Czech nuclear plant row continues

Czech government is ready to seek EU help to unblock the border with Austria, closed by anti-nuclear protestors.

The Czech Republic is ready to ask the European Union to intervene unless Austria stops anti-nuclear demonstrators from blocking border crossings between the two countries, according to Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan.

Thousands of Austrian environmentalists blocked border posts to protest against the Czech nuclear power plant in Temelin, 50 kilometres into Czech teritorry. Protests were intensified after the first reactor in the plant of Soviet design but fitted with a Western control system, was put into operation on 10 October.

Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner reiterated that Vienna would not allow the EU to close the energy chapter in the Czech Republic’s accession negotiations until all safety concerns at Temelin were resolved.

The Czech government says that Temelin meets the strictest international nuclear safety standards, however Austria and Bavaria demand an environmental impact analysis.

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