27 Apr 2011

Chernobyl anniversary remembered

8:00 am on 27 April 2011

Anti-nuclear protesters have held a series of demonstrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine.

Marches were held on several river bridges between France and Germany over the Rhine. There were also protests at German nuclear plants.

One of the main protests took place at the Pont de l'Europe, over the Rhine between Strasbourg and Kehl.

The BBC reports thousands of people have staged demonstrations since the crisis began at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan.

The protestors say their fears about the use of nuclear power have been reinforced by the incident in Japan.

The No 4 reactor in the power station at Chernobyl, which was then part of the Soviet Union, exploded on 26 April, 1986.

The accident sent a plume of radiation over a large part of Europe.

At least 30 people were killed in the immediate aftermath of the explosion - though others died later from radiation-related sicknesses. The number has been fiercely debated.

There is still a 30km exclusion zone around the plant.

President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia says the main lesson of Chernobyl is that the authorities must tell the truth.