CHERNOBYL, Ukraine, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A group of Ukrainians sent a letter to Prime Minister Mykola Azarov requesting permission to return to Chernobyl, the site of a 1986 nuclear disaster.
About 35 people signed the letter but they said there are hundreds more who wish to return to Chernobyl, their hometown, RIA Novosti reported Monday.
Since the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant sent a cloud of radiation over large parts of Europe more than a quarter-century ago, no one has been permitted to live within an 18.6-mile radius of the city.
In their letter, the former Chernobyl residents say the town and its suburbs are no longer contaminated by radiation.
"I have a house in the very center of Chernobyl; this is my property," pensioner Mykola Havrylyuk was quoted as saying in the Ukrainian daily Sehodnya. "And my health is my own business."
Azarov had yet to respond to the request.