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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nuclear Sit-In Grows

MOSCOW () -- Hundreds of disgruntled workers are refusing to leave a nuclear power plant in Smolensk, demanding payment of back wages, officials said Thursday. The workers also want the government to form a special committee to deal with problems faced by the ailing nuclear power industry.

The protest at the Smolensk nuclear plant, 400 kilometers west of Moscow, began four days ago, when about 100 of the plant's 7,000 employees refused to leave the plant after working normal shifts. By Thursday, their number had swelled to about 350, a spokesman for the protesters told Interfax. Mikhail Safrygin said the workers will continue their action until their demands are met.

According to news reports, the customers owe the plant billions of rubles (millions of dollars), much of which is earmarked for wages.