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Should the city of Pripyat be saved?:

Crisis forces Ukraine to cut Chernobyl pensions

The global crisis may force the government of Ukraine to cut down on the number of people receiving compensation as the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion.

Previously Ukraine announced the intention to increase the number of aid receivers, but the global financial crisis, which has been very harsh on the ex-Soviet state, makes finding an extra $260 million for the payments almost impossible. Instead, the government on Thursday suggested narrowing the area currently considered contaminated, and thus cutting down on benefits paid to all resident of this area.

A bill that offers to eliminate 332 settlements from the list of contaminated localities was introduced to the Rada, Ukrainian parliament, during hearings dedicated to the issue of Chernobyl, Unian news agency said. “Recent radiology reports have shown that 332 settlements can be cleared of their hazardous status,” Emergency Minister Vladimir Shandra told the MPs. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy says that the budget allocates only one tenth of the funds for Chernobyl pensions that is necessary. The explosion of the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in April 1986 resulted in a huge release of radioactivity into the environment. The majority of affected areas are now considered safe for settlement and economic activity, however a recent study shows that the effect of radiation on the environment in the area may be underestimated.


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