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A research plant inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone will reopen to make parts to keep Ukraine's nuclear power industry going, Moscow's independent television said Saturday.

It said the Ukrainian government decided to reopen the plant in Pripyat, a town inside the 20-mile exclusion zone created after the world's worst nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in April 1986.

Work at factories in Pripyat was halted the day of the disaster. Although no one is supposed to live inside the exclusion zone, hundreds of villagers have returned to their homes.

Officials in Ukraine were not available for comment due to the Orthodox Easter holiday, but television broadcasts said production would resume at the plant, 15 miles from Chernobyl.

It would make spare parts and specialized equipment to ensure "the efficient and safe work" of Ukraine's nuclear power industry.

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