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Ukraine: Anniversary Of Chornobyl Disaster Marked

Kyiv, 26 April 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Today is the 16th anniversary of the explosion at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. The number four reactor at the plant blew up in the early morning hours of 26 April 1986, in what became the world's worst civilian nuclear disaster.

In the years since the accident, thousands of people in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia have died from radiation-related illnesses.

The UN says nearly 6 million people in the three countries continue to live in contaminated zones.

The last reactor at the Chornobyl plant was permanently shut down by Ukraine in December 2000.