On 9 July, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and representatives from the EU Delegation to Ukraine visited Ivankiv district, located near the Chornobyl nuclear power plant exclusion zone in Ukraine.
They presented the results of a four-year EU-supported project, which aimed to improve the overall quality of life in the areas affected by the Chornobyl disaster by reducing the level of radiation that inhabitants are exposed to and mitigating the effects of such exposure.
As a result of the project, modern medical and laboratory equipment has been provided to the Ivankiv district hospital to measure the radioactive and chemical agents in human bodies and food. An up-to-date radiological mapping of the area around Ivankiv was also conducted and an information centre was established to raise general public awareness about the potential consequences of, and ways to avoid, radiological hazards.
In addition, the project supported the construction of a state-of-the-art greenhouse of about 7,500 square metres, which will grow vegetables free from radioactive contamination and chemical pollution for the local population. An incinerator for forest waste, worth €1.25 million, has also been installed in Chornobyl to prevent forest fires and the spread of airborne radionuclides as a result.
“Five million people live in a contaminated area of 150,000 square kilometres. International support should not be restricted to the safety of nuclear reactors, but equally focus on people, their health and their environment,” said MEP Michèle Rivasi on the visit to the area.
The project “Health and Ecological Programmes around the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone” was implemented in partnership with the State Agency of Ukraine on the Exclusion Zone Management and the local authorities of Ivankiv between 2013 and 2017, with a contribution of €5 million from the EU.
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