Ukraine kicks off summit to raise funds for Chernobyl aid
A blue-ribbon summit opened in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Tuesday to raise funds to help with the after-effects of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl 25 years ago, DPA reported.
"Chernobyl was a disaster for the entire world, and the entire world must work to deal with it," Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said in opening remarks.
Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, called for international assistance to help Ukraine in dealing with Chernobyl, in particular by building a new containment structure over the remains of a reactor that exploded on April 26, 1986.
"We need 700 million euros (998 million dollars) just for this task, and I think we will find it ... we must do this," Barroso said.
The disaster at Chernobyl is regarded as the world's worst nuclear accident. It is a level 7 event on the seven-point International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) scale, indicating a "major accident."
The situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, which was seriously damaged during an earthquake and tsunami last month, was recently raised to level 7 from level 5 (an "accident with wider consequences").
But the International Atomic Energy Agency said that, despite the fact that the two accidents have the same ranking on the INES scale, the Chernobyl disaster was far more severe than the current situation at Fukushima.