News Czech nuclear plants see significant production drop in 2015
Czech energy giant ČEZ announced on Monday a sharp drop in electricity production from its two nuclear plants, Dukovany and Temelín, in 2015. The total net production from the two plants last year came to 26.83 TWh compared with around 30.32 TWh a year earlier. The biggest production drop came from Dukovany, where 2015 power production reached 12.60 TWh, around 2.77 TWh down on the 2014 output figure of 15.37 TWh. Three out of the four Dukovany units were closed from mid-September when flaws in X-ray safety checks on pipes by a sub-contractor were revealed.
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Czech Euro MPs for ANO, Pavel Telička and Petr Ježek, have criticized Interior Minister Milan Chovanec for his statement on Sunday that the Czech Republic could begin negotiations with Great Britain over Brexit on its own rather than waiting for the European Union. At a press conference, Mr Telička called the idea “foolish” while fellow MP Ježek expressed doubts the Czech Republic alone could negotiate better terms than Germany or France. The EU has maintained that negotiations with Britain to leave should be conducted by EU members together.
London football club Arsenal have kept their title challenge alive in the Premier League with a late win against Burnley on Sunday, a match which saw Arsenal down to 10-men. Petr Čech conceded a penalty and the game was tied 1-1 in injury time when Arsenal were thrown a lifeline when Mee caught an Arsenal defender with his studs. Alexis Sanchez beat Burnley keeper Heaton with a “panenka” – a cheeky chip in the centre of the goal. Arsenal are second in the league but a full eight points behind leaders Chelsea.
Euro MP Petr Mach was re-elected the head of the Free Citizens’ Party at the weekend, gaining 301 of 487 votes from party members. About half of the party’s members took part. Two people, economist Martin Pánek and home schooling consultant Irena Steinhauserová ran against the chairman, picking up 128 and 58 votes, respectively. In December, Mach, 41, resigned as chairman over differences in the direction of the party, not represented in the Czech lower house. The division was over whether leaving the EU should be the sole signature aim of the party or one of several. The latter position was advocated by Mr Mach.
The Supreme Audit Office reports that 9.4 billion crowns allotted by the Environment Ministry from European and state funds in the years 2013 – 2015 did not improve the state of the environment. The news was confirmed by the bureau’s spokeswoman Olga Málková. The audit office says the ministry failed to assess the suitability and effectiveness of some projects. The ministry denies that the subsidies did not bring improvements.
Czech Cardinal and Archbishop Emeritus of Prague Miloslav Vlk, 84, has been diagnosed with lung cancer which has metastasized also to the bones; he is due to begin chemotherapy soon, the Czech News Agency and other sources reported on Monday. First signs of the disease reportedly appeared last spring and at around Christmas of 2016 the Cardinal was hospitalised after his condition worsened. The illness was diagnosed this month, following a CT scan and bronchoscopy. Cardinal Vlk is in home care at a parish in Karlín where he is being cared for by the local priest, the website www.kardinal.cz writes.
A smog warning from the Czech Hdyro-Meteorological Institute is still in place for some parts of the Czech Republic. The warning applies for eight regions, including Prague, Hradec Králové, Ústí nad Labem and South Moravia, where where more than double the permissible limit for airborne dust particles have been recorded. People with respiratory diseases and heart condition as well as elderly people and children have been adviced to limit outdoor physical activities. Authorities in Prague have repeatedly appealed to drivers to curb their travels. The regulation limiting the biggest polluters is still in place in the regions of Prague, Olomouc and Central Bohemia.
Women’s tennis player Barbora Strýcová has been knocked out of the Australian Open, after being beaten in the fourth round by the six-time champion and world number two Serena Williams 5:7 a 4:6: The last Czech player to remain in the singles tournament is Karolína Plíšková, who will face Australia’s Daria Gavrilova to fight for a spot in the quarter finals.
Monday is expected to be mostly cloudy with daytime temperatures ranging between -5 and 0 degrees Celsius.
The Czech Republic should start negotiating with Great Britain over Brexit on its own, without waiting for the European Union, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said on Sunday in a political debate programme on Czech television, adding that it might take too long for the European Union to adopt a single stand on the issue. Mr Chovanec said the country’s priority was to protect the rights of Czechs working in Great Britain. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has already announced he wanted to meet with leaders of the parliamentary parties in February to coordinate a “national position” on the UK’s exit from the EU.
Two Czechs were killed in an avalanche accident in the Austrian Alps on Sunday. Four tourists from the Czech Republic were caught by the avalanche that struck the Wildgerlostal mountain resort near Salzburg, the Austrian mountain service informed. Two of them managed to dig themselves out of the snow on time. None of the men had proper avalanche rescue equipment with them, the rescuers reported.