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FOREIGN AFFAIRS—CHORNOBYL—NUCLEAR REACTOR ACCIDENT

Senator Bilyk amended general business notice of motion no. 230 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) 25 years have passed since an explosion and fire destroyed the number four reactor at the nuclear power plant at Chornobyl, on 26 April 1986,

  (ii) 28 deaths are directly attributable to the incident, although the World Health Organization estimates that thousands of additional cancer deaths, including deaths from thyroid cancer and leukaemia, may result from the incident,

  (iii) 116 000 people were immediately evacuated following the incident and another 230 000 people were relocated in subsequent years,

  (iv) an estimated 200 000 clean-up workers from the army, power plant staff, local police and fire services were initially involved in containing and cleaning up the radioactive debris during 1986-87,

  (v) more than 5 million people still live in areas of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine that were contaminated by radiation from the incident,

  (vi) Ukraine has shut down (in 1991, 1996 and 2000) the three remaining reactors at the Chornobyl site and constructed a sarcophagus over reactor number four which urgently requires replacement, and

  (vii) nuclear power accounts for approximately one-third of Ukraine's electricity production, it has 15 nuclear power plants in operation and 2 under construction, and its nuclear power plant operators follow the internationally agreed nuclear safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency;

 (b) commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster; and

 (c) acknowledges the importance of nuclear safety.

Question put and passed.