The state-run company responsible for managing Ukraine's four nuclear power plants signed a contract with a U.S. enterprise Monday for the development of a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel.
The US$152 million project, launched by Ukraine's Energoatom and Marlton, New Jersey-based Holtec International, foresees the development of a facility where spent nuclear fuel rods from Ukrainian nuclear power plants will be stored before being sent for reprocessing in Russia, Energoatom said in a statement.
Ukraine was the site of the world's worst nuclear accident when a reactor in the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded in 1986, spewing radiation over much of northern Europe. Chernobyl's reactors were shut down for good in 2000, and Ukraine has pledged to improve the safety of its operational nuclear plants, the AP reports.
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Eyewitnesses said that explosions could be heard in the centre of Kyiv. Smoke was seen rising above Zhuliany Airport (Kyiv International Airport)