Radiation level in Chernobyl zone “normal” despite forest fire: report

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The radiation level in the exclusion zone around the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) remain within regular limits despite the forest fire that engulfed the area, Ukraine’s State Service for Emergencies said in a report on Friday.

“The general background radiation in the exclusion zone is within the normal level,” the report said.

According to the document, the fire started about midday Thursday in the forest near the Chernobyl plant and spread to approximately 25 hectares by the end of the day, but till Friday noon, the area under the fire was reduced to 8 hectares, the report said.

A total of 125 firemen and 36 units of firefighting equipment, including two planes and a helicopter, were working at the site to extinguish the fire, it said.

On April 26, 1986, a series of explosions occurred at the Chernobyl NPP located 110 km north of the Ukrainian capital, resulting in the demolition of the No. 4 reactor and the spread of radiation across Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and some other European countries.

The 30-km-radius territory around the plant has been designated as an exclusion zone.

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