Russia Today

Chernobyl's Only Working Reactor to Shut Down

KIEV, Nov. 11, 1998 -- (Agence France Presse) The last reactor still functioning at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in northern Ukraine, will be shut down on Dec. 1 for "planned repairs," the Minister for Ecology and Nuclear Safety, Vassil

Shevchuk said Tuesday.

"The duration and the scope of the repair work will be determined in the next few days," Interfax quoted the minister as saying.

Of the original four reactors at the plant, only the No. 3 reactor is still producing electricity.

The No. 4 reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, generating a cloud of radioactive elements which contaminated much of northern Europe to a greater or lesser degree. The accident was the worst civilian nuclear accident on record.

Reactor No. 2 was shut down in 1991 after a fire while No. 1 was taken out of service in 1996 under an international accord calling for the total closure of the Chernobyl plant which western scientists say is dangerous.Ukraine's five nuclear plants of Pivdeno Ukrainska, Chernobyl, Rivne, Khmelnitsky and Zaporizhya account for almost half the country's electricity supply. ( (c) 1998 Agence France Presse)