Chernobyl Not On the Chopping Block

KIEV, Ukraine -- The Group of Seven thought they had a deal with Ukrainian officials to permanently shut down reactor No. 3 at Chernobyl. When No. 4 went critical 13 years ago, 8,000 people died from cancers and radiation related illness, including fire fighters, workers, area residents and others.

Instead of a complete shut down, reactor No. 3 went through five months of repair in 1999 and started up on November 26 amidst opposition and concern about Y2K readiness. Ukraine argues it needs the electricity, especially through the winter months. The Group of Seven claims the reactor has been used as leverage to get money from the West. Ukraine has been hoping to construct two new nuclear reactors funded by outside sources.

*Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 26 1999