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Tuesday, August 31, 1999 Published at 19:51 GMT 20:51 UK

World: Europe

Ukraine stalls on Chernobyl closure

The vice-president of Ukraine's state nuclear power agency, Energoatom, has said that it does not make economic sense to close the Chernobyl nuclear plant at the start of the year 2000.

The official, Vissarion Kim, told reporters that the plant's nuclear fuel reserves would last another year, and Ukraine could not afford to waste them.

He said the plan to close the power station was being implemented, but that an agreement signed by Ukraine, G-7 countries and the European Commission in 1995 did not fix a date for its closure.

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