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Chernobyl Cuts Output After Malfunction

KIEV, Mar 27, 2000 -- (Reuters) The only working nuclear reactor at Ukraine's troubled Chernobyl station cut its capacity by 50 percent on Monday after the plant's safety system shut down one of its turbo-generators, an official said on Monday.

A spokeswoman for the state nuclear power company Energoatom told Reuters the accident had taken place on Monday at 2:59 a.m. (2359 GMT on Sunday). No increase in radiation levels was recorded. She said repairs would be completed by March 30.

Ukraine has promised to shut down Chernobyl station, site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, in 2000 in return for Western funds to complete construction of two replacement reactors at its western Rivne and Khmelnytska plants.

The explosion and fire at Chernobyl's reactor number four in 1986 sent clouds of poisonous radioactive dust over neighboring Russia and Belarus, where thousands of people have died, and across vast territories in Europe.

-- - (, March 27, 2000

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