MOSCOW, JAN. 27 -- Public protests after the Chernobyl nuclear accident have halted the construction of an atomic power station in the Soviet Union, a Soviet newspaper said today.
Komsomolskaya Pravda said authorities had decided late last year to stop building a plant in Krasnodar, a city in the northern Caucasus, and that nearly all atomic Soviet plants under construction or already built were opposed by local residents.
It said the Chernobyl nuclear accident -- which was the world's worst, and caused 31 deaths and the evacuation of more than 130,000 people from areas around the Ukrainian plant in April 1986 -- had provoked a "chain reaction" of opposition to nuclear power.
"The whole world is talking about Chernobyl," Komsomolskaya Pravda said. "The 20 operating stations and nearly all those under construction are bitterly opposed by residents."
Construction of the Krasnodar plant was stopped after $41 million had been spent on the project, the Communist youth daily said.
Local residents had sent letters of complaint to the authorities, and the chairman of the Krasnodar regional government had gone on television to express his opposition to the station, it said.
Officials at the Ministry of Atomic Power Engineering had received letters from nuclear power opponents around the country, it added.