Verheugen says Temelin shutdown is no cause for concern

05-05-2001

EU Commissioner Gunter Verheugen has attempted to dispel Austrian fears regarding the safety of the Temelin nuclear power plant in south Bohemia. On a working visit to Vienna he expressed the view that the two month shutdown for repair work on the plant was no reason for concern. Austrian nuclear activists tried to put pressure on the EU official, greeting him in Vienna with gas masks and banners asking "What are you doing about Temelin Mr. Verheugen?". Speaking at a news conference later the EU commissioner asked for "more composure" pointing out that the Czech side had already made concessions it was not obliged to make. A spokeswoman for the Greens party later described the EU commissioner's stand as an insult to Austrian citizens.

Austrian government to increase pressure regarding Temelin

Meanwhile, the Austrian government has said it wants to use the two-month shutdown of the Temelin nuclear power plant to push through environmental and safety demands. Austrian environment minister Wilhelm Molterer said on Friday that the unscheduled two month shutdown confirmed suspicions that the turbine problems were far more serious than they had been made out to be. " The key issue here is that we now use the time aggressively and intently to ensure that the Melk agreement is fully adhered to" Mr Molterer said on Austrian radio.