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Ukraine: Kyiv Hopes For Power Loan From EBRD Soon

Washington, 13 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Ukrainian embassy in Washington says Kyiv hopes to put the final touches on a loan package to build two more conventional power units to replace the electricity now being generated by the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

In a statement, the embassy said it hopes final preparations will be completed with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in March. The embassy says power units will be built at the Khmelnytsk and Rivne power plants.

The situation at Chernobyl, site of the world's largest nuclear power accident in 1986, was discussed Tuesday in Washington by a working group of nuclear experts from the G-7 group of major industrial nations. The G-7 has promised to help Ukraine close the two generating units still working in the Chernobyl plant by the turn of the century.

A Ukrainian delegation, led by minister of environmental protection and nuclear safety Yuri Kostenko, reviewed the Chernobyl situation with the G-7 experts. The embassy says they reached basic agreement on removing fissionable materials that are still inside the now-cracking concrete sarcophagus built around the damaged parts of the plant.

Officials of the U.S., which sponsored the three day meeting, were not available for comment.