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Viktor Bryukhanov (left) and chief engineer Nikolai Fomin appear in a Soviet court in 1987 (ITAR-TASS)
April 25, 2006 -- The former director of the Chornobyl (Chernobyl) nuclear power plant says the world has failed to learn the lessons of the Chornobyl disaster.
In a rare interview, Viktor Bryukhanov told Russia's "Profil" magazine that the flaws in the technology used at Chornobyl and the dangers of nuclear power were not fully disclosed after the accident 20 years ago.
He acknowledged that staff error was partly responsible, but said the official investigations into the accident were designed to exonerate the nuclear industry.
Bryukhanov was jailed for negligence after the accident, and served half of a 10-year sentence.
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NOT JUST A LOCAL PROBLEM: On April 27, 1986, the day after the explosion at Chornobyl, workers at Sweden's Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant were found to have radioactive particles on their clothes, which led to a search for the source, and the first suspicions that a nuclear accident had occurred in the Soviet Union.
The cloud of radioactive particles from Chornobyl passed over Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the British Isles, before the wind changed, after which it was blown south over much of Europe. Radioactive contamination from the Chornobyl disaster was also detected as far away as North America and Japan.
LOCAL COVERAGE: Click here to see RFE/RL's coverage of Chornobyl in Russian, Ukrainian, or Belarusian.
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