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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Finance Plant, Kiev Tells West

KIEV -- Ukraine wants the West to finance a new nuclear-waste reprocessing plant in exchange for shutting down the Chernobyl power station, a top Ukrainian nuclear energy official said Monday.

"A modern plant for reprocessing, storing and burying nuclear waste on the [Chernobyl] site should be built in place of the nuclear power station," Mykhailo Umanetz, head of Ukraine's Atomic Energy Committee, said.

Umanetz said the plant would reprocess nuclear waste leftover from Chernobyl after its closure, as well as radioactive waste from Ukraine's other operating reactors. The financing should come from the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, which have agreed to help the country shut down the station, he said.

Ukrainian energy officials said Monday that if the G-7 rejects their proposal on the reprocessing plant, it could jeopardize their plan for shutting down Chernobyl by the year 2000, as was promised by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma last spring.

The cost of the plant, according to Umanetz, is estimated at around $1 billion.