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Radiation levels spike amid wildfire in Ukraine's Chernobyl exclusion zone

June 30, 3:46 UTC+3 KIEV

The fire that broke out near a nuclear waste storage facility at around 13:00 on Thursday spread to an area of about 25 hectares

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© Alexander Saverkin/TASS

KIEV, June 30. /TASS/. Ukraine’s ministry of environment on Thursday detected radiation levels 2.5 times above average after a wildfire approached a nuclear waste storage facility in Ukraine’s Chernobyl exclusion zone, the area most affected by the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

"According to a radiation survey data, radiation levels measured in the wildfire area at 19:00 on Thursday surpassed reference standards for the exclusion zone by 2.5 times," the ministry said in a statement.

The fire that broke out near the Vektor nuclear waste storage facility at around 13:00 on Thursday has already spread to an area of about 25 hectares. Over 100 people, nearly two dozens of vehicles, a helicopter and two planes are involved in tackling the blaze.

Rescue services from the Kiev and Zhitomir regions have been put on standby and will assist the firefighting effort if necessary.

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