Photo taken on April 19, 2016 shows a doll with a gas mask in a deserted school in Pripyat city near Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Xinhua/Dai Tianfang)
KIEV, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine has started a construction of a facility for nuclear waste near the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant, local media reported on Saturday.
The central spent fuel storage facility (CSFSF), which would cost an estimated 1.4 billion U.S. dollars, will be built at the 30-km-radius exclusion zone around the plant.
According to the Ukrainian government, the first stage of the CSFSF construction will be completed in 2019.
After the facility is put into operation, it will store spent nuclear fuel from three Ukrainian nuclear power plants.
The building of the CSFSF is aimed at boosting Ukraine's capabilities in managing and storing its nuclear waste. Currently, the East European country relies heavily on Russia for storing spent fuel from its power plants.
Ukraine generates over half of its electricity from nuclear energy. Currently, 15 reactors in four nuclear power plants are operating in the East European country.
The Chernobyl plant located some 130 km from Kiev, witnessed one of the worst nuclear accidents in human history on April 26, 1986.
The blasts at the No. 4 reactor spread radiation across Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and other European countries.