Moscow: Belarus is looking at the
possibility of reusing thousands of hectares of lands in the
vicinity of the disaster-hit Chernobyl nuclear plant, a top
official from the country`s emergencies ministry has said.
"We are to decide whether some 10,000 to 15,000
hectares of land can be used again," said Vladimir Chernikov,
director of the ministry`s department for liquidation of the
"Over the 25 years that have passed since the
disaster, elements such as caesium and strontium, the key
pollutants of the territories, have already half
disintegrated. That is why the issue of the reuse of such
lands is coming to the fore," he was quoted as saying by the
According to Chernikov, specialists believe that some
of these lands might be used for "planting trees, grass,
probably not for growing food crops but rather for seed
growing or for growing technical cultures."
He also said that some of the polluted territories,
such as the Polessky radiation reserves, have been put out of
use for centuries. Other lands will be assessed by experts
within two months.
More than a fourth of Belarus` territory was polluted
by radiation after the Chernobyl accident. A total of 460
settlements ceased to exist, and about 264,000 of lands were
put out of use. The total damage of the Chernobyl accident is
estimated at USD 235 billion.
On April 26, 1986, Chernobyl`s reactor four suffered a
catastrophic power increase, leading to explosions in its
core. This dispersed large quantities of radioactive fuel and
core materials into the atmosphere and ignited the combustible