Slovakia may quit plans to restart nuclear reactor

Slovakia may abandon plans to restart a Soviet-era nuclear reactor that had drawn criticism from the European Union, a government official said on Sunday.

Slovakia may quit plans to restart nuclear reactor
Bratislava decided to restart the reactor and declared a state of emergency after its flow of Russian gas stopped this month, cutting supplies to major industries and gas-powered electricity facilities, due to a dispute with Ukraine.

The government said the Jaslovske Bohunice reactor, seen by neighbouring Austria as unsafe, had to be back put into operation to maintain power supplies.

The plant was closed last year in line with Slovakia's EU accession treaty, and the European Commission had warned that legal action could follow if it were restarted.

But on Tuesday, Slovakia delayed its decision on firing up the 440 megawatt reactor and now it looks like the plan may be abandoned altogether.

"Slovakia has not started it so far because we had managed ... to stabilise our grid," Slovak Economy Minister Lubomir Jahnatek told Czech TV.

"I hope to have a chance to say next week that (the reactor at) Jaslovske Bohunice (nuclear plant) is definitely closed."

Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Friday the cabinet would cancel curbs on domestic gas supplies after securing alternative deliveries of gas through a pipeline by-passing Ukraine.

The prime ministers of Ukraine and Russia said on Sunday they had reached an outline deal to restore disrupted gas supplies, while the European Union said it was waiting to see gas actually flowing to Europe.

Last Mod: 18 Ocak 2009, 16:13
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