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Fires near Chernobyl nuclear zone no effect on radiation levels in Russia — ministry

July 02, 2015, 15:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Fires broke out in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl on June 29 when dry grass and reeds blazed over some 130 hectares
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© EPA/ANDREW KRAVCHENKO/POOL

MOSCOW, July 2. /TASS/. Forest fires raging near Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear power plant are not expected to cause radiation problems in Russia, emergency officials say.

The assessment came in comments to TASS on Thursday as the Emergencies Ministry cited data from the sanitary control department of the Russian consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor and the Technical Crisis Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nuclear Safety Institute.

Ministry officials said that "almost no changes in the radiation situation on Russian territory have been confirmed by round-the-clock monitoring", adding that "no increase in radiation levels has been recorded".

Specialists have established cooperation with Ukrainian and Belarusian state emergency services alongside Russia's Hydrometeorological Service Roshydromet, consumer service Rospotrebnadzor, Russia's Academy of Sciences, the nuclear agency Rosatom and the UN International Atomic Energy Agency. The ministry has also offered to help Ukraine in tackling the outbreaks.

Fires broke out in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl on June 29 when dry grass and reeds blazed over some 130 hectares.

Ukraine’s emergencies service said on Thursday morning that firefighters had managed to put out grass fires though peat was still smouldering.

Some 201 firefighters and 27 pieces of equipment have been mobilised. A mobile firefighting centre and a prompt reaction group have been set up.

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