Two years after the world's worst nuclear disaster, officials in charge of the Cherno-byl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine still seem more intent on energy production than on maintaining equipment, the newspaper Pravda said.
The scathing attack Sunday by the official Communist Party newspaper said that the damaged fourth reactor at Chernobyl, which exploded April 26, 1986, and was later safely buried in concrete, is monitored daily and emits no harmful radiation.But the newspaper told a story of unlearned lessons at the power station two years after the world's worst nuclear diaster, which killed 31 people and forced the evauation of 90,000 others from a 19 mile-radius zone around the station, 70 miles north of the Ukranian capital of Kiev.
Regrettably, Pravda said, "the leadership of the nuclear power station" gives priority to keeping the plant in operation "to the detriment of the quality of repair and maintenance of intricate equipment."
The attack by Pravda was a further example of glasnost, which in many ways blossomed after the accident, which was not announced until three days after it occurred.
After its initial silence, Soviet media began covering the story, and by the first anniversary of the disaster last year, foreign reporters were allowed to go to the site and were given tours of plant.
The disaster forced the evacuation of all 25,000 residents of the Cherno-byl workers' town of Pripyat, about 3 miles north of the plant. Many of those workers were resettled temporarily in apartments in Kiev to await the building of a new workers' town in Slavutich.
The town has since been built, but Pravda said that many workers do not want to move there.