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Prague to scale back nuclear ambition: minister
by Staff Writers
Prague (AFP) Feb 8, 2012

The Czech Republic is to scale back its nuclear energy ambitions, the industry minister said Wednesday in a newspaper interview.

"It wouldn't be realistic to produce up to 80 percent of electricity by way of nuclear power," Martin Kuba told Hospodarske Noviny.

"And there isn't enough room (in the Czech Republic) to build new nuclear power plants," he added.

The pro-nuclear Czech government had earlier suggested it might aim to boost nuclear energy to cover over 80 percent of the country's needs by 2060.

Run by state-controlled power giant CEZ, two nuclear power plants -- Temelin and Dukovany -- currently produce one-third of the total Czech power output.

Nuclear power output is expected to rise to 50 percent after two new reactors are added to the Temelin plant, which lies about 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Prague.

Neighbouring non-nuclear Austria, and Germany, which is renouncing nuclear power, have expressed concern over the building of new plants in the Czech Republic.

A report on the country's energy strategy is expected to be released in June.

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Cold snap forces Germany to restart nuclear reactors: report
Berlin (AFP) Feb 8, 2012 - The cold snap gripping Europe has forced Germany, which decided last year to abandon nuclear power, to bring several reactors back on line, the daily Handelsblatt reports in its Thursday issue.

The cold related surge in electricity demand prompted Germany's network operators to call upon nuclear power plants left in reserve as a "preventative measure", a spokeswoman for Tennet, one of the operators, told the newspaper.

In the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan last March, which prompted radiation to leak at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Germany decided to phase out nuclear power by 2022.

Eight of Germany's 17 reactors were immediately taken off line, but five of them are serving as reserve generators in case electricity demand cannot be met from other sources.

In December, Germany imported power from neighbouring Austria to stabilise its network.


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French nuclear body approves Atmea reactor safety options
Paris (AFP) Feb 7, 2012
France's ASN nuclear safety body said on Tuesday it had approved the safety options for the Atmea1 reactor project being carried out by France's Areva and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). "Following a review process lasting 18 months, ASN issues a positive opinion on the safety options for the Atmea1 reactor project," the ASN said in a statement. "The safety options adopted by ... read more

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