Chernobyl To Be Sealed In Concrete

Ukraine is seeking more than $1 billion in donations to help build a new concrete structure to seal the remains of the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

A makeshift shelter erected over the damaged reactor within eight months of the accident in 1986 has developed cracks and holes and is no longer considered reliable.

World leaders are gathering in the Ukranian capital Kiev for a conference marking 25 years since the Chernobyl disaster.

Ukraine also needs the money to fund a project to build safe storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel from the plant, which still contains radioactive magma and fuel rods after it exploded during a planned test by engineers.

The projects are administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and have jointly already raised more than 1.1 billion euros in international funding.

Yesterday the Ukrainian minister of emergency situations told journalists touring the power station he expected delegates at the Kiev conference to offer “historic” contributions.

“We expect to collect the most part of this amount at tomorrow’s conference,” Viktor Baloga said.

“We hope each participant of this historic conference will make a historic contribution.”

Ukraine did not issue a list of delegates, although French prime minister Francois Fillon was confirmed as coming.

Organisers said Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin and Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev were also expected.