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Ukraine Startsup New Nuclear Reactor

Ukraine, the site of the world's worst nuclear accident, launched a new atomic reactor this week, and a second reactor is set to open later this year, according to a news agency.

Ukrainian President, Leonid Kuchma, joined by other top officials, attended the startup of reactor No. 2 at the Khmelnitskyi plant in western Ukraine.

Mr. Kuchma gave the order to the reactor's staff to "raise the capacity of the .....power unit up to the commercial load," the ITAR Tass news agency reported.

A new reactor at the Rivne nuclear power plant, also in the west, is set to be completed later this year.

Ukraine has committed the modernizing its 13 operating nuclear reactors. The former Soviet republic closed Chernobyl, site of the 1986 accident, but is asking Western donors to contribute $350 million to replace a shelter securing the destroyed reactor.