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What the papers say - THE INDEPENDENT

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The sarcophagus encasing Chernobyl's nuclear reactor is in danger of collapse, according to a Russian scientist.

President of the Centre for Russian Environment Policy, Professor Alexei Yablokov, says the concrete and metal casing is cracked, already leaking radiation and could collapse causing a catastrophic widespread radiation leak.

Scientists say rain and snow falling through the cracks is causing nuclear reactions.

Between 85% and 97% of the original reactor's fuel remains in the sarcophagus.

Britain is to co-build a £600M uranium enrichment facility in the New Mexico desert, despite calls from the United Nations nuclear watchdog for a five year moratorium on such facilities.

A consortium led by a company one-third owned by British Nuclear Fuels plans to develop the plant close to Eunice. Campaigners say the project risks polluting the environment, will use scarce water resources and create tonnes of nuclear waste.

Romania has been hit by its worst floods for a century.

Soldiers were sent to Timis, west Romania, last week to evacuate residents and repair dams.

The earthquake that triggered the Asian tsunami could have destabilised the earth's crust, triggering further such quakes over the next 10 to 15 years according to scientists.

In studies released at the European Geosciences Union in Vienna, scientists say a tsunami warning system should be installed in risk areas, including the Mediterranean, as soon as possible.

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