watches on as forest fires close in on Chernobyl

Ukraine, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
April 28, 2015 at 09:02 GMT +00:00 · Published

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk observed raging forest fires which are threatening the devastated Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, on Tuesday. The prime minister safely examined the firefighting from a helicopter, which hovered above the affected region. Ukrainian emergency services have reportedly dispatched 34 vehicles, 182 people, a MI-8 helicopter and three AN-32 water dropping plane to battle the blaze.

The Ukrainian National Guard has reportedly been put on high alert, as the fire threatens to come within 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) of the redundant power plant. Estimates vary on the size of the fire, with the Ukrainian Interior Minister stating that the affected area is just 400 hectares [988 acres], whilst Greenpeace Russia believes that situation to be far worse with the flames spreading over 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres).

Chernobyl and the surrounding area have been abandoned following the 1986 nuclear disaster, in which an explosion released massive amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere. The disaster caused an increase in radiation levels throughout much of Europe. Reactor four, where the blast took place, has been sealed off in a substantial concrete sarcophagus to prevent further leaks. Some ecologists have expressed fears that the fire could further radioactive pollution.

Ukraine: Yatsenyuk watches on as forest fires close in on Chernobyl01:12
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Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk observed raging forest fires which are threatening the devastated Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, on Tuesday. The prime minister safely examined the firefighting from a helicopter, which hovered above the affected region. Ukrainian emergency services have reportedly dispatched 34 vehicles, 182 people, a MI-8 helicopter and three AN-32 water dropping plane to battle the blaze.

The Ukrainian National Guard has reportedly been put on high alert, as the fire threatens to come within 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) of the redundant power plant. Estimates vary on the size of the fire, with the Ukrainian Interior Minister stating that the affected area is just 400 hectares [988 acres], whilst Greenpeace Russia believes that situation to be far worse with the flames spreading over 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres).

Chernobyl and the surrounding area have been abandoned following the 1986 nuclear disaster, in which an explosion released massive amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere. The disaster caused an increase in radiation levels throughout much of Europe. Reactor four, where the blast took place, has been sealed off in a substantial concrete sarcophagus to prevent further leaks. Some ecologists have expressed fears that the fire could further radioactive pollution.

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