Russia will propose new nuclear plan at G8: Prez

Moscow: On the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday announced that he will propose a plan to introduce tighter safety regime at the world`s atomic power plants at the next month`s G-8 Summit.

In his special address on the Chernobyl anniversary, Medvedev stressed on the need for tighter safety regime at atomic plants as he projected that nuclear energy will "remain the cheapest source of energy" in the foreseeable future.

Medvedev announced that he will table the nuclear safeguards proposals next month at the G-8 summit of world`s most industrialised nations in France.

"The proposals will concern the responsibility of the countries using nuclear power, including the timely measures in case of emergency," he said.

"Today we mourn for those who died and lived through that tragedy," the Russian president said.

Explosion of the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl NPP, now in Ukraine, in the early hours on April 26, 1986 in ex-USSR is considered as the world`s worst nuclear accident.

At least 30 people, mostly firemen were killed in the first hours of the blast which sent a cloud of radiation over large areas of Europe, including parts of Britain and Scandinavia.

The Soviet government kept mum on the disaster for several days until the radiation trail was registered in the West.

More than 350,000 people were evacuated from the 30 km exclusion zone around, including the Pripyat township of the Chernobyl NPP workers.

In the wake of the Japanese Fukushima-1 NPP accident, Medvedev also called for greater transparency during nuclear emergencies.

"Additional safety requirements are needed for the construction and use of nuclear facilities," he said.

He announced that Russia would allocate 45 million euros for construction of a new protective shell to cover the destroyed reactor.

An international conference in Kiev last week raised 550 million euros of the 740 million euros needed to finance the new radiation shield.

"Over 600 thousand rescuers were pressed into service, who had manually cleared the highly radioactive debris for the construction of a concrete sarcophagus to encapsulate the damaged reactor containing about 200 tonnes nuclear fuel," President of the Kurchatov Russian Nuclear Institute Yevgeny Velikhov recalled in an interview to Rossiya 24 news channel.

In his message to the members of the All-Russia Society Chernobyl uniting the rescuers, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the nuclear disaster was a lesson for the entire mankind and forced to seriously review the nuclear energy safety.