Temelin shut down again

20-08-2001

The first reactor at the Temelin nuclear power plant was shut down for fifteen hours on Sunday, just days after being restarted following three months of repairs. The newly completed plant is currently in trial operation, but has suffered several technical setbacks in recent months. A spokesman said that the latest problem had arisen in the block's regulatory system, but was not connected with the nuclear reactor itself. The reactor is now running at minimum capacity. One of the most prominent Austrian anti-Temelin protestors, Josef Puehringer, described the current trials as dangerous, accusing the plant's managers of playing with fire.

In a separate development the Vienna head of the Austrian People's Party, one of the two parties in the ruling coalition, has recommended that Austria block the Czech Republic's accession to the European Union, unless it puts Temelin out of operation. His statement goes against the more cautious policy of the party at a national level, but has been welcomed by the Vienna chief of the party's coalition partner, the far-right Freedom Party.