Czech power plant reactor nearly shuts down owing to staff error

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Prague - The Dukovany nuclear power plant, owned by Czech power giant CEZ, nearly shut down one of its four units Tuesday owing to an employee's mistake, the company said.

Unit's two turbines were automatically switched off from the grid after a technician mistakenly turned off one of its six cooling circuits.

The reactor's output was reduced to 6 per cent, the company said. CEZ said the incident had no impact on safety.

State-controlled CEZ operates two Soviet-era nuclear power plants, Dukovany and Temelin - the latter fiercely opposed by Austrian anti- nuclear activists and politicians.

The Czech Republic, alongside Slovakia, is among the staunchest proponents of nuclear power revival in Europe.

Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek would like to see nuclear power regarded as a renewable source that could help the European Union meet its commitment to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

The junior ruling Greens however block any efforts to build new reactors in the Czech Republic

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