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Belarusian Activists To Mark Chornobyl Disaster

Reactor No. 4 at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant

Reactor No. 4 at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant

HRODNA, Belarus -- Members of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front (BNF) party plan to hold a rally on April 26 in the western city of Hrodna to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

BNF Hrodna branch head Vadzim Saranchukou told journalists that he officially applied today with city officials for permission to hold the gathering.

Saranchukou said nuclear safety and Chornobyl remain important issues 25 years after the disaster, at a time when Japan is struggling with serious problems at its Fukushima nuclear station following an earthquake and tsunami.

He added that safe nuclear power is especially important for Belarusians as the country's leaders plan to build a new nuclear power plant in the western city of Astravets.

The planned event to mark the 25th anniversary of Chornobyl is to be held in Hrodna's Zhyliber Park.

The total meltdown at Chornobyl's No. 4 reactor in 1986 killed and injured thousands of people and caused tens of thousands to be displaced as radiation spread to many parts of Europe but primarily to Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.

Read more in Belarusian here