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Saturday, 5 February, 2000, 19:36 GMT
New pledge to close Chernobyl

The Ukrainian President, Leonid Kuchma, has reaffirmed his pledge to close the Chernobyl nuclear power station later this year.

He was speaking at a meeting with United States Secretary for Energy, Bill Richardson, in the capital, Kiev.

Mr Richarson welcomed the decision; he promised American financial and technical assistance in building a thermal power plant in Chernobyl to make up for the closure of the nuclear station - the scene of the world's worst nuclear accident in 1986.

Mr Richardson also said the United States would help mobilise funds for the completion of two other nuclear power stations in Ukraine.

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