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Swiss urge global rethink of nuclear power

President and Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has urged the international community to set new priorities for the use of nuclear energy.

Addressing a summit in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Calmy-Rey recalled the “unspeakable suffering” at Pripyat – the town near the destroyed power plant – and parts of Belarus and Russia.

She also called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to reconsider its role following the accident at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, earlier this year.

Calmy-Rey was among government representatives from 50 nations discussing the safe use of nuclear power.

Switzerland is committed to increasing its financial aid for the victims of Chernobyl – in line with pledges by other countries according to an economics ministry spokeswoman. The Swiss contribution to an international programme is set at 1.15 per cent of the total.

To date, Switzerland has paid €27 million to projects, including the Chernobyl Shelter Fund, according to the foreign ministry.

Ukraine was hoping to raise €740 million (SFr952 million) in funds for new safety measures at the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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