LETTER: Evidence of contamination from Chernobyl

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The Independent Online
Sir:Your editorial is right to identify both the need to close the two remaining Chernobyl reactors as soon as possible and the importance of G7 aid to help achieve this. However, the terms of the G7 deal on offer envisage the majority of the $2.3bn being spent on the completion of two new nuclear reactors in Ukraine, with all the safety, environmental and economic problems this will inevitably entail. Such a course of action would only exacerbate the country's energy and economic problems.

Ukraine is one of the most energy intensive countries in the world, a combination of both large consumption by heavy industry and poor efficiency in the whole energy sector. As prices for energy in the region reach world market levels, Ukraine will find itself increasingly unable to provide income to meet its fuel bills and the critical state of the country's economy will worsen.

If the G7 is serious about helping Ukraine, the grants and loans it can provide should be directed at improving the efficiency of energy use there. The G7 money invested in energy efficiency could obviate the need for the two new reactors, as well as allowing the closure of Chernobyl.

The UK knows that nuclear power is uneconomic. John Major should be calling for a sensible and sustainable energy policy at the forthcoming G7 meeting.

Yours faithfully,

Bridget Woodman

Greenpeace UK

London N1

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