Temelin to be stopped after a series of level-zero incidents

15-01-2001

After a series of minor incidents, the test operation of the controversial nuclear power station at Temelin will be halted this week and the plant will undergo thorough inspection. Although all the problems are unrelated to the plant's reactor, the Czech nuclear safety authority says Temelin cannot be operated under these circumstances. Vladimir Tax has the details.

The Temelin nuclear power station will stop this week for a planned technical inspection, which should take around three weeks. Just days before the planned inspection, Temelin suffered another minor incident, when oil leaking from steam regulation vents caught fire. Another problem has been excessive vibrations of the turbine. The State Office for Nuclear Safety declined to comment, saying none of these problems were related to nuclear safety. However, the body's chairwoman, Dana Drabova, said that permanent operation of the reactor was impossible because of the turbine's technical performance.

The international environmental organisation Greenpeace has been producing information about safety risks at Temelin for many years. I talked to Jan Haverkamp, a spokesman for Greenpeace, about the latest series of technical problems at Temelin.