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Wednesday, 29 March, 2000, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Chernobyl to close if aid arrives

The Ukrainian government has reiterated its pledge to close down the Chernobyl nuclear power plant by the end of the year.

But it stresses the closure still depends on the country getting international aid.

Ukraine has said it wants to use the funds to build two new reactors to replace the plant.

The government said, however, that it would start drawing up detailed plans for closing down the last reactor at Chernobyl and retraining its staff.

Ukraine has repeatedly delayed the closure -- originally agreed in 1995 -- saying it has not received the aid required. The 1986 explosion at Chernobyl was the world's worst civilian nuclear disaster.

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