UPDATE: Sources have confirmed to CDMedia that the U.S. State Department is sending two large aircraft to evacuate American personnel from Kyiv as the wildfires have reached a storage facility for radioactive waste near the Chernobyl nuclear accident site.
A large-scale fire that broke out in the Chernobyl zone, contrary to the efforts of firefighters, almost reached the storage of radioactive waste. Before them, as well as to the nuclear power plant itself, literally two kilometers remained, reported Ukrainian media outlet Strana.ua.
This was announced by a member of the public council at the State Agency for the Management of the Exclusion Zone Yaroslav Emelianenko on Facebook.
“I have two options: either the Cabinet of Ministers is not informed of the real situation, or he chose a policy of hushing up the Soviet regime, as in 86. Now the fire has reached Pripyat and is located two kilometers directly from the Podlesny radioactive waste storage facilities, where the most highly active radiation waste from the entire Chernobyl zone, and from the Chernobyl itself, “the report said.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv has become covered in smog from the fires, possibly containing radioactivity; however, the government denies this.
The current position of Kiev, in contrast to the “competitors”, is associated not so much with pollution from industry and transport as from smoke and burning that has enveloped the city in recent days. After all, if you look at the same rating for the whole last year, then Kiev is already at 1111th place in the world in terms of average pollution index of 16.6, that is, 10 times less than on April 10, reported local media outlet Glav.com.
Wildfires burning out of control near the site of the abandoned nuclear reactor at Chernobyl, Ukraine could threaten the health of locals as smoke from the fires could disperse radiation from the nuclear accident decades ago in 1986.
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
The blaze has burned through over 3,000 hectares in a week and elevated radiation levels have been recorded near the fires, reports RFERL.
The Kyiv regional administration has ordered citizens to stay at home from last Friday to today. Over 100 firefighters have been deployed along with helicopters and planes to fight multiple fires.
The fires have sparked fears about radiation in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, which is about 60 miles south of Chernobyl, but authorities said that testing by experts sent by the government on Monday had found that there had been no rise in radiation levels in Kyiv or its surrounding suburbs, reported ABC News.
“You needn’t be afraid to open your windows or to air out your apartment during quarantine,” Yegor Firsov, the head of Ukraine’s state ecological inspection service wrote on his Facebook page on Monday.
A man in his 20s has been detained in connection with the situation.